Chelsea’s Mata, Torres see local, worldwide potential in NYCFC

(Image, Chelsea FC Facebook)

Chelsea may have left the United States empty handed, but Fernando Torres and Juan Mata believe the potential of soccer in America will make winners of all football fans – and players.

Torres, a Spanish international, pointed towards the nearly 40,000 fans in attendance at Yankee Stadium as proof of the potential base New York City FC can take advantage of.

“(NYCFC) is great for the United States,” he told reporters after the match. “Practically every sport (Americans) take interest in, they are leaders.

“Football, as the country embraces it, the United States will have a bigger impact in World football. I think it’s good for English football, U.S. football and it’s another step to bring another competitive league and another league for players to entertain.”

Of course, the comments are all the more interesting considering the source. After all, it is rival Manchester City that is opening the doors to the American market through MLS.

That fact wasn’t lost on the players. In fact, it was praised by the Blue’s stars.

“‘Soccer’ as they call it here is getting more and more popular,” Juan Mata observed. “They have a league with good teams and good players and in the next few years, it will grow further.”

And in his opinion, there could not be a better venue for this maiden endeavor than the Big Apple.

“New York, if it isn’t the best, it’s one of the best cities in the world for me,” Mata declared. “It’s fantastic to be here and playing in a stadium like the Yankees.”

“It’s spectacular,” Torres added. “I have teammates that have played here before and it’s been an honor for them and myself as well. It’s been exciting to play in a stadium like this and perhaps I can play with Spain as well (at Yankee Stadium on June 11th against the Republic of Ireland).

“It continues to surprise us how many fans there have been in the last few years in the United States,” Torres continued, “and for us to come here and help create more fans, and show people the game up close, it all contributes to the growth of the sport here.”

(Image Credit: Chelsea FC Facebook)