SAN JUAN, P.R. – A pair of former Buccaneer soccer standouts, Andres Perez and Marco Velez, wore their native uniforms Wednesday night in historic friendly between Puerto Rico and the current World and European champions, Spain.
Ten current Islanders and five former Islanders were given the honor to suit up against the world’s best, including Perez and Velez.
Perez got the nod to start the match, and Velez came off the bench for Puerto Rico.
It was something of a showcase for former Islander and current New York Red Bull goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who recorded several spectacular saves, including a block of an El Niño Torres header that earned him the #8 top play on ESPN Deportes. Other Islanders Alumni John Krause (Carolina RailHawks), Scott Jones (Charlotte Eagles), and Cristian Arrieta (Free Agent) featured prominently in the side.
Two first half goals from new Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla and former Gunner skipper Cesc Fabregas were enough to see La Roja (Spain) to victory. Young Puerto-Americano Marc Cintron netted in the 65th to score the most important goal in Puerto Rican football history.
It was a great night for Puerto Rico soccer as well as the Barry University men’s soccer program. Perez and Velez return to action for the Islanders this week.
The friendly was the first match played at the newly renovated Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium. The Islanders will play their first home match Saturday, August 18th at 7:30 p.m. against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.