The "Summer of Soccer" is well underway, the Euro Cup is getting ready to enter the knockout phase of the tournament, Copa America just started a few days ago and the El Paso Locomotive season is nearing the halfway point and tonight soccer fans of the Borderland are in for a special treat.

Liga BBVA MX clubs FC Juarez and Club America will face each other for the first time outside of Mexico, when they play a preseason match in the Sun Bowl.

The Bravos were in the Sun City earlier this spring when they faced the sister organization of MountainStar Sports Group El Paso Locomotive FC in Southwest University Park in an international friendly. Meanwhile, the last time Mexico’s most hate soccer team was in town was 15 years ago when they played in a friendly against Cruz Azul also in the Sun Bowl.

These two teams arrived in El Paso at different points in their preseason. America won the league championship back on May 26, less than a month ago, they had approximately 20 days of holiday before reporting to the team training facilities in Coapa (a suburb on the southside of Mexico City) days ago. In total they have had five days of preseason training thus far.

FC Juarez.
FC Juarez.

Meanwhile, the Bravos season ended on April 27 as they failed to make the playoffs. They went on holiday, reported back for medical exams and began their preseason that has been going on for over a month, spending some time in Puerto Vallarta and central Mexico. The Bravos had three preseason games over there before last Wednesday’s international friendly against New Mexico Uniter in Albuquerque, a match they won 3-2.

Club America has not had a single preseason match.

As for what the fans can expect, FC Juarez forward Aitor Garcia said yesterday when he spoke with the local media that he hopes for a “party”. Garcia said, “It’s going to be a preseason match, we still have a couple of weeks until the start of the regular season and what tomorrow should be about is for it to be a party and a spectacle. Fans will get to see the back-to-back champions playing in El Paso in a match both teams want to win. What we want is for fans to enjoy a nice match, for them to have a great time and for us to continue to prepare for the upcoming season.”

Without a question the fan favorite on Sunday night will be America’s Alejandro Zendjas. The 26 year old attacking midfielder is a Borderland native being born in Ciudad Juarez before moving to El Paso when he was just one year old. Zendejas has become an established player for Club America starting in vital games and playing vital minutes when he doesn’t, having assists and scoring goals.

Zendejas spoke with the media at the team hotel on Saturday night on his return to El Paso.

“I’m happy, I love being here, it’s home and since my parents live here parents it’s just great to be back.” Zendejas said. As for playing in the Sun Bowl Zendejas said, “It's going to be different playing in the Sun Bowl (than facing FC Juarez at Benito Juarez Olympic Stadium). I expect for there to be a great atmosphere, we were told that they are expecting a big crowd all pointing to a good game.”

Alejandro Zendejas expects to get some playing minutes despite coming off of nasal surgery during the brief off season to address a fracture he