Already, 9,000 of the 14,600 tickets are sold for the 6 p.m. March 22 match, promoter Fred Godinez said Wednesday. It is the 11th Mexican First Division friendly in Fresno in five years promoted by Latin Entertainment, Inc.
“The entire upper deck is sold out already. The bottom deck is 60 percent to capacity,” Godinez said.
It is the third visit to downtown Fresno in three years for Chivas, which is welcomed annually by fans who make the trek from all over the state.
In 2015, Chivas drew a stadium-record crowd of 16,821, many spilling into on-field bleachers. Those won’t be set up next week because the Fresno Grizzlies want to preserve the outfield grass for the baseball season that begins April 6.
Godinez denied rumors that both sides wouldn’t be fielding their main first-string squads, with exception for players missing for FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.
Tickets for the exhibition are on sale at ticketsvip.net, at the stadium box office and at Don Roberto Jewelers locations. Prices range from $35 to $90.
Smith makes MLS debut – Just two weeks into his MLS career, Fresno native Nathan Smith has a new nickname.
On Tuesday, Fox Sports Soccer host Rob Stone tweeted that Smith was his new favorite player in the league with “SMITTY” at the end of it.
Smith, who starred at Buchanan High, UCLA and Fresno Fuego, wrote back to Stone, saying his nickname is “Nasty” – but adding that he could get behind the suggestion.
Los Angeles lost 1-0 to Portland Timbers FC. Smith had a strong showing as part of a back line that Stone expects “Smitty” to become a staple in.
When asked why he was a fan of Smith, Stone had three words: “You’ll soon discover.”
The Galaxy (0-2) play next at Real Salt Lake (0-1-1) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. The match will be televised on Spectrum Sportsnet (DirecTV 691).
Arena announces USMNT lineup – U.S. men’s soccer coach Bruce Arena announced his first lineup for World Cup Qualifying, and it comes with its fair share of changes.
Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Geoff Cameron are back on the U.S. roster after lengthy illness and injury layoffs as Arena selected just 13 of 26 players from former coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s final roster.
Fourteen of the 24 players are from the MLS, up from 10 on the November roster.
The U.S. hosts Honduras on March 24 and will play Panama away four days later.
Last in the six-team hexagonal of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, the U.S. hopes to get at least four points in the two matches. The top three nations qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the No. 4 team meets Asia’s fifth-place finisher in a playoff for another berth.
Champions League quarters set – Atletico Madrid and Monaco punched their tickets as the final two teams to advance to the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Champions League tournament. Atletico held Bayer Leverkusen to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, winning 4-2 on aggregate to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season. Monaco progressed on the away goals rule, coming back from a 5-3 deficit from the first leg, with a 3-1 win against Manchester City.
Joining Atletico and Monaco in the final eight are holders Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Leicester. The quarterfinal draw will take place Friday at 4 a.m. PST.
Associated Press contributed to this report.