International soccer will come to Santa Barbara on Sunday, September 17, when UCSB hosts Mexico’s Club América Under-20 team at Harder Stadium.
The match, kicking off at noon, is expected to draw fans from the surrounding community in addition to those who follow the UCSB men’s team, Gaucho coach Tim Vom Steeg said.
When the Gauchos played Mexico’s U-17 national team in an off-season exhibition last March, a crowd of 5,000 packed the San Marcos High Stadium. Mexico won that match, 2-1.
“This time, our season will be in full swing,” Vom Steeg said.
But the Club América U-20s, a developmental squad of one of the hemisphere’s premier professional soccer clubs, will exhibit skill and style that Vom Steeg said “is completely different from Division-1 college soccer.”
The coach said UCSB intends to schedule such matches annually in September, which has been designated as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The Gauchos, who will open their season Saturday evening in an exhibition match against Westmont College, suffered a blow on the first day of practice when their senior midfielder Kevin Feucht suffered a torn ACL and will miss the season.
Ticket prices to the Club América match will range from $15-$20 general admission and $25-$30 premium. They are being sold at the Aggressive Soccer and Extreme Soccer stores in Santa Barbara.