Carmelo Anthony Presents A New Soccer Franchise for Puerto Rico

The newest member of the North American Soccer League, the Puerto Rico Football Club, will begin its first season in the summer of 2016.
Jun 11, 2015

New York Knicks NBA Star Carmelo Anthony announced today that he is bringing soccer back to Puerto Rico with a new North American Soccer League franchise, “Puerto Rico Football Club” (Puerto Rico FC). The announcement took place in Bayamon, Puerto Rico future home base of Puerto Rico FC, scheduled to begin its first season at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, in summer 2016.

Anthony’s Puerto Rico FC project is more ambitious and will go beyond the professional NASL franchise scenario. Puerto Rico FC will be partnering with one of the island’s top youth soccer development programs, the Bayamon Football Club. This partnership will involve Puerto Rico FC’s support of the already comprehensive soccer program underway in Bayamon, which includes programs for all categories, and all age groups. A main goal of this project will be to develop home-grown talent that will potentially move the up and coming players through the ranks to provide them the opportunity to be part of the professional program.

In addition, Anthony’s project will have a strong social mission component. It includes a not-for-profit organization that will focus on bringing soccer to communities throughout the Island and improving the quality of the game, by working hand in hand with the Puerto Rico Football Federation and by supporting youth soccer projects and programs, particularly in underprivileged communities.

“It is an honor for me to bring back soccer to Puerto Rico, my beloved Island, birthplace of my father and a special place that as you know; I carry with pride in my heart and soul. Through my Foundation, I have been coming to Puerto Rico for the past six years, restoring basketball courts in underprivileged communities. Today, I come back to the island – this time with the commitment of restoring professional soccer in Puerto Rico through the NASL. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the former Puerto Rico Islanders project, that groundbreaking and heroic effort that certainly opened Puerto Rico’s frontiers to this beautiful sport. I am committed to help carry that torch and bring soccer to the next level in Puerto Rico. To the thousands of soccer fans in Puerto Rico that have been waiting for soccer to come back, I can promise a world-class organization in a world-class league, with a strong social mission to provide kids the opportunity to participate in this growing sport.”

Puerto Rico FC will become the thirteenth franchise in the NASL and will bring new energy to an already growing league. “The NASL is honored to return to Puerto Rico, where the passion for soccer is extraordinary. The addition of Puerto Rico FC is another exciting step for the league, and the club will play a key role in the growth of the game not only on the island, but also across the Caribbean and North American regions.”

“With Carmelo Anthony leading the charge, Puerto Rico FC has an owner who is very passionate about the great people of the island and the sport of soccer. He is an extremely talented and focused businessman who sees the many opportunities that will be developed through the club. Puerto Rico FC will be a very special club, and we’re proud to have them in the NASL.”

The Puerto Rican Federation President Erick Labrador welcomed the new team, noting that “every effort that improves and enhances the opportunities of showing world-class talent of our Puerto Rican players is a step in the right direction. We welcome Carmelo and his organization to this growing and important market within the Caribbean. He and his team know that they can count on the Puerto Rican Football Federation to provide support in his social mission as well. Together with FIFA, we will continue working to bring the game of soccer to every corner of our island and this project may become an important element that could help us move the sport to a new era, also providing more strength to the already growing national team program.

Bayamon Mayor Ramon Luis Rivera, also welcomed Anthony and this group reiterating that “our City is and will remain the soccer capital of Puerto Rico. In addition to the importance of this professional soccer franchise, the commitment of Carmelo towards underprivileged communities and in fostering the growth of the sport in our city is a determining element in our support to this project. Bayamon has been waiting for this moment and our City is ready to welcome Puerto Rico FC, the new sports ambassadors of our Island in the NASL.”

Proud Sponsors of Puerto Rico FC