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Rising reach partnership agreement with world soccer giant Galatasaray

Galatasaray SK Chairman Mustafa Cengiz (left) alongside Phoenix Rising FC governor Berke Bakay (right). (Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)

Phoenix Rising FC have reached a partnership agreement with Galatasaray SK, the club announced Friday in a press release.

The agreement includes international exhibition matches, tournaments, discovery and training of youth soccer players, cooperation on soccer operations, commercial projects and training programs for coaches and players.

Galatasaray is a soccer club located in Istanbul, Turkey and plays in the Turkish Super League.

Along with introducing more Galatasaray products here in the United States, the agreement includes international exhibition matches, tournaments, discovery and training of youth soccer players, cooperation on soccer operations, commercial projects and training programs for coaches and players.

“We are excited to launch this international cooperation with Phoenix Rising FC,” Galatasaray SK Chairman Mustafa Cengiz said in the press release. “Together, we expect this partnership to extend our brand in the growing U.S. soccer market, and our impact on youth soccer development throughout North America.”

Why Galatasaray? Phoenix Rising FC has two major connections: Didier Drogba and Berke Bakay.

Bakay, PRFC’s club governor, is a native of Istanbul and life-long Galatasaray supporter. His uncle even sat on the board of the club.

“As a Turkish native and lifelong Galatasaray member, I am incredibly honored Galatasaray has made such a significant commitment to help us improve Phoenix Rising FC and bring its proven youth soccer development approach to the United States,” said Bakay in the press release.

“This partnership will help us create international game experiences and an enhanced path to the very top of European professional soccer for our players.”

Before coming to the Valley, co-owner and former captain Didier Drogba spent half the 2012-13 season and all of the 2013-14 season at Galatasaray, helping the Turkish side to back-to-back Super League titles. The Ivorian’s 20 goals in 54 matches also helped Galatasaray lift the 2013-14 Turkish Federation Cup and Turkish Super Cup.

Prior to its match against Yeni Malatyaspor tomorrow, Galatasaray will be honoring Drogba on the pitch of the Turk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul.