Puerto Rico to host U.S. in friendly

Players from the Puerto Rico national team acknowledge the fans after a Scotiabank CFU Men's Caribbean Cup game against visiting Guyana on March 29, 2016, in Bayamon. (Photo courtesy of the Federación Puertorriqueña de Fútbol)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico will host the United States in an international friendly on May 22 at the Estadio Juan Ramon Loubriel in Bayamon, it was announced Thursday.

It will mark the first-ever meeting between the sides as both prepare for competitions in June. The match will be one of three for the U.S. ahead of the Copa America Centenario, while Puerto Rico will participate in 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup second-round play.

"This match fits perfectly for us in the calendar and the preparation of our boys ahead of the second group stage phase of the Caribbean Cup,” said Eric Labrador, president of the Federación Puertorriqueña de Fútbol. “Our national team has the opportunity to be able to take on a World Cup team at home. We urge all lovers of football to go and enjoy a great game and that they support our national team.

After the game, the Americans will face Ecuador (May 25; Frisco, Texas) and Bolivia (May 28; Kansas City, Kansas), before kicking off their Copa America Centenario campaign against Colombia (June 3; Santa Clara, California).

"We are thrilled to be playing Puerto Rico in our first preparation game for the Copa America Centenario," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "This will be an important opportunity for our players to stay sharp and keep progressing towards our opener against Colombia, and we appreciate all the efforts by the Puerto Rican Football Federation to help organize the match."