MIAMI, Fla (Aug. 15, 2012)— The North American Soccer League was well represented by the Puerto Rico national football team in their 2-1 loss to the reigning World Cup and European Champions Spain at the newly renovated Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel.
Every member of the Puerto Rico starting eleven played in the NASL at some point in his career, with seven of the starting eleven currently plying their trade in the league. Alexis Rivera, Anthony Vazquez, Richard Martinez, Andres Perez, Hector Ramos and Noah Delgado suit up for the Islanders, and John Krause plays for the Carolina RailHawks. Fernando Gonzalez was until recently with the Atlanta Silverbacks, and Cristian Arrieta and Scott Jones spent several season with the Islanders. Arrieta played in 2011 for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Former Islanders and Montreal Impact goalkeeper Bill Gaudette is now with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer.
Gaudette was arguably Puerto Rico’s best player of the match, making eight saves to keep El Huracán Azul in the match. The Red Bulls goalkeeper kept Spain at bay for over forty minutes, but Santi Cazorla and Cesc Fabregas made the breakthrough shortly before half-time to put La Furia Roja up 2-0 by the break.
A 65th minute goal from Providence College forward Marc Cintron was well-deserved and Puerto Rico continued to defend well after the goal and created a late free kick opportunity that went wayward.
Current Islanders Tyler Wilson and Joseph Marrero were second half substitutes.
The first NASL match at the newly renovated Estadio Juan Ramón Loubriel will be Saturday at 7:30pm local time as the Puerto Rico Islanders host Fort Lauderdale.
Photo from AP