NYCFC To Train In UAE Ahead Of European Friendlies

Ben Sweat at Grand Mosque. Photo:

New York City FC is heading to the Middle East as the Major League Soccer side will train in the United Arab Emirates ahead of two European friendlies.

Beginning January 29, New York City will train in Abu Dhabi. The team will then face FC Copenhagen on February 3 and Swedish champions AIK on February 8. This will be the second time NYCFC has visited the UAE capital.

“This preseason will challenge our team in many different ways,” said Claudio Reyna, NYCFC’s sporting director. “We’ll experience different locations, venues and teams that will push us physically, mentally and tactically.”

Head coach Domènec Torrent said the matchups with FC Copenhagen and AIK will offer challenging matches against teams that are regulars in Champions League and Europa League.

“Our players will benefit greatly from these tests early on in the preseason as we look to mold the identity of our team heading into the 2019 season,” he said.

FC Copenhagen is the most successful club in the history of Danish football, winning 12 Danish Championships and eight Danish Cups since their founding in 1992. The club is a constant fixture in UEFA competitions, playing in either the Champions League or Europa League every season since 2001.

AIK is the defending Allsvenskan league champions and has claimed 12 Swedish championships and eight Swedish Cups in their history. Founded in 1891, the club holds the record for playing the most seasons in the Swedish top flight. It has qualified for European play the past five seasons.