SACRAMENTO, California – When times are difficult, sometimes sport can provide temporary relief, which is what the Puerto Rican National Team is hoping to do for their homeland.
Twelve months after Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico devastated, the Puerto Rican National Team will play its first home match since the storm when they face Martinique this October in 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League qualifying.
It will surely be an emotional night.
“It is going to be amazing,” said Puerto Rico defender Jeremy Hall in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“To have the fans there and feel the love of all the Puerto Ricans, it will be nice to have 90 minutes where they can have fun and we can put on a show for them,” added the four-time capped Hall.
Not only will it provide a diversion for the people of Puerto Rico, but the four matches against St. Kitts and Nevis, Martinique, Belize and Grenada stand to benefit Puerto Rican football in the future.
“I think in the long term it’s really good for us to get competitive, high-quality games. You never know who’s watching. These games might help guys get a chance to play in more competitive leagues and go against higher competition,” said the 29-year-old Sacramento Republic man.
What is certain is that it’ll be four very difficult matches.
St. Kitts and Nevis managed a 2-2 draw versus El Salvador during 2018 Concacaf World Cup Qualifying, Martinique nearly reached the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup quarterfinals, Belize earned a 0-0 draw at the 2017 Copa Centroamericana against 2018 FIFA World Cup side Panama and Grenada reached the third round of 2018 WCQ, defeating Puerto Rico 2-1 on aggregate in the second round.
Needless to say, all four opponents have Puerto Rico’s full attention.
“They will be tough games. They are all good teams, but we have good players. We’ll do our best and show our quality. We’ll be excited to take the field,” concluded Hall.