Soccer News: Mexican U-20 National Team Returns to Los Angeles to Face LA Blues on November 16 and 18
After a brilliant campaign, initiated by an unbeaten tour in California last March, the Mexican U-20 National Team returns to Southern California to face the LA Blues on November 16 and 18, in preparation for the U-20 Pre-World Cup Tournament , to be held in Puebla, Mexico. In that tournament the U-20 team will fight for a ticket to the World Cup to be held in Turkey.
On Friday, November 16, the “Tri” will play against the LA Blues at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, while the second game will be held at the East Los Angeles Stadium, on Sunday, November 18.
The Mexican team comes to the Los Angeles area with a base that now includes six members of the World Champions in the Under-17 World Cup in 2011. The team continues to maintain an excellent level of international competition.
This has been a dream year for the U-20 Tri. In their last appearance the Mexicans participated in the Challenge Cup held in Chile. In the event, the team had a scoreless draw with Argentina, was defeated by Chile 3-2, and ended the tournament with a 2-1 win over Colombia.
The Mexican team, led by popular former Mexican National Team member Sergio Almaguer, includes among its 2012 achievements a Third Place in the Terborg Tournament held in the Netherlands in late May. The U-20 team was also crowned in three different tournaments: ADO Den Haag '59 Second Cup in Holland, the Tournament Lev Yashin in Russia and the Milk Cup in Ireland. Mexico beat quality teams and National Teams in its category, including Anderlecht, Ajax, FC Twente, Besiktas, West Ham, Dynamo Moscow, Malaga, Turkey, Ireland and Denmark.
This success in 2012 began locally, when the Mexico Under-20 National Soccer Team remained undefeated on a March tour in Southern California, with two wins and a draw. After defeating the USL PRO LA Blues in their first match and playing a scoreless draw against UCLA, Mexico ended the tour with a 2-0 victory over UC Berkeley, in a match held in Santa Maria, California.
The Mexican Federation has given a partial list of 13 players, including at least six members of the world champion team last year. Among them is Julio Gomez, known as El Niño Heroe (The Child Hero). Gomez was named the best player of the FIFA U-17 World Cup and winner of the Ballon d'Or, while the silver went to Jorge Espericueta and bronze to Carlos Fierro, according to the tournament journalists. The three are part of the team traveling to California.
"Our tours to California have always been productive and have given us the opportunity to see and evaluate the talent we have," said Sergio Almaguer, coach of Mexico.
"They're always great games against quality opponents that have shown skills, strength and great speed. That is what we seek for the preparation towards Puebla" said Almaguer.
Meanwhile, the LA Blues started their preparations for next season in the USL PRO. In their last outing last month they beat Guatemala’s Champion Xelaju , to win the Independence Cup.
For the Fullerton-based team, this game is the continuation of a process that includes a total change in management and a working plan that will have greater business ties and player exchanges with U.S. and Mexican professional teams.
With the base of the team that beat Xelaju, a new coach and new officials that will be presented in the coming days, The LA Blues seeks greater presence in professional sports of Southern California and the international scene.
The provisional list of the Mexican U-20 National Team and affiliated professional teams:
1. Richard Sanchez – Goalkeeper – FC Dallas
2. Antonio Briseno – Defense – Atlas FC
3. Abel Fuentes – Defense – Tigres UANL
4. Bernardo Hernandez – Defense – Monterrey
5. Carlos Guzman – Defense – Toros Neza
6. Jorge Hespericuela – Midfielder – Tigres UANL
7. Julio Gomez – Midfielder – Pachuca
8. Pedro Hernandez – Midfielder – Jaguars
9. Carlos Trevino – Midfielder – Atlas FC
10. Raul Lopez – Midfielder / Forward - Chivas
11. Marco Bueno – Forward – Pachuca
12. Guillermo Madrigal – Forward – Monterrey
13. Carlos Fierro – Forward – Chivas
Tickets for both games are now on sale at Ticketfly at 714-738 -8011 and the usual ticket sale store locations.