PHILADELPHIA -- Here's the official announcement from the Mets on an upcoming soccer friendly at Citi Field:
The New York Mets today announced the Israeli national soccer team will play the Honduran national team at Citi Field Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 p.m. This match will mark Israel’s first New York appearance in over 35 years.
Tickets start at $20 and will go on sale Monday, April 15 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/Soccer and (718) 507-TIXX. There will be a special presale for Mets Season Ticket Holders and Citi Private Pass starting this Thursday, April 11 at 10:00 a.m. at http://www.citiprivatepass.com/SoccerPresale. The game will take place rain or shine. Gates will open 4:00 p.m.
The match will take place on the same day as the Celebrate Israel Parade, the annual celebration up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The New York region is home to the largest Jewish and Honduran populations outside of Israel and Honduras. More than 1.5 million Jews reside in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, while almost 100,000 Hondurans live in the New York, New Jersey and Long Island region.
The Israeli national team is ranked No. 66 in the world and led by manager Eli Guttman. On March 26, Israel defeated Northern Ireland 2-0 in a World Cup Qualifier in Belfast. The national team currently features several players from the English Premiere League: Tal Ben Haim (Queens Park Rangers), Itay Shechter (Swansea City) and Yossi Benayoun (Chelsea).
Honduras, which qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is ranked 55 in the world. Led by coach Luis Fernando Suárez, Honduras lost to Panama 2-0 in a World Cup Qualifier March 26 in Panama City. The national team currently features several players from the English Premiere League: Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Roger Espinoza (Wigan) and Wilson Palacios (Stoke City).
The Israel-Honduras match marks the third straight year that Citi Field has hosted an international soccer competition. Ecuador and Greece battled to a 1-1 tie before a near sell-out crowd of 39,656 on June 7, 2011 in the first soccer game at Citi Field, and Ecuador defeated Chile 3-0 on August 15, 2012 in front of 31,901 fans.