Six-time Spanish league champions Valencia Club de Futbol will make a rare visit to the United States at the close of their current season this spring, facing the Portland Timbers on May 23 (at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Ore.; kickoff at 7:30 p.m. local time) and the Houston Dynamo on May 31 (at the downtown BBVA Compass Stadium; kickoff at 7:30 p.m. local time).
Presently perched in third place in “La Liga” behind European giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, Valencia are perennial UEFA Champions League participants and as league champs in 2002 and 2004, the most recent club outside Spain’s “big two” to win a title.
The current squad has overcome the high-priced departure of Spanish national team stars Juan Mata (to English powers Chelsea), David Silva (Manchester City) and David Villa (Barcelona) to remain near the top of the standings with a fluid, skilful style.
Nicknamed Los Che, Valencia are highlighted by star striker Roberto Soldado and defender Jordi Alba, both of whom look likely to play leading roles for Spain’s national team in the UEFA European Championships later in the summer.
Valencia’s date in Houston is being branded as “the BBVA Compass Dynamo Charities Cup,” with partial proceeds benefiting Junior Achievement, and will be one of the first international events at the Dynamo’s still-under-construction new home, whose naming sponsor is a Spanish-based bank network which also sponsors La Liga.