NYCFC prepares for upcoming MLS openers in Ecuador
Sep 1, 2016; New York, NY, USA; NYCFC starting team pose for a photo prior to the start of the game against D.C. United at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

To improve from one season to the next involves a rise in competitive competition. NYCFC is looking to resolve this by accepting an invitation to play the best Ecuador has to offer in preparation for the 2017 MLS season openers.

NYCFC was awarded the honor of playing Orlando City as they debut their own soccer-specific stadium Orlando City Stadium on March 5. They will also face a familiar face on the sidelines, Jason Kreis, their former head coach, now leading the way for the Lions.

One week later, NYCFC will battle D.C United in their home opener on March 12 at Yankee Stadium. NYCFC has never won in Orlando as Patrick Vieira will be beginning preparations as they visit Ecuador for the second time in three years to launch their preseason.

They will be opposed by C.S Emelec, who recently renovated their facility, the “Estadio Banco del Pacifico” in Guayaquil, via Mark Booth of NYCFC.

“We are looking forward to our friendly against C.S. Emelec which will be our first real test of the 2017 season,” Vieira said, “They are a talented team which will provide us with a competitive match.”

Indeed, they should. Emelec is the most successful club team in Ecuador with 13 Serie “A” titles plus seven regional titles. They were named after an electric company so

Emelec is the most successful club team in Ecuador with 13 Serie “A” titles plus seven regional titles. They were named after an electric company so it’s appropriate since there should be a lot of electricity for this match. Claudio Reyna, NYCFC sporting director commented with respect of their hosts.

“As frequent participants of the Copa Liberatores, we know C.S Emelec will be a good test for us.” Reyna explained, “Ecuador is known for it’s passionate soccer fans and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow our fan base outside of the United States.”

NYCFC knows that this is an opportunity to blood their new players against a team that before this past season had won three consecutive Serie “A” titles. Vieira, in his second season, is looking to rectify the errors of his rookie season and against a quality team in their home environs.

“This game will give us the opportunity to integrate the new players who have joined the team over the break and allow us to build our rhythm on the field.”

This specifically applies to new additions striker Sean Okoli, goalkeeper Sean Johnson along with young emerging talents Jack Harrison, Khiry Shelton and Ronald Matarrita who will play bigger roles in supporting the big two David Villa and Andrea Pirlo.

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