Puerto Rican striker Gabi Garcia requests to play for the United States at international level | volleyball

The Puerto Rican Volleyball Association (FPV) received an unexpected bucket of cold water.

Puerto Rican star striker Gabriel “Gabi” Garcia made the decision to represent the United States in international tournaments, so he stopped playing for Puerto Rico as he has since 2015.

The information came today through a statement from FPV, although the player’s contact occurred last Friday.

According to that document posted on social networks, Garcia will request a change of sports nationality “in the next few days” before the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB), with the help of USA Volleyball.

“Today we contacted Gabriel to find out the reasons that prompted him to take such a decision. After a frank conversation, we officially informed him that the FPV would not agree to the change,” said FPV President, Dr. Cesar Trabanco. in written data.

Garcia’s potential departure from Puerto Rico’s men’s show is sensitive, considering he’s the main character in the midst of generational change.

In fact, he plays in one of the best leagues in the world, the Italian Serie A, with the prestigious club Loeb, where he earned a starting position for his strong performance in just his first year as a professional.

There he was named Player of the Year several times – including in Champions League matches – while his contract was recently extended by two years.

Garcia also played a key role in achieving the gold medal for Puerto Rico at the Confederation of North America, Central America and the Caribbean (Norica), last August. With this, the Puerto Ricans also succeeded in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, at a venue to be determined.

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“There is no doubt that Gabriel is currently the biggest player in men’s volleyball, both domestically and abroad,” Trabanco said.

Garcia was also on the Puerto Rican team at Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

“He has always had the support of FPV and Copur, which we are saddened and sorry for this situation. However, in accordance with the FIVB regulations, we will file our objection to the change, which Gabriel García Fernández must continue to represent Puerto Rico at the events for which he was called up. ,” explained Trabanco.

Garcia, 23, has sparked memories of last year’s match against difficult former striker Hector “Pique” Soto, both of whom stand out for their impressive attacking ability and international performances for Puerto Rico.

He has been part of the Puerto Rican national team since he was 15 years old.

The son of Rebecca Fernandez and Jose Garcia played his college career with Brigham Young University, Utah, at the NCAA.

He was named Rookie of the Year in 2008, the prestigious MLS Player of the Year in 2020, when he was also the league’s top scorer. He was also on the NCAA All-Star Team all four years.

Previously, in Puerto Rico, he played with Club Borinquen Coquí, from San Juan, and with St. Francis School, in Carolina.

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Amber Cross

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