Two Basque soccer teams head to the U.S. this week. Donosti’s Real Sociedad and Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, from the small town of Eibar, also in Gipuzkoa, will be playing friendly games against American teams in Philadelphia, Houston, Las Vegas and San Jose in the next two weeks.
Real Sociedad takes on the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, May 18. The Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco was expected to host a small reception for the futbol group. Click here for Ticketmaster tickets to the Wednesday game, ranging from $28 to $115.
According to Xabier Berrueta, some 40 local Basques have tickets to the Major League Soccer game. After the game against San Jose, the Basque team will travel to Houston, Texas to play the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday, May 24. The most expensive tickets are already gone for that game, but you can buy tickets from $28 to $46.
A press release on Real Sociedad’s website reports that 21 members of the team will be participating in the U.S. trip. The team leaves tonight, May 15.
The visits by the two teams are part of the initiative La Liga World, an effort by Spain’s soccer league to promote its teams outside of the home country.
The team from Eibar will play in Philadelphia and Las Vegas. This is the first time the Armeros – referred to as Gunsmiths in English – leave the Basque Country during the post season, according to the team’s website. SD Eibar, a team that has existed for 75 years, qualified to play in the first division of La Liga in 2014, according to its website.
The president of the Eibar team, Alex Aranzabal, presents a TED talk, explaining how a team from such a small town can maintain a position among the top teams of its country.
Eibar will be playing against the American Soccer League team of the Philadelphia Fury at the Rowan University stadium at 5 p.m. Sunday May 22. Tickets are $20 to $30 and can be purchased here. The Philadelphia team made a Youtube video welcoming the Basque team to the U.S. (See above)
From Philadelphia, the team will travel to Las Vegas, where they will play against the New York Cosmos, Thursday May 25th at 7 p.m. The match will be played at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas with a capacity of 36,800 spectators. Tickets are available for $24 to $34. The New York Cosmos are part of the North American Soccer League and played a significant historical role in raising the status of soccer in the U.S. with the help of Pele and Franz Beckenbauer.
The Las Vegas Basque Club is hosting a meet-and-greet for the players on Monday, May 23 at 6 p.m. Click here for more info.
// Last year, the Bilbao soccer team Athletic Bilbao played an international friendly soccer match against Club Tijuana played in Boise, Idaho.