News | January 27, 2016


Watch Eagles play pro soccer team NYCFC

3 - minute read

In yet another history-making moment for the FGCU men’s soccer program, Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club is holding the first week of its pre-season training at the FGCU Soccer Complex and will play the Eagles in a friendly at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31.

Tickets to the match can be purchased at, at 239-590-7145 or at the Alico Arena Ticket Office. General-admission seating is to $15 for adults and $10 for youth (12 and younger) and military members. Admission is $5 for FGCU students with a valid Eagle ID. Additionally, reserved canopy seating closest to the middle of the pitch is also available for $25 for adults and $20 for youth and military members.

“This is an absolutely wonderful opportunity for the university, our program and facilities to be showcased at an international level,” says FGCU program-founding head coach Bob Butehorn. “I know our guys are extremely excited about having the opportunity to have some of the best players in the world train on our pitch and then play against them. It’s a terrific opportunity for fans in the area to see top-tier soccer, and I’m hopeful they’ll take advantage of having such world-class talent so close.”

Fans with tickets to Sunday’s match will have the opportunity to attend an open training session Friday morning at the  Soccer Complex. NYCFC will begin training at approximately 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at the Ticket Office upon arrival.

NYCFC features several world-class players, including Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo. With 211 goals, Lampard is the all-time leading scorer for the English Premier League’s Chelsea FC, where he played for 13 years en route to being named England Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005. He played his final EPL season in 2014-15 at Manchester City, which owns NYCFC along with the New York Yankees.

Villa was the first Spanish player to ever reach 50 international goals and is the country’s top scorer in World Cup games with nine goals. In 2009, he scored more goals than anyone else in the world across all competitions with 43 in 54 games. Pirlo is the fourth-most capped player in the history of the Italian national team with 116, and was named Man of the Match for the final of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, helping Italy to the most prestigious team championship in all of soccer.

NYCFC started training at FGCU on Jan. 22. The team will hold the duration of its training sessions at IMG Academy in Bradenton Feb. 5-28 and will participate in a friendly tournament Feb. 17-27 in Sarasota. The club recently completed its first season in the MLS, and plays its games at Yankee Stadium.

Playing MLS and professional competition is nothing new for FGCU as the Eagles faced the MLS’ Chicago Fire in friendly matches four-straight years from 2010-14 when the Fire held a portion of its preseason training at Ave Maria University.

The NYCFC appearance at FGCU follows on the heels of other big news for the Eagles’ soccer program and recent graduates. Rodrigo Saravia was selected by the Columbus Crew in the first round of the MLS 2016 SuperDraft; Aaron Guillen signed with Dallas FC, and Nathan Ingham signed with FC Edmonton.

FGCU – which was nationally ranked for several weeks this past season and as high as 19th – finished 2015 with a 7-4-3 overall record and secured an unprecedented sixth-straight Atlantic Sun regular-season championship by virtue of a 4-0-1 league mark.

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