SOCCER

Liga MX Friendly Between Club América & Santos Laguna Sent Rio Tinto Stadium Into A Frenzy

Jul 4, 2021, 9:04 PM
Photo courtesy: Tom Hackett KSL Sports...
Photo courtesy: Tom Hackett KSL Sports

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Rio Tinto Stadium hosted Club América and Santos Laguna in a friendly exhibition match that produced far more entertainment than most would expect.

Rio Tinto Stadium Went Crazy

Fans from across the United States attended the fixture, predominantly Club América supporters that never stopped chanting and singing for their beloved heroes.

Spectators lined the streets surrounding Rio Tinto Stadium hours before kickoff, filled with anticipation and excitement. Then, when they were eventually allowed into the stadium two hours prior to kickoff the festivities erupted inside the stadium.

The music was blasting, the concession stands were pumping and the energy was electric. This was no friendly soccer match, this was a concert.

 

As the game got underway, Santos Laguna was aggressively defending. Sliding into challenges, bumping into Club América players, and looking to assert their authority.

Star striker for Club América Roger Martínez scored the game’s opening goal after he calmly passed the ball into the back of the net sending the nearby América fans in the south seats wild.

What Friendly?

Then, shortly after conceding the game’s opening goal, that aggressive defense by Santos got the better of them as midfielder Ronaldo Prieto was shown his second yellow card and consequently sent off for a poor challenge midway through the first half.

Santos manager Guillermo Almada was livid and stormed off the sideline and into the face of the head referee. His actions were not approved and he too was shown a red card.

As the second half began the wind started to blow. A sprinkle of rain blessed Sandy, Utah, and the game began to settle. The crowd, however, only grew in stature.

Sadly, no goals were scored in the second half as América controlled the tempo and speed of the contest with a one-man advantage.

Vamos Liga MX

Club América prevailed as 1-0 victors. The New York Yankees of Mexico left the pitch to a roar.

The fixture provided a glimpse into what Major League Soccer could be. Real Salt Lake, in particular, has a large Spanish audience at their doorstep that they have struggled to tap into.

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Liga MX Friendly Between Club América & Santos Laguna Sent Rio Tinto Stadium Into A Frenzy