University of Phoenix Stadium will host a friendly match between two Mexican First Division clubs, Club America and Morelia, on July 10, according to an announcement from local soccer club Phoenix Monsoon today.
It's a major coup for the Monsoon, whose executives expect a filled lower bowl and at least 25,000 fans for the match, which takes place on the same day as Major League Baseball's All-Star Sunday activities at Chase Field.
It seems feasible that there will a good crowd, as a match between the New York Red Bulls of MLS and Atlas, a middle-of-the-table franchise from Mexico, drew more than 23,000 at U of P in March. Club America of Mexico City has 10 league titles and is one of North America's most successful club teams with fans throughout Mexico and the U.S., sort of like the New York Yankees of Mexican soccer. Morelia, nicknamed Monarcas, knocked Club America out of the Mexican playoffs this month and is playing for the Clausura season title this Sunday.
The match is set for 5 p.m., with tickets starting at $20. The Monsoon will use the match to publicize its upcoming Professional Arena Soccer League-Pro season, in which the club will debut this fall. A coaching staff is set and the player roster will be completed in the coming days, general manager Stuart Starky said.
The biggest issue for the Monsoon is to find a place to play home games, and director of competition Adrian Quintero said Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Jobing.com Arena are possibilities.
Starky said the goal is to field an outdoor team for the North American Soccer League (NASL), which is the U.S. second division of soccer one level lower than MLS, in 2013.