Many groups in New York are offering help to Puerto Rico, including a professional soccer team the New York Cosmos. NY1 Brooklyn Reporter Jeanine Ramirez has the story.
The Puerto Rico Football Club (PRFC) plays its home games in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. But now its stadium is in ruins after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island.
So the team was forced to relocate its upcoming game against the Cosmos to New York, instead.
"Getting 18 members of the team off the island, that was a major challenge," PRFC Assistant Coach Jack Stefanowski said. "We tried to get them here on Monday: flight cancelled. Tuesday: flight cancelled."
The game is scheduled to take place Sunday at MCU Park in Coney Island. The Cosmos have pledged that 50 percent of ticket sale proceeds will go toward hurricane relief.
"We feel for them, and we have to support them in every possible way, especially us in New York; there's a huge community of Puerto Ricans here," Cosmos' Head Coach Giovanni Savarese said.
Before the hurricane hit, Puerto Rico team players say they evacuated their apartments and moved into a hotel to ride out the storm.
"The storm was a horrific storm," Puerto Rico FC player Ramon Soria Alonso said. "The storm was 24 hours. Six hours were very bad."
Then, there was the aftermath of no communication, power, or fuel.
"It's difficult," PRFC player Jordi Quintilla said. "Mentally, it's tough. I would say more mentally than physically."
But now, after not practicing for two weeks, they must get ready to play competitively again.
"It's hard, this game," Soria Alonso said. "But we are professional. We know we have to play."
The Puerto Rico Football Club is owned by basketball star Carmelo Anthony. Money raised at this weekend's game will go to the Carmelo Anthony Foundation to help Puerto Rico. The Cosmos say that makes the matchup bigger than the rivalry between the two sports franchises.
"We're competitors. We compete," Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes said. "But this is a situation that goes beyond soccer. We're all a family, and we're all human beings, and at the end of the day we'll do anything we can to help."
The game starts at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets will be priced at $10 using the promo code PuertoRico. For more information, go to nycosmos.com