Puerto Rico Islanders News Release - www.prislandersfc.com
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
BAYAMON, PR -- Puerto Rican defender Marco Velez re-signed with the Puerto Rico Islanders for 2010’s USSF Division II Pro League, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Championship and CONCACAF Champions League.
In 2001, Velez became the first Puerto Rican to play in Major League Soccer, signing with Toronto FC. He had a great season as starting center back for the Reds and repeated in 2009 until August when we signed with the Islanders for the last couple of months of the USL First Division season.
“I am very happy to be back home with my fans, this time for the entire season, representing my team, the Islanders," Velez said. "I always followed them and supported them while I was away. I am an Islander at heart and no one can take that from me. This year I will give it all to win the first championship for the Islanders.”
The Puerto Rico Islanders have come close to winning their first championship, losing the USL-1 2008 Championship and CFU Championship in their respective Finals, and reaching the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. It is a great motivation for Velez and the Islanders to win the team’s first championship in 2010. He feels committed to the development of soccer in Puerto Rico and will take a big part on this in 2010.
“This year, as well as fighting for a championship, we have a goal to continue developing the sport of soccer in Puerto Rico. There are a lot of young kids in clubs with great capabilities and dreaming to become professional athletes. We will be working hand in hand with soccer clubs and Municipalities to help these kids follow their dream. They are who will be representing Puerto Rico internationally in a few years,” said Vélez.
The Islanders Board of Directors are also very excited about Marco Vélez’s return to the team. “Marco was always an Islander. We are very happy to have him back, for his game and for the fans. He is the best soccer player we have in Puerto Rico and he guarantees great play all the time,” said club vice president Isaac Nieves.
Head coach Colin Clarke added, “We were very interested in Marco. It is always good to have a quality player when available. He brings experience and leadership to our team, which we missed the two years he was away."
The Islanders will begin the 2010 USSF Division II Pro League on April 16th at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium against the 2009 USL First Division Champion Montreal Impact.