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Soccer: International flavor highlights Fuego friendly against New York Cosmos

Fresno Fuego’s Alex Culwell, left, watches as Ararat Yerevan FC’s Davit Hovsepyan, right, heads the ball during Fresno’s 1-0 preseason loss last week. The Fuego continue their preparations for the PDL season with an exhibition against the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Chukchansi Park.
Fresno Fuego’s Alex Culwell, left, watches as Ararat Yerevan FC’s Davit Hovsepyan, right, heads the ball during Fresno’s 1-0 preseason loss last week. The Fuego continue their preparations for the PDL season with an exhibition against the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Chukchansi Park. ezamora@fresnobee.com

The Fresno Fuego will welcome an array of international players when the New York Cosmos visit Chukchansi Park for a preseason exhibition Wednesday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The match is part of a California tour for the defending North American Soccer League champion Cosmos, who beat Ararat Yerevan FC 2-0 on Feb. 20. New York wraps up its West Coast trip Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS.

The Cosmos bring an international flavor expected to appeal to local soccer fans.

Topping the list is Venezuelan Juan Arango, who played 10 season in Europe, between La Liga’s RCD Mallorca and the Bundesliga’s Borussia Mönchengladbach. He holds the Venezuelan record for caps (128) and goals (23).

Others to watch for include Croatian attacking midfielder Niko Kranjčar, who played in the English Premier League for Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, and Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica), Alexander Flores Mejía (El Salvador), Yohandry Orozco (Venezuela), Yasmani Duk (Bolivia) and Michael Lahoud (Sierra Leone).

The match is Fuego’s second of four lined up in a busy preseason as they prepare for the Premier Development League season. The Fuego lost their preseason opener 1-0 to Ararat Yerevan FC last Thursday in front of 3,137 fans at Chukchansi Park.

Tickets for the match start at $10 and can be purchased at the Chukchansi Park Box Office or online at bit.ly/FuegoCosmos.

Angel Moreno: 559-441-6401, @anhelllll

Preseason exhibition

FRESNO FUEGO VS. NEW YORK COSMOS (NASL)

  • Wednesday: 6:30 p.m. at Chukchansi Park
  • Tickets: $10-$21 for adults, $10 for children. Available for purchase at bit.ly/FuegoCosmos or Chukchansi Park Box Office.
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