KeyBank Match-up of the Match: Supporters vs. Supporters
The arrival of Club América to JELD-WEN Field tonight brings a host of history and heritage from the Mexican Primera Division side. With 33 total championships since their founding in 1916, Los Aguilas, like many of their Mexican counterparts, feature excellent technical ability and skill.
Club América also bring a fervent group of supporters and fans. With tonight’s match, JELD-WEN Field is actually being split in two between Timbers supporters and Club América supporters. Watching the back and forth between the two loud groups of fans brings us to our KeyBank Match-up of the Match.
|KeyBank Match-up of the Match|
Club América Supporters
Before we go too far down this road, it is important to remember that the match is a friendly. There are no points on the line and for the Timbers an important regular season MLS match with the Seattle Sounders looms large on the horizon with Sunday’s Cascadian tilt.
That is not to say that tonight’s match won’t be spirited and hard fought.
For Club América manager Carlos Reinoso, the game is an opportunity for his team to prepare for the 2012 season. He has stocked his roster with players like Angel Reyna who was the leading scorer in the 2011 Primera Division Clausura campaign and was a member of the recent Gold Cup winning Mexico side, mainstay Argentine international Daniel Montenegro, and new starting goalkeeper Armando Navarette.
While there is little history between the Timbers and Los Aguilas—their reserve team played here in 2009—that is not to say there is no history between U.S. and Mexican soccer sides. On a national scale, the recent 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final showcased another match in a long-standing heated rivalry between the USA national team and Mexico’s national squad. It is a rivalry that has featured numerous memorable matches and encounters.
Though USA-Mexico international matches are a phenomenon unique to themselves, there’s something to be said for a packed JELD-WEN Field filled with two large groups of fans from either side of the border. In the case of the USA-Mexico clashes, it is said that the rivalry has only made both sides stronger. The Timbers-Sounders Cascadian rivalry is proof of that on a more regional scale. Could tonight’s match help both sides prepare for their upcoming challenges all within a rollicking soccer atmosphere?
Tonight’s match may only be a one-off between the two teams, but taken in the larger context of USA-Mexico soccer history, it is a chance to get two fervent groups of supporters--one led by the Timbers Army and the other by the passionate Club América fans--to gather and celebrate as Uruguayan poet Eduardo Galeano once wrote, the love of “a pretty move.”