SBSC to play Mexico’s U-17 World Cup-bound squad

The Santa Barbara Soccer Club Under-17 team will take on Mexico in an exhibition match at San Marcos High.

The Santa Barbara Soccer Club Under-17 team will take on Mexico in an exhibition match at San Marcos High.

As part of its preparation leading up to the FIFA Under-17 World Cup this fall, Mexico’s U-17 men’s national team will play the Santa Barbara Soccer Club’s U-17 squad in an international friendly match on Sunday, Aug. 16 at San Marcos High’s Warkentin Stadium. Kickoff is at 5 p.m.

The U-17 World Cup is in Chile, Oct. 17-Nov. 8. Mexico has won two of the last six tournaments (2005 in Peru and 2011 in Mexico) and finished as runner-up in 2013 in the United Arab Emirates.

The match at San Marcos kicks off a series of four exhibitions in Southern California for Mexico. It will play UCLA on Aug. 18, the Ventura County Fusion on Aug. 20 and Cal State Fullerton on Aug. 22.

The Mexican U-17 team includes 15 players who are on rosters of Liga MX clubs. There are five representing Chivas Guadalajara and Pachuca FC, three from Santos Laguna and two from Club America.

The national team is coached by Mario Arteaga, who played in the 1992 Olympic Games for Mexico and played professionally in the Mexican First Division for Chivas, Pumas UNAM and Leon FC.

The Santa Barbara Soccer Club U-17s are coming off their fourth straight trip to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. The group reached the semifinals for the second straight year at the recent tournament in Tulsa, Okla. It won national titles at the U-14 and U-15 levels.

Coached by Santa Barbara soccer legend Rudy Ybarra, this collection of players from the tricounties has also captured numerous state and regional championships in their time together.

Two players on the squad will be playing college soccer in the fall: Tim Heiduk (Dos Pueblos High grad) at Westmont and Raul Guerrero (Santa Ynez High grad) at UC Riverside. Francisco Arroyo of Carpinteria is being courted by Club Tijuana of Liga MX for its Under-20 team.

Tickets for the game are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Tickets can be purchased at the following businesses: Xtreme Soccer, Aggressive Soccer, Mayo’s, Taqueria Rincon Alteño, Guadalajara Market.

Mexico's U-17 team is preparing for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

Mexico’s U-17 team is preparing for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

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