Record Crowd Witnesses International Friendly Between Boca Raton FC and FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Monday Night Football was back and under the lights at Boca Raton High School on January 25.
The high school stadium that is used to hosting big district American football games played host to an International soccer friendly between Boca Raton Football Club and FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
FC Shakhtar Donetsk is one of the best pro clubs in Ukraine, and routinely plays in the UEFA Champions League, and even won the UEFA Cup in 2009. FC Shakhtar played Real Madrid, one of the best teams in the world, just last season.
To compare this in American Sports, it would be like the New England Patriots coming to Boca Raton to take on the Florida Atlantic University football team. FC Shakhtar is one of the biggest clubs in Europe, and Boca Raton FC is a fourth division club that has played one full season, which makes what happened on Monday night truly remarkable.
Boca Raton FC rolled out the red carpet for their Ukrainian visitors, with pre-game ceremonies, and halftime jersey exchange between clubs.
Before the game, Mayor Susan Haynie and Deputy Mayor Robert Weinroth were present as they welcomed the Ukrainian club to Boca Raton:
I am pleased to invite members and fans of FC Shakhtar Donetsk to Boca Raton for the game against our local football club. It is a great honor for FC Boca Raton to receive the team of Shakhtar. At the same time, it involves promotion of international football in Boca Raton.
Our city is very excited to be the venue for an international match between two spectacular teams, as well as the arena for their fans and supporters. This event brings our entire community together. On behalf of the city of Boca Raton, please accept our best wishes in the light of the upcoming match.
The game could not have started any better for the home team as Xavier Silva scored for Boca Raton FC just minutes into the match, however, one goal would be all that Boca Raton FC could tally against the European powerhouse which scored five unanswered goals.
Despite the preseason loss in the field, the success outside the field was tremendous.
With an attendance of 841, Boca Raton FC shattered its previous home attendance record of 662 that was set back on May 15 versus Miami Dade FC.
“We did not know what to expect from Boca Raton FC,” said FC Shakhtar forward Andriy Boryachuk after the game. “But as soon as the game started these guys showed a good level of soccer.”