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Carmelo Anthony now owns Puerto Rico FC, a new NASL team

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony speaks to the

New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony speaks to the media at the Madison Square Garden Training Center on April 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Andrew Theodorakis

Carmelo Anthony is several months away from returning to the business of basketball, but on Thursday he announced his arrival in the soccer business - as an owner.

The Knicks forward will be the sole owner of the North American Soccer League franchise Puerto Rico FC, which is to begin play in the fall of 2016.

"It is an honor for me to bring back soccer to Puerto Rico, my beloved Island, birthplace of my father, and a special place that as you know, I carry with pride in my heart and soul," Anthony said.

The team will play home matches at 12,500-seat Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Bayamon.

Anthony has been considering bringing a team to Puerto Rico for several years, and last week he joined the NASL's New York Cosmos on a trip to Havana, where they played the Cuban national team.

"To the thousands of fans in Puerto Rico that have been waiting for soccer to come back," he said, "I can promise a world-class organization in a world-class league, with a strong social mission to provide kids the opportunity to participate in this growing sport."

Said Cosmos chairman Seamus O'Brien, "The Cosmos are delighted to welcome Carmelo Anthony, our fellow New Yorker, to the NASL."

In an interview with in conjunction with the announcement, Anthony said he will help assemble a front office and coaching staff, and hopes to use his experience from 12 years in the NBA as a guide.

"That's my focal point," he said. "What kind of owner would I want to be under and play for?"

Anthony told ESPN his recovery from left knee surgery in February is going "extremely well" and that his rehab is ahead of schedule.

He promised his involvement with the soccer club would not distract him from his primary job.

"The first thing I do every day is I wake up and spend my mornings in the gym," he said. "That goes without saying. Basketball will always be my No. 1 priority."


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