Pro soccer match at East Los Angeles College draws large crowd

READY FOR THE GOAL—Los Angeles Blues Pro Soccer’s Jimmy Turner, left, defends his post, while the Mexico U-20 National Team’s Daniel Hernandez gets ready to center the ball during a friendly match between both teams, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium. CN/Veronica Hurtado


By Liliana Marquez

MONTEREY PARK—The Mexico U-20 National Team, El Tricolor, took its second consecutive win over the Los Angeles Blues yesterday, Nov. 18 at East Los Angeles College’s Weingart Stadium.

The Mexican  team ended their Pre-World Cup Tournament tour with a 3-1 victory over the LA Blues, at East Los Angeles College in front of a large crowd of almost 2,000 and and 5-0 win last Friday at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium.

Uvaldo Luna opened the score for El Tricolor at Cal State Fullerton. Arturo Alfonso Gonzalez scored a brace while world champions Giovani Casillas and Jorge Espericueta scored a goal each to complete Friday’s shutout.

In Monterey Park, the ELAC crowd was euphoric waiting to support El Tricolor and excited to see the entire squad, especially the world champions.

The U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 team included goalkeeper Richard Sanchez and defenders Francisco Flores, Felipe Sifuentes.

Also, Antonio Briseño; midfielders Jorge Espericueta, Arturo Gonzalez and Giovani Casillas; forwards Marcelo Gracia and Daniel Hernandez Trejo.

El Tricolor did not disappoint the crowd. Goals by Espericueta, Abel Fuentes and Juan Jorge Celada gave them their second consecutive victory over the Blues.

The opening goal came 20 minutes into the half as a result of a corner kick where Mexico’s Espericueta got the ball and sent it past Blues’s goalkeeper Trevor Whiddon.

The Blues were determined to tie the game before the end of the half. During the 26-minute mark, Ronny Ibarra missed a great opportunity to score, but kicked the ball out of bounds.

Mexico’s goalkeeper Alberto Gurrola made a stunning save. He prevented the Blues from scoring nine minutes before half time. A minute before the end of the half, Duran Stanley scored the for the Blues and the half ended one-all.

The second half kicked off with Sanchez, Hedgardo Marin, Raul Lopez, Manuel Perez, Hernandez Trejo, Luna and Celada replacing Guarrola, Casillas, Gonzalez, Julio Cesar Morales, Gracia, Briseño.

Celada had a great chance to score eight minutes into the half, but his shot went over the crossbar. Fuentes scored with a great header after a corner kick taken by Espericueta for a 2-1 lead.

El Tricolor dominated the rest of the half. Celada scored the final goal of the match, at the 82-minute mark.

Celada said that the team had a very good performance and that they really worked as a team to earn the victory. He also said that the three goals were the result of them training hard and working as a team.

Regarding Weingart Stadium, Celada said that he liked the facilities as well as the field.

Teammate Fuentes who scored from a header also said that this game was very important for the team and their preparation for the upcoming Pre-World Cup Tournament. He said that he was never expecting to score a goal in that way, but he took advantage of the opportunity he had to score.

Regarding ELAC’s field, Fuentes said that it was a very nice field, but admitted that it has always been difficult for him to play on synthetic turf.

World Champion Espericueta said that they did what they had to do in order to get the win. Regarding the Blues, Espericueta said that they had a good performance, but El Tricolor performed better.

Maykel Galindo from the Blues said that his team did a good job because they played more defensive than in the previous game against El Tricolor.

Regarding the field, Galindo said that it was great and that he was very thankful with the spectators and the college for hosting the game.

All interviews were conducted in Spanish.

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