Monday, November 29, 2010

U-20 USA v Mexico

USA v Mexico U-20s line up before the match
The United States U-20 team took on regional rival Mexico in the Torneo de las Americas tournament, yesterday.  In a chippy game that typifies all USA v Mexico matches, the teams drew 1:1, but the rules of the tournament dictated PKs, which Mexico won 4:2. 
Kennesaw State Soccer Stadium
I was excited to go see this game for a few reasons.  First, the game was played in one of the newest soccer specific stadiums in the US at Kennesaw State University outside of Atlanta.  I've been to many of the south's stadiums and this one, which also serves as the home stadium of the WPS' Atlanta Beat, is one of the nicest.  It seats about 5,000 and and has a nice polished feel to it.  It leaves you with the impression that a professional outfit plays here, and is not just a pile of bleachers with a new coat of paint.

The stands are close to the natural turf field, and there are no benches; everyone gets an actual seat.  Several suites run along the west side of the field, and there's a cool, tiered lounge-type area for eating and imbibing while not missing the action.   BTW, even though the stadium is was built as a partnership with KSU, it does not sit on University property and can server beer.  Bonus!
Future USA World Cup stars?
Another reason for excitement was the chance to see the next stars of North American soccer play up close.  Jaun Agudelo, the 18 year old who just a week prior to this tournament scored in his debut for the senior US team, was a force in the match and made the life of the Mexican left back difficult for the entire 90 minutes.  But still,  I had to keep reminding myself that despite their physical maturity and great skills, these players on the filed in front of me are teenagers.  For every graceful maneuver and breathtaking run was a ball played to no one, or a forced ramble that lead to a turnover.   A few more years of seasoning will serve these youngsters well.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for returning to your blog. Your news and perspective on things were missed.