Puerto Rico FC - A Guide to the History of the Club
Puerto Rico FC are a professional football club founded in 2015 and based in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. They played in the NASL (North American Soccer League) which is the second division in the American league system. They played their first games in 2016 with home games taking place at the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium.
First and Final Season
The 2016 Season saw them play in the North American Soccer Leagues second division. On July 2, 2016, they played their first game at home in front of a crowd of 6,474. They went on to draw 1-1 with Puerto Rico international player Hector Ramos opening the scoring in the 74th minute. Their first victory came not long after on July 23, 2016, when they beat Rayo OKC 1-0. They had a good spell at the end of the Season to move them up from 12th place to a final 9th place position. They ended the Season having won 5 games, drawing 9 and losing 8.
Stadium and Sponsorship
Their stadium is known as the Juan Ramon Loubriel stadium, named after the former Mayor. It was built in 1973 initially as a baseball stadium with a maximum capacity of 12,500. It was home to the Vaqueros de Bayamon until 2003 when the team became defunct. In 2012 there were renovations to the stadium which converted it to be soccer-specific. The stadium also had new dressing rooms and bathrooms and some seating was replaced. The lighting was adjusted to be more uniform across the field. All of this was done for a total cost of $7 million.
Here in this video you can see the Stadium in all its glory after the refurbishment:
In 2015, it was announced that the stadium would be the home ground of Puerto Rico FC and host games in the North American Soccer League. The team played the 2016 Season in this stadium without major incident. Unfortunately the Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and has not been used competitively since.
When Puerto Rico FC were operating the official kit provider to the team was Nike. The shirt itself had two main sponsors, on the front it was Claro and on the back Samsung. The shirt was orange with white shorts and socks, which has led to the club nickname, “The Oranges”.
Owner and Supporters
Puerto Rico FC has two supporters' groups: La Barra Naranja and the United States-based group La Legión Extranjera. Puerto Rico FC supporters' groups were founded during the times of the main team being Puerto Rico Islanders but the fan base lived on and carried over. The club was very useful for the Puerto Rico community and all fans are waiting expectantly for the team to play once again as soon as possible.
The owner of Puerto Rico FC is one Carmelo Anthony who founded the team in 2015. He is a very successful sportsman having played for the Los Angeles Lakers for many years. He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six times. Despite the financial recession in Puerto Rico, Anthony saw this opportunity as a form of community outreach, as well as a long-term investment in a club that could ultimately be profitable. Carmelo is a fan of the UK team Arsenal FC.
Being the only team in Puerto Rico the teams main rivalry is the far away in the US. They have a grudge with the New York Cosmos although nobody is sure why. The Oranges (Puerto Rico FC) currently have a record of 0 wins, 4 losses, and 1 tie against their New York rivals.
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