The Puerto Rico Islanders signed three Puerto Rican players for the upcoming 2012 season. Defenders Alexis Rivera, Richard Martínez and midfielder Noah Delgado are back with the team after participating with Puerto Rico’s National Team on their Central American tour, where they faced their counterparts from El Salvador and Nicaragua. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Alexis Rivera is the only player that has been with the Club since their first season in 2004. He won the 2004 Athlete of the Year award from the Puerto Rico Football Federation, and was part of the Islanders team which won the 2008 USL First Division regular season title and a spot on to the CONCACAF Champions League 2008–09. They reached the semifinals after a 3-1 aggregate win over the C.D. Marathon. Rivera is also part of Puerto Rico’s National team, where he is considered a key player. He has a total of 8 appearances with the national team and participated in two qualifying games for the 2010 World Cup.
Defender Richard Martínez made his professional debut with the Puerto Rico Islanders on April 2010, in a CFU Club Championship game versus Haitian club Racing des Gonaïves and debuted in the league on April 21st of that same year in a 3-1 win over NSC Minnesota Stars. During his rookie season, Martínez played 55 of the 59 games from the Copa del Caribe Championship, the USSF D-2 League, CONCACAF Champions League, and DirecTV Super Cup, as he helped the Islanders win their first league title. The Defender was also called up to play with Puerto Rico’s National Team in January 2008 for the World Cup 2010 Qualifiers and for the Digicel Cup 2010. He recently participated in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying games.
Meanwhile, Noah Delgado returns for another season to the Puerto Rico Islanders, where he has played since 2005. Delgado was drafted in the MLS Super Draft 2002 by the L.A. Galaxy and played five games with the Portland Timbers in the USL A-League. In 2003 he played with the Syracuse Salty Dogs and then for the Rochester Raging Rhinos in 2004 before signing with the Islanders on 2005. The naturalized Puerto Rican will wear the orange jersey for his eighth consecutive season.
Alongside his teammates, Delgado participated in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying games and their more recent Central American matches with Puerto Rico’s National Team. They now join the rest of the squad to prepare for the 2012 NASL season.
Alexis Rivera, Richard Martínez and Noah Delgado join Joseph “Jackie” Marrero and Héctor “Pito” Ramos on the 2012 Puerto Rico Islanders, to form the squad with most Puerto Rican players in the history of the club since the club's inception in 2004.