Kickoff will be at 4:00 pm, at Ernest Righetti High School in Santa Maria California.
Led by experienced former Mexican footballer, Sergio Almaguer, who took over the reins of the team in July 2010, the squad went into a one-week camp at the High Performance Center of the Mexican Soccer Federation, before traveling to Los Angeles for a three-game series that started with a win over the LA Blues professional soccer team last Saturday in Fullerton California.
Alfonso Tamay, from Mexican First Division Tigers, scored the winning goal in a very competitive and action packed match.
Subsequently, the U-20 TRI would face the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Van Nuys, California, before traveling to Santa Maria for Saturday’s game.
After winning the Division’s PAC 12 Championship in 2010, last year, the Golden Bears faced a rebuilding season and with the acquisition of new talent are now preparing to return to the top of the regional soccer competition. In 2011, the team reached the national competition, going all the way to the Quarter Finals stage, where they lost on penalty kicks.
This year, the group led by Coach Kevin Grimes announced the acquisition Luis Fuentes, an All-American forward who signed his letter of intent last week to join the team. Fuentes is a native of Baldwin Park, California and shone on Mount San Antonio College, where in 2011 he led the group to his second National Championship in three years, and his third State Championship for California Community Colleges.
“Luis has been so impressive on many fronts,” said Grimes. “He comes from a wonderful family, is a very good student and is obviously a great player. Luis is the perfect fit for Cal and our team culture.”
Fuentes will join a squad that will not lose any Cal player to graduation this year. In fact, the Golden Bears have a young team with 13 freshmen, including 2011 Rookie of the Year in the Pac-12, midfielder Seth Casiple.
For its part, Mexico has a group of professional players who in some cases, have played together since the U-15 national team. Today, everyone is enrolled with professional equipment belonging to the Mexican First Division football and several are already playing at the top level.
The team is being prepared for the upcoming qualifying tournament towards the FIFA -U20 World Cup to be held in Turkey IN 2013.
Mexico is the reigning CONCACAF Champion having defeated Costa Rica, before participating in the FIFA U-20 in Colombia in 2011, where they took Third Place after a 3-1 victory over France.
The 2013 World Cup FIFA U-20 is the Nineteenth edition since its inception in 1977 as the FIFA Youth Championship. At its executive meeting in Zurich, Switzerland held on March 3, 2011, Turkey overcame bids by the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.
The schedule for the World Cup U-20-2013 has not been defined by CONCACAF.
The target for Sergio Almaguer and company is clear: to qualify for the world to come and respond to the commitment of the Mexican Soccer Federation that is investing heavily in their youth programs, as was proven in 2011, a year of great success for the Mexican soccer.
In the U-17 World Cup, Mexico won the Championship defeating Uruguay, achieving the second championship in its history in that category. Mexico also won the Soccer completion at the Pan American Games held Guadalajara.
In both cases, the meeting of UC Berkeley and the Mexico U-20 will provide the Santa Maria fans the rare opportunity to see stars of tomorrow playing in their own back yard.