The Cosmos announce not one, but TWO friendlies today. Following on the announcement of their July friendly with Valencia in Canada, the Cosmos have announced a May date for a match with Al-Hilal FC of the Saudi Professional League.
Furthermore, the trip will coincide with a visit by US President Donald Trump to the region.
The Cosmos were the recipient of an invitation from the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia to play the match at Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“We are honored to accept this gracious invitation and delighted to play in this match against Al-Hilal sponsored by the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia,” said New York Cosmos Chairman, Rocco B. Commisso in a press release. “By participating in this momentous event, we continue our club’s tradition of traveling across the globe to promote soccer, unity and friendship. This is more than simply a game. It’s a significant opportunity for the New York Cosmos to once again make history.”
The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 20th. Al-Hilal are the two-time defending champions of the Saudi Professional League, having just recently completed the 2016-17 season.
This will be the 48th country the club has visited for its 128th game played outside of the US. In total, it is the 187th international match the team has played.
As mentioned earlier, President Trump will be in Saudi Arabia at the same time in his first international trip.
“Our club has had the good fortune to represent the United States during many memorable international matches,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese in the same release. “It is our hope that this historic visit to Saudi Arabia will unite people through the beautiful game of soccer.”
The Cosmos were scheduled to play a home game against FC Edmonton on May 21st. However, the match has been moved to Wednesday, June 7th to compensate with the Friday night, June 9th match against North Carolina FC moved a day later.