Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers to face U-20 Mexican Youth National Team today

Mexican fans laugh at one of their comrades before the annual soccer match between the IU men’s soccer team and the Mexican Youth National Team. Throughout the entire match, the Mexican fans showed their intense love for the sport by running their country’s flag around Bill Armstrong Stadium to twirling noisemakers and blowing air horns when they deemed necessary.
Mexican fans laugh at one of their comrades before the annual soccer match between the IU men’s soccer team and the Mexican Youth National Team. Throughout the entire match, the Mexican fans showed their intense love for the sport by running their country’s flag around Bill Armstrong Stadium to twirling noisemakers and blowing air horns when they deemed necessary.

Soccer is a pretty big deal in Mexico.

IU will soon see why.

The men’s soccer team will end its six-game spring season with some international flavor as it welcomes the Under-20 Mexican Youth National Team for a 7 p.m. scrimmage.

The team members won’t be the only ones doing the welcoming, as a large contingent of Mexican fans, media and entertainment are expected at Bill Armstrong Stadium.
“We expect a very festive crowd,” IU coach Todd Yeagley said. “It’ll be exciting to hear all the chanting and horns blowing and see their pride in their country. We also hope a lot of our fans come out.”

Junior midfielder Daniel Kelly added that the players are eager to play in the atmosphere.

“It’ll be fun. They always bring a crowd,” he said. “You never realize how many Hispanics and Mexican supporters there are until a team like this comes out. They’re going to be loud, and it’s going to be fun.”

The Hoosiers are 1-3 in their four contests with the Mexican youth teams since IU began playing them in 2005.

Kelly, who played in two of those games and also in international competition, likened the Under-20 squad to national runner-up Akron.

“In international soccer, you basically get the best of your country,” he said. “They’re usually really talented. If I had to compare player-wise with their tactics and the way they like to play and keep the ball in their possession, I’d have to compare them to Akron ... or any ACC team like Maryland, Wake Forest or UVA.”

Yeagley said the competition would be different, and thus a great measuring stick for the Hoosiers.

“They’re going to be more naturally gifted than some of the players we see in the fall,” he said. “There are certain guys who can compare, but the technique is at a slightly higher level.”

IU has gone 1-1-2 in four completed matches this spring, beating Louisville 2-1 on March 28 and then tying Cincinnati and IU-Purdue University Indianapolis before falling to Notre Dame 4-2 in penalty kicks April 17.

The Hoosiers’ April 24 contest against Akron at Northern Kentucky University was canceled due to lightning in the area.

Kelly said the matchup with the Under-20 squad, which is preparing for its international qualifier, will help the team see where it stands in preparation for its fall season.

“We would like to see where we’re at overall,” he said. “They’re trying to get geared up for qualifying for the U-20. Everybody on their team is fighting for a spot, so we’ll probably get the best of what they’ve got.

“We’re wrapping up our spring season, so we’re just trying to end on a good note so we can roll into the fall with some positives.”

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