Citi Field to host Ecuador-Chile Citi Field to host Ecuador-Chile
Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, will be hosting a friendly soccer match on August 15 between the international teams from... Citi Field to host Ecuador-Chile

Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, will be hosting a friendly soccer match on August 15 between the international teams from Ecuador and Chile.

Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, has been consistently drawing large crowds with these International Friendly matches in the United States. The Argentina defeat of Brazil 4-3, had a record sold out crowd for MetLife Stadium of 84,994 fans when they played on June 9. In the game, soccer superstar Lionel Messi recorded a hat trick much to the satisfaction of Argentina fans.

For those who didn’t have a chance to see Argentina-Brazil, this South American matchup between two highly ranked FIFA teams, Ecuador and Chile, is sure to be another display of raw talent. Chile, ranked number 15 in the world, has many famous players on the international stage. The captain of Chilean squad is their goalkeeper from Real Sociedad, Claudio Bravo, he is also joined by Humberto Suazo who plays for Monterrey, and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona. The team is coached by manager Claudio Borghi — a former player for the Argentinean national team where he won a World Cup in 1986. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup Chile was knocked out in the second round by Venezuela. Chile is currently sits in first place in the South American world cup qualifiers with four wins and 2 losses.

Ecuador, ranked number 27 in the world, features the Manchester United star Antonio Valencia and Christian Benitez from Club America. Valencia, who joined Manchester United in August 2011, received the player of the year award from fans and players on the team. The twenty six year old star looks to have a bright future ahead playing for the world’s most popular club team. The Ecuadorian national team is coached by Reinaldo Rueda. Ecuador is currently in fourth place in the South American World Cup qualifiers with a record of 3-2.

The Ecuador soccer team is no stranger to playing in Flushing, Queens. On June 7, 2011 they played Greece to a 1-1 draw in front of nearly 40,000 soccer fans at Citi Field. In this game, both teams were joined by a nearly sold out stadium full of fans.

These two national teams have an enormous following in the tri-state area. Queens County has a larger population of Ecuadorians than any other county in the United States with more than 100,000 residents along with more than 20,000 Chileans in the area. Tickets are sure to be a hot commodity to this game as it is a rare occasion to see these international teams on U.S. soil.

However, the 2012 World Football Challenge is giving U.S. soccer fans a summer full of top talent with international team matchups in addition to the MLS season. Cross-town in the Bronx Yankee Stadium is set to host its first ever soccer game in the new stadium.

On Saturday July 22, fans can see Chelsea FC versus Paris Saint-Germain. The immense popularity of the Chelsea soccer team, 2012 UEFA Champions, will almost guarantee that the stadium will be packed to capacity. The stadium will also host powerhouse Real Madrid versus AC Milan on August 8.

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Tickets to see Ecuador and Chile on August 15 range from $30 to $150. To find out more information about the matchup visit the New York Mets website.

By Shane Cecere