In delightfully surprising news, The Cosmos have announced two international friendlies today. The first being against La Liga’s Valencia, as well as Saudi side Al-Hilal FC.
NEWS: Cosmos to play Historic Exhibition Match in Saudi Arabia on May 20th against @Alhilal_EN ➡️ https://t.co/1rOeRrNU4W pic.twitter.com/TWFHPC4RcD— New York Cosmos (@NYCosmos) May 9, 2017
The Cosmos will travel to Saudi Arabia to face off against Al-Hilal FC on May 20th. It is of note that the club’s friendly coincides with President Trump’s first visit to the country. This is the club’s first visit to Saudi Arabia and a historic opportunity as pointed out by owner Rocco Commisso in the club’s official press release:
The acceptance of this friendly in the middle of the Spring Season has caused for the Cosmos to reschedule some of their NASL matches. Their match against the FC Edmonton has been moved from May 21st to June 7th. New York’s match against North Carolina FC has been moved from June 9th to June 10th. This rescheduling results in the playing three league matches over the course of the same week: on June 4th, 7th, and 9th.
@luisnani discusses @NYCosmos vs @valenciacf Summer Exhibition Match! https://t.co/oaAsqKTEdA— New York Cosmos (@NYCosmos) May 9, 2017
New York will travel north to Sasthakwan, Canada for a friendly against Valencia FC on July 22nd. This friendly takes place a week before the Cosmos begin the Fall 2017 season. Valencia currently sit in 13th place in La Liga and feature the likes of Diego Alves, Rodrigo and
FIFA Ultimate Team legend Nani.
Oh damn! That was quick. Hey @NYCosmos I'm loving these friendlies, but maybe we play one at home one time? https://t.co/ge7hswmcdD— GREENOIS (@Prez10Points) May 9, 2017
Hopefully just a match of good will, but this has the smell of old regime & Seamus O'Brien on it. Be careful, @NYCosmos.— Cosmopolitan Antifa (@cosmopolitanAFA) May 9, 2017
Overall, I think the selection of these two friendlies are very interesting. The Al-Hilal friendly seems like a can’t miss opportunity, but could be a grueling task for this Cosmos squad. Of course, playing the top club in Saudi Arabia will no doubt help the team’s global visibility. However, playing three regular season games in a week could be a daunting task for this Cosmos side, especially since it is relatively thin coming off this offseason. And of course, there’s the political ramifications of playing a match in Saudi Arabia I won’t get into here. The Valencia friendly, during the midseason break, seems like an exciting and fun fixture, similar to last season’s Eibar friendly in Vegas. What do you think Cosmos Country?