After the success of September’s exhibition game between the Under-17 Mexican National team and UCSB at Harder Stadium, promoter Rudy Ybarra has set up another marquee match-up. This time around, it will be the U-23 Mexican National team versus its counterparts from Denmark.
Both nations are competing in the upcoming World Cup, and this match, while merely a friendly, will be a great chance for the countries’ younger players to show what they can do in hopes of a World Cup call-up.
In the September exhibition, Harder gathered a whopping 9,500 fans to witness a 2-1 UCSB overtime win. Months prior to that, around 8,000 came to watch two Mexican professional clubs duke it out in its friendly confines. This next game will mark the third non-collegiate exhibition Harder has held in a year, thoroughly establishing Santa Barbara as not only a hub of college soccer, but of the international game as well.
The game will be held on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 2 p.m., and tickets are set at $20.
Former Gaucho Chris Pontius, currently in the offseason after a wildly successful first year with MLS squad DC United, has been called up to the 30-man United States National Team camp in preparation for the upcoming friendly with Honduras. The camp, which started on Monday, gives Pontius a chance to showcase his talents to U.S. National Head Coach Bob Bradley, and vie for a roster spot in the coming match.
Pontius is joined by some of the best talents in American soccer, including Sacha Kljestan, Benny Feilhaber, Conor Casey and others. While standing out above these National Team regulars will be tough, the MLS’ Rookie of the Year Runner-Up might just have what it takes.
With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, UCSB fans could get a chance to see the former Gaucho star play on the big stage Jan. 23. The U.S. friendly with Honduras is at 6 p.m. at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.