Photo by Adam Hunger/USA Today Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is officially making his way into soccer.
Anthony told ESPNFC Thursday that he will launch a new club, Puerto Rico FC, that will join the NASL beginning in the 2016 season. Anthony, who recently joined the New York Cosmos on the team’s trip to Cuba, is of Puerto Rican descent and using his passion for soccer to give back to those on the island.
“My passion for soccer has always been there,” Anthony told ESPN FC. “I just always kept it to myself and among my circle. Going to games, sneaking into games and just watching and being around the sport over the years. The more time I started spending in Puerto Rico over the past six, seven years I realized that there was kind of a void down there on my island.
“The island didn’t really have anything that they could kind of call their own, that they could represent not just on the island but from a global standpoint.”
The club will not be the first one based out of Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Islanders played in various leagues from 2002 until the team’s 2012 demise.
Anthony’s newly founded team will play out of the recently renovated Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium, as 12,500-seat venue just 10 miles from the capital of San Juan.
“It was a perfect chance for me to not only revive that energy and that club, but to start something fresh,” Anthony said. “I want to be that one team that represents Puerto Rico.”
The addition of Puerto Rico FC means NASL will have 13 teams in 2016. Miami FC was also recently announced as an expansion club.
“For me, it’s more about bringing that global awareness back to Puerto Rico,” said Anthony. “Everyone in the world wants to visit Puerto Rico, and there’s a lot of Puerto Ricans scattered throughout the world and in America alone. I want to connect to those pockets of Puerto Ricans in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Orlando. That’s something I want to tap into.”
As an MLS fan, do you ever get tired of making excuses?
Cosmos UNDEFEATED against RedBulls, no excuses!
Winners win, losers make excuses.
Maybe next time MLS will give you a month off to prepare. Worked for Montreal. #bushleague
Great decision by Anthony! Looking forward to seeing them play against the Strikers and Miami FC. Also hopefully by then the MLS introduce promotion and relegation so teams from the NASL don’t have to buy their way into the MLS.
This guy makes NASL fan look like a beacon of reason. Quit arguing with him, he doesn’t need to be reasoned with. He needs professional help.
Tin foil right?
Why do you accuse everyone who puts fans before billionaire owners of being crazy?
What animosity? Personally, MLS should never change! For the benefit of the NASL and every independent club in the ?US, MLS should stay the way it is. Keep up the great work!
I see the NASL junky is posting here again. Slow down bro. Put the mountain dew down and go outside for a little while between posts! Trying to drum up NASL/MLS animosity is just precious! The only animosity is from NASL.
Longer NASL lasts, the more it will get bigger and change American soccer. Quick, hurry, kill it before anyone notices what is happening. Cosmos? What’s that? What, like the Galaxy, no connection, really, just a coincidence.
Cosmos, never heard of it. Why? What? MLS has been trying to buy the Cosmos for 20 years? What? Never happened. NO, don’t look behind the curtain!
The real question is why did Cosmos eff up their chance to be in MLS so badly? They wanted too much and Man City/Yankees swooped in and stole their spot. Clearly other NASL teams can handle graduating to MLS with all its “oppression” (ie. thriving and order). Cosmos messed up and now bluffing with a field of dreams in nowheresville, LI is not working either. Too bad too, the one real American team with any sort of history.
Maybe the reasons they didn’t join are all the reasons they gave? I don’t know, how about that for a start?
Listen, Understandably it is confusing for a MLS fan to be confused by a club – an independent club is different from a franchise, ask for further details if you’re not familiar with this concept – that actually goes out and tries to win everytime they hit the field. Don’t worry, in other leagues, clubs actually try to win – let that sink in.
Addiction takes many forms. It can be drugs of course, but it can also be dreams that turn into delusions of grandeur. Rigid idealism about franchises can be just such an addiction.
The truth is your team plays in front of a few thousand (if you’re lucky). You’re diluting whatever ‘brand’ is left. Removeth thy head from thy ^*(&# and come back to earth, Mr. Cosmos. Figure out how to play nice with Garber and Co and get back in the game.
“Pride goeth before… A fall.”
Your arm chair psycho analysis is bush league.
You should ask yourself why it is that you have a hard time understanding an independent soccer club?
Is it better for fans? – Yes
Is it better for player development? – Yes
Is it better for communities? – Yes
Is it better for billionaire owners? – No
So why do you hate fans, player development, and American communities but love billionaire owners? Why? Why? Why?
Now that you and I are basically the only ones who would bother reading this far down, there is no need to bloviate further.
