SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio FC announced it will host English club Sunderland AFC in an exhibition match in July.
The team gained interest in the United States and elsewhere following the release of a Netflix docuseries called "Sunderland Til' I Die," which chronicled the 2017-18 season as they tried to bounce back after being relegated. They've been trying to get back into the Premier League since.
Sunderland currently plays in the EFL Championship, which is the second tier in English soccer, but they could get promoted to the top-level Premier League. They're currently sixth on the table with a record of 13-10-9. If they manage to finish in the top two they'll be promoted automatically, and if they stay in the 3-6 range they'll play for the promotion in a May tournament.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host one of the most distinguished and historic clubs in our sport in the Alamo City this summer,” SAFC Managing Director Tim Holt is quoted as saying in a press release. “Sunderland AFC is an iconic club and a prominent soccer brand with amazing worldwide support, and it will be a treat for the entire San Antonio FC family to welcome them to Texas. We are grateful to their leadership for agreeing to participate in this special event and appreciate the support of our friends First Wave Sports and PSC Ltd in bringing it to fruition.”
SAFC is coming off a banner year, winning the USL championship for the first time in team history back in November. They'll kick off their title defense on March 11 against the Oakland Roots at Toyota Field in San Antonio. For a full schedule, click here.
The game against Sunderland will be held on July 15 at 8 p.m., and tickets will go on sale to the general public Wednesday at 2 p.m.
"Fans subscribed to the SAFC Fan Club, or that have downloaded the official SAFC app, will have access to an exclusive presale opportunity beginning at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, February 22," the team announced.