COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Thursday, June 13, 2013) – The Colorado Rapids announced on Thursday that the club will face Mexican First Division club Santos Laguna in an international friendly on Friday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The match, which will be played at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico, will be the fourth time the Rapids have faced Santos in club history.
Tickets to the match start at just $17 and are available via the University of New Mexico ticketing website, or by calling 877-664-8661.
“The Rapids are excited to visit Albuquerque and to play a friendly against a great club like Santos Laguna,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “We developed a great relationship with Santos during the CONCACAF Champions League in 2011, and this match was an opportunity to reunite with them. This is also a chance for us to support the sport in New Mexico, where soccer fans can watch all Rapids games live on Altitude.”
“3-Star Sports is proud to bring world class soccer to New Mexico,” said Ricci Greenwood, Owner and CEO of 3-Star Sports. “University Stadium is the perfect venue for this international friendly with Santos Laguna and the Colorado Rapids representing their countries respectfully. Fans can look forward to lots of family fun and great soccer from this inaugural Border Clásico.”
Santos Laguna, based in Torreón, Mexico, is one of the most successful clubs in Mexican history, having won four championships since the club’s founding in 1983. In recent years, Santos has captured the championship during the Clausura 2008 and Clausura 2012 seasons, also finishing as runners-up three times between those two titles (the Mexican First Division has two championships per calendar year). Santos has also played in the last two CONCACAF Champions League finals, including in 2011-12 after facing Colorado in the group stage.
Santos currently features stars like Mexican National Team players Oswaldo Sanchez and Oribe Peralta, new signings Javier Orozco and Néstor Araujo, as well as Colombian forward Darwin Quintero and Panamanian defender Felipe Baloy. In their youth ranks, Santos has a pair of U.S. Under-20 National Team players in Benji Joya and Daniel Cuevas, teammates of the Rapids’ Shane O’Neill on the U.S. squad for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
The Rapids and Santos have squared off three times previously, and the Mexican side holds the edge, with two wins to Colorado’s one. In the first meeting between the teams, the Rapids earned a 2-0 win in a preseason friendly in Las Vegas on March 12, 2003, with a pair of goals from striker Casey Schmidt. In 2011, the teams faced each other twice in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, with Santos winning 4-1 in Commerce City on September 13 and 2-0 in Torreón on October 19.