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VILLARREAL, Spain (AP) — A short drive through the narrow streets of Villarreal can give you an idea about what matters most in this small city in eastern Spain.
Only a few buildings stand out — the large ceramics factories that fuel the local economy and the iconic La Cerámica Stadium that is home to Villarreal Club de Fútbol.
Spain’s “Yellow Submarine,” as the team is known after the Beatles song for its yellow uniform and low profile, is the pride of this industrial town of 50,000 near Valencia.
And it’s that small family-run team, which often challenges powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona despite having a considerably smaller budget, that is getting a chance to showcase Spanish soccer in the United States.
Villarreal is preparing to make the trip across the Atlantic next month to face Atlético Madrid in what could be the Spanish league’s first regular-season game outside of Spain.
The game in the Miami area has yet to be confirmed as the league still doesn’t have the approval of the Spanish soccer federation and other soccer bodies, but Villarreal is ready to put the club on display.
It wants to boost its image abroad by showing off its trademark attacking style which has yielded significant success for the club in Spain and Europe over the years, including appearances in the semifinals of the Champions League and the Europa League.
Villarreal won’t be a complete stranger to American fans, though, because it has links with the United States that include a few academy campuses in cities like Dallas and New York. The team’s all-time leading goal scorer is Italian-American forward Giuseppe Rossi, and two Americans are curr
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