FC Cincinnati has officially announced that Valencia CF is coming to play at Nippert Stadium on Monday July 24 at 7:00 pm. This comes after a long delay compared to last year, when the Crystal Palace friendly was announced May 19 of last year. This will be the second match that Valencia will play in the US over the summer with the first being two days prior against the New York Cosmos in Canada.
Valencia plays in the Spanish La Liga where they finished in 12th this past season. They have won the La Liga six times, as recently as 2004, as well as winning the UEFA Europa League in 2004 as well. They are generally considered the one of the top clubs in Spain, consistently finishing in the top four, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League eight times since 2000.
Valencia boasts a rising star in 22 year-old left back José Gaya who is being targeted by Manchester City and Arsenal of the Premier League in England. He has made 108 appearances scoring four goals for Valencia across all competitions and made 12 appearances while scoring a goal for the Spanish under 21 team. He has been called into the Spanish National Team on two occasions in 2015, but was left on the bench for both matches.
Valencia also boasts Nani who won the 2016 Euros with Portugal this past summer and formally played for Manchester United where he won four Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League. He also won the Premier League Association’s Player of the Year honors during the 2010-11 season.
Bringing in Valencia is another big coup for the FC Cincinnati General Manager Jeff Berding and Owner Carl Lindner III. After the resounding success of last years sell-out crowd of over 35,000 they will be hoping to improve upon that high standard set last year.
The MLS will most certainly be watching FCC, between them hosting Valencia and the Columbus Crew in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. MLS Commissioner Don Garber has emphasized that he wants to expand the league to a place that has a good ownership group and a great soccer fan base. This friendly match against Valencia, along with the Crystal Palace match last year, is more proof that Berding and Lindner are doing well in their roles and provide everything that the MLS wants in an ownership group.
With a great fan base that always comes out to support their team, FCC will likely sell this game out. This is significant because the match will be on a Monday night and weekday games usually are a tougher sell. The fan base has already proved time and time again that they are a great community for soccer and will be out to support FC Cincinnati at all times.
With the MLS looking on, FC Cincinnati will prove once again that they should be one of the MLS expansion teams when the time comes.
“From Our Haus to Yours”