Armenian Premier League club FC Ararat Yerevan and the North American Soccer League champion New York Cosmos will play the Fresno Fuego in a pair of February exhibitions, the local Premier Development League franchise announced Tuesday.
The Fuego will host FC Ararat on Feb. 18 and the Cosmos on Feb. 24, with both matches set for 6:30 p.m. kickoffs at Chukchansi Park.
“We believe these soccer games are monumental moments for downtown Fresno, Chukchansi Park, and our region,” Fuego General Manager Jeremy Schultz said in a news release. “We are in the midst of a generational shift of interest in sports in our country, where soccer is becoming ascendant for many fans and Fresno is a leading part of this movement in the Central Valley.”
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Bringing professional soccer to Fresno is a great honor for Fuego, and we hope to continue to provide premium, family-oriented sports entertainment to our community each year.
Fresno Fuego GM Jeremy Schultz
FC Ararat was founded in 1935 and twice has won Soviet Top League/Armenian Premier League titles.
“With FC Ararat’s visit to Fresno, we hope to ignite the interest of our Armenian community and bring the passion and culture of Armenia and their most popular football club to Chukchansi Park,” Schultz said.
The Cosmos will be the first NASL club to visit Fresno, with the stop part of a three-match tour of California for the New York team. The Cosmos will play FC Ararat on Feb. 20 at Citrus College Stadium in Glendora and will visit the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer on Feb. 27.
“We are delighted to add another two fixtures to our preseason campaign,” New York Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. “All three teams will be a good test for us, and the warmer climate of California will certainly be welcomed.”