Cosmos can stay obscure forever with pride like yours. And Seamus O’Brien is a hundred-millionaire – does that make him more worthy and a better human being than a billionaire? Puhleeze.
What’s better for everyone is a team fans can cheer for and not have to drive to east bum-&%(# to see play.
You peddle phony talk to pull at the heartstrings of regular folk but you’re just shilling for an owner who wants their way just like the rest. The only difference is yours wants everything his way.
The Cosmos billionaire owner actually tries to win games. Don’t worry, as an MLS fan you’re not expected to know what that feels like, but it is really cool.
Also, Cosmos play closer to the city than Revs and Fire – that’s just two off the top of my head – probably Union and Unlike the RedBulls, they’re at least in the correct state. Anyway, check a map, this information probably won’t be on the MLS press release you’re used to regurgitating.
There’s a whole world out there outside of MLS press releases.
What’s the going rate for botting btw?
MLS isn’t terribly fun to watch. NASL is better to watch because the talent is worse and worse talent in soccer can make for more exciting games, but don’t ask me how I got to that logic because I’ve got no rational answer for you. The internet lets me say whatever I want without explaining myself. This logic is also true for America in general.
Carmelo should be the starting striker.
Well looks like the NASL is getting a team in the Champions League one way or another. With these new teams I’m more curious about who they sign, since NASL is famous for MLS washouts, USL free agents, and the occasional retiree.
Are you one of these guys that loves all forms of US soccer, “seriously dude I just love all soccer dude,” but conveniently hates everything NASL accomplishes? “Dude that’s not how MLS does it, whaaaaaaa up wit dat?”
No, I was just being honest and realistic.
Not that much difference between MLS, NASL, and USL talent. That’s just being honest.
More like SEC football vs. PAC12, and less like EPL v. MLS. Not that big a gap fella.
0-7 v. USL teams. Now that’s truth.
This guy is an example of why people hate NASL.
Stop trolling me, you’re trolling is bush league!
Love it. Completely humiliating and embarrassing for NASL. Keep talking about it so those losers know how embarrassing it is. They should know people are watching and making fun of them. Good, wish more people would talk about it. The truth is awesome.
Cosmos UNDEFEATEd versus NJRB.
Cosmos have never played a full strength RBNY team.
Haha good luck with that. The Open Cup has been a prime example of the talent gap between the leagues. Now I’m not saying NASL is terrible and is going to fold, but I am saying they are no where close to MLS. Once NASL starts splashing cash and really spending on players, then I’ll acknowledge they’re ahead of MLS, but since MLS is paying more per team even with their salary cap it’s hard to use the no-cap setup of NASL as a reason to say they’re better. Outside of that there isn’t much of a comparison.
Funny thing is the biggest supporters of NASL should be all the MLS fans who have complaints with the league. Competition is the way these things improve.
Anyway, NASL is better than MLS – MLS is just bush league. Don’t ask for examples please, that would just reveal yourself as a person not acquainted with soccer in the U.S. – or, even worse, a member of the MLS bot army.
I don’t know everything and obviously MLS is part of US soccer, so I am a HUGE fan, so go ahead hit me with the examples please.
Thanks in advance.
So you can’t back up what you are saying so you just say anyone who disagrees with you doesn’t know anything or is a MLS bot. Any examples please? Which one have I revealed my self as?
M.y L.eague is buS.h
What he meant to say is don’t ask him for examples because he can’t provide any.
You’re a good example of bush league. Yesterday you’re talking about how you want to see pro/rel, today you’re defending the very obstacle to it.
Bush league logic. MLS loves you.
Not at all – what I actually said was I support pro/rel down the road when the lower divisions are ready for it. They aren’t now.
They’re ready now.
I never thought Puerto Rico would have a team before red bull would be sold or rename.
Does melo know about mls?
He could have join cosmos and help them get a stadium or buy red bull with donovan and Knicks owner.
What’s next, lebron buys a nasl team for Cleveland and troy aikman one for Dallas.
Cosmos are doing a good job recruiting new owners and teams, I wonder if nasl will go to Orange county and san Francisco.
I’m pretty sure RBNY is out of his price range.
not if he would have recruited knicks owner, Donovan, man United owner, and his business wife.
isn’t red bull selling or was or should be for $300 million.
that’s pretty cheap for being new York and a stadium.
$300m is a lot – even for someone with a business wife.
My nephews live in PR. They started off as baseballers but now play futbol almost exclusively. The younger generation coming up is really tuned into the sport and back Real Madrid and Barcelona. Bringing back professional soccer to the island will continue to enhance their interest.
Cool, but we need guys like Melo PLAYING soccer, not fans of soccer.
You can’t handle the ball in soccer. It’s against the rules.
Basketball and soccer have some transferable skills in terms of ball movement, man/man/zone defense, lateral quickness and field vision. However, that is about it. The Key is touch and foot skills. Additionally, anybody about small guard size will be a disadvantage. Cannot have a 6’8″ Melo running around and be as effective. What we need are those 6’3″ and shorter guards.
I am 6’2″ and I had the hardest time against the thick, quick 5’6″ dudes without fouling.
You’re right. It’s not that Carmelo personally would necessarily be a great soccer player but if say 1,000 good basketball players had chosen soccer instead of basketball as kids, at least some of them would probably be good soccer players. The more people playing the game the more chance of finding great players (assuming development/coaching etc are what they should be which is another issue entirely).
yeah. Bigger, faster and stronger players. That’s what we need!!!!
Try reading what people are actually saying instead of responding to imaginary comments. Thanks.
You didn’t even read my comment, did you?
At least you didn’t call me a Mexican this time.Kudos.
So how is not being athletic beneficial, again?
It’s not – Rob is smearing me by lying about me. It’s a par for the course for him.
Rob is entitled to love slower and weaker players.
This makes it final, I’m moving to Florida. With 4 teams in Florida, and now this, watching Cosmos games will be more fun than ever.
Wish they could have gotten the Islanders name though, it’s good to build on a team with history.
I miss the Islanders. Too bad he couldn’t have just revived the franchise. But now with Indy11, it will be a much easier road trip than driving all the way up to Blaine, MN, to see a Puerto Rican team.
Purto Rico FC!! Welcome the NASL!!
I was chatting to someone… we were talking about the come back of the Islanders!! And now this!! Awesome!
Nuh uh. It smacks of desperation and is doomed to fail.
(Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to writing my next hit piece on the league I used to work for…)
But remember, the NASL is about to fold. Right MLS fanboys?
I wonder if AAA baseball fans are resentful of MLB’s media exposure.
You mean AA, after the USL dominated the NASL in the US Open Cup.
And let me guess Carolina is better than the Galaxy because of how they dominated them in the US Open Cup?
Different sports, different league set ups, different type of competition. Yawn.
The problem with the MLS haters is that they want NASL to pass, in popularity, MLS by…….having MLS fold.
It is such a dumb viewpoint/perspective/wishful thinking
Exactly, I’d be happy to see our second division expanding and would hope that it did well except that fans of NASL teams hate MLS, think it’s better than MLS (despite all evidence to the contrary) and act like their league is a rival/enemy of MLS. Well, since I love MLS and understand how it’s growth is essential to the growth of US soccer, I guess I have to hate NASL if NASL wants to take down MLS (not that they can). I wish it were otherwise but what can you do?
Not true. I know many that follow multiple teams at different levels. I follow SA Scorpions, but I’m also a fan of the Dynamo.
A thriving 2nd division is good for soccer in the US. All that we could be the 1st division crap comes from Bill Peterson, the commissioner. Most of the owners and fans have a different opinion.
Well I specifically said MLS haters. If they love MLS and all American soccer like I do, then they are not rooting for MLS to fail.
Exactly! Everything the league that fired me does smacks of desperation and is doomed to fail!
(I’m a professional, objective journalist. No really. I don’t have an axe to grind. Please believe me…)
Yes, (future) Hall of Famers are generally referred to as “stars”.
Consecutive wins in Holland and Germany…
Sepp Blatter resigns…
Melo for the HOF…
I have truly seen it all…
There is only one guy with a higher basketball reference HOF probability than Melo’s [b]right now[/b] who is eligible and not enshrined (Larry Foust). Tracey McGrady and [i]possibly[/i] Grant Hill could make it two and three, but Anthony still has another half dozen years. He will almost certainly be in the HoF.
According to my BS meter that would either make the Basketball HOF a joke (proof: John Calipari) or your basketball reference metric flawed.
Melo won a title at Syracuse, that cannot be denied. He has won absolutely NOTHING in the NBA. Denver got better when he left. The Knicks have gotten steadily worse since he’s been there. He is a selfish player who does not pass the eyeball test for greatness. He may be in the HOF someday, but it makes me laugh… He has made $135M in salary, which makes me puke…
Yeah, he’s a star. He’s not at a LeBron level because he doesn’t play defense, pass or rebound like LeBron but he’s still pretty good.
In the context of the Knicks… he’s one of their stars.