Mexican Under-21s to drop in on Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake's reserves will face off against the Mexican Under-21 National Team on May 15 at Rio Tinto Stadium, the club announced on Wednesday. The match is part of a series of encounters for the Mexican U-21s that have been arranged across the U.S.
The squad, coached by former Mexican international Mario Arteaga, is preparing for participation in the 2011 Pan American Games and qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The Mexican U-21s have dropped in on American minor-league clubs on their tour, beating the USL Second Division's Richmond Kickers 3-1 last week in Richmond, Va., then playing the USSF Division 2 Pro League's Carolina Railhawks to a 1-1 draw Tuesday night in Cary, N.C.
The RSL match appears to be the final stop in a Utah swing for the Mexican team. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, they will also face Brigham Young University on May 12 and Weber State University on May 14. Although both clubs represent local universities, BYU actually competes in the USL Premier Developmental League (PDL), which is a national amateur league.
Despite it being an under-21 team, the matches will likely generate some local interest among Utah’s significant Mexican population, which will be interested in getting a glimpse of the future for “El Tri.” According to a press release on BYUsoccer.com, the BYU match is expected to be a sellout and will even be broadcast worldwide on BYU Television.
The Mexican senior team, meanwhile, has three more stops on its pre-World Cup U.S. tour, including games next month against Ecuador at the new Giants Stadium in New Jersey, Senegal at Chicago's Soldier Field and Angola at Houston's Reliant Stadium.