New York City FC has announced its first opponent for 2017: Ecuadorian Serie A club CS Emelec of Guayaquil.
The friendly match will take place at 7:00pm ET at the Estadio Banco del Pacifico, classically known as the Estadio George Capwell.
(Capwell, an industrialist from western New York, founded the club in 1929, naming it after the Empresa Eléctrica del Ecuador, a power company he managed. He was the team’s player-coach for the better part of two decades.)
After winning three straight league championships from 2013-15, Emelec finished runners-up to their local rivals, Barcelona SC, for the 2016 title.
On the occasion, NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna had this to say to NYCFC.com:
“As frequent participants of the Copa Libertadores, we know C.S. Emelec will be a good test for us. Ecuador is known for its passionate soccer fans and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow our fan base outside of the United States.”
Added head coach Patrick Vieira:
“We are looking forward to our friendly against C.S. Emelec which will be our first test of the 2017 season. They are a talented team which will provide us with a competitive match. This game will give us the opportunity to integrate the new players who have joined the team over the break and will allow us to build our rhythm on the field.”
Tantalizing! Who all of those new players will turn out to be remains to be seen, with a couple of Seans being the only NYCFC newcomers so far this offseason— reigning USL MVP Okoli and longtime Chicago Fire goalkeeper Johnson.
We’ll have all the sexy details for you as soon as they’re available!