FC Cincinnati to host Spanish club Espanyol in international friendly

Club will also celebrate MLS selection on July 28

CINCINNATI – FC Cincinnati will play its annual international friendly and celebrate its selection to Major League Soccer on July 28 at Nippert Stadium, the soccer club announced Friday.

FC Cincinnati will host Espanyol, a Barcelona-based club from La Liga, Spain's top league.

In addition, FC Cincinnati will celebrate its 2019 entry into MLS with a commemorative poster giveaway to fans in attendance. The club is also planning a special halftime program with a video presentation.

"This will be the night that our community comes together to celebrate our ascension to MLS," club President and General Manager Jeff Berding said.

Tickets start at $15 and go on sale to the general public at 1 p.m. June 25. Season-ticket holders will receive an email from the club on June 18 with instructions on purchasing tickets.

It’s the second straight club from La Liga to visit Nippert Stadium. Valencia FC played here last year and took home a 2-0 win.

FC Cincinnati’s international matches have been well-attended. The first, a 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace of the English Premier League in 2016, was sold out (35,061). Valencia drew 23,114.

Espanyol has won Copa del Rey – Spain’s national cup championship – four times, most recently in 2006, according to an FC Cincinnati release. The club has earned a pair of runner-up finishes in UEFA Europa League play, most recently in 2007. In 2017-18, one of Espanyol’s signature wins came against UEFA Champions League winner Real Madrid.

Espanyol’s top players are Costa Rican center back Oscar Duarte and Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez. Both are on their countries' rosters for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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