Spanish soccer star David Villa came to Queens yesterday to promote Queensboro FC, the borough’s first professional soccer team, which will play in the United Soccer League starting in 2021.
The former FC Barcelona player recently retired from the sport of soccer and has begun to go out and create a legacy that goes beyond just playing the sport. This came in the form of partnering with local entrepreneur Jonathan Krane to create a professional team in the World’s Borough.
“Queensboro FC aims to continue building a pillar of soccer in Queens to empower our youth, heighten community involvement, and strengthen our unity,” it reads on the club’s website.
When asked why Queens, Villa cites that the borough is more diverse and has more soccer fans than anywhere else in the world. He went on to say that, until now, it has not had a team and that is “crazy.”
“Queens has a large, passionate and knowledgeable community of soccer supporters and players from all over the world and deserves a club to call its own,” Krane explained in a press release.
“We look forward to working closely with the community to establish Queensboro FC as not just a leading organization in professional soccer but also as a proud ambassador of Queens. Together we will accomplish great things on and off the pitch,” he went on to say.
When asked about the obstacles of starting a club, Villa recognized that soccer has its challenges, but they are up to the task. “I mean soccer is a bigger challenge than everything, you know, because it is a difficult sport.”
He explained that it is the sport that everyone loves and that only adds to the already immense task. When asked how the club would handle a challenge he proclaimed, “we are accepting this challenge, we accept that we need to create something important.”
The event took place at Upper 90, an indoor soccer field complex in Long Island City, which had Villa answering questions from local youth soccer players and joining in a scrimmage with them. Afterward, they hosted a fan fest for the newly founded club.
The love of the sport extends even to government officials, as City Council Member Francisco Moya was in attendance. “The love of football goes deep,” he said.
Partnered with the Hispanic Federation and Villa, he helped to run a camp for local kids, bussing them to it twice a week. “I think what you are seeing right here is something we have not seen from any professional athlete that has come to New York and has dedicated so much time and effort to one borough,” said Moya.
There is no question to Villa’s credibility as a superstar, in his illustrious career he has built a resume that includes being the top goal scorer for the Spanish national team, UEFA Champions League Champion, UEFA Europa League Champion, and World Cup champion, just to name a few. Now he can add co-founder to it.
The club’s home will be York college in Queens, which recently built a new 7,500 seat stadium and will also play a few games at Citi Field.
With the backing of Queens and its residents, Queensboro FC strides confidently into the USL. “We are here, we are here to work … and give the people in Queens the best that can be possible.”