Preseason: Cosmos to take on Sacramento Republic, Ventura County

Sacramento Republic Ventura Fusion USL PDL PRO

NEW YORK – With a match against Hong Kong Football Team and CD FAS abroad, the New York Cosmos have secured two key domestic friendlies in their preseason training preparations.

The Cosmos will travel to California, taking on Ventura County Fusion at Ventura College Sportsplex on February 25th, then cap off their trip against one of the most exciting lower level clubs in the country; Sacramento Republic.  The match against the reigning USL Pro champs is set for February 28th at Hughes Stadium on Sacramento City College’s campus.

“I’m looking forward to visiting the West Coast,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. “With New York weather the way it is this time of year, it’s going to be a good trip for the squad to face some quality opposition and train in the warmer climate.”

Both matches will kick off at 7 p.m. EST.

Ventura County is a USL PDL side and a three time league champion.  They also hold the distinction as the only PDL club to have won at least one U.S. Open Cup match four years in a row.

Ventura County Fusion competes in the Southwest Division of the USL Premier Development League’s Western Conference. Since its debut match in 2007 the club has earned three division titles, reached the league playoffs six consecutive seasons and won the 2009 PDL Championship. In 2014 the Fusion became the first PDL club to win at least one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match four years in a row. The team hosts opponents at Ventura College Sportsplex in Ventura.

“The New York Cosmos are probably the most historic club in the United States,” Fusion head coach and original NASL player Rudy Ybarra said. “The opportunity to play the Cosmos is huge for our franchise, and huge for our fan base.”

Sacramento Republic FC took the third division by storm in 2014, setting a USL PRO attendance records, reaching attendance of 20, 231 three times at Hughes Stadium. The club will return to Bonney Field by the start of its regular season.

“The New York Cosmos is a name synonymous with North American soccer,” said Republic FC Technical Director Graham Smith. “In addition to their long history in the sport, their most recent accomplishments is why we look forward to facing them on the pitch. A matchup between these two championship clubs will not only provide fans with a potential new rivalry, but an opportunity for each club respectively to prepare for their upcoming season.”

The Cosmos’ 2015 North American Soccer League Season begins Saturday, April 4 on the road against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Spanish striker Raúl González Blanco will make his home debut against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium on Saturday, April 18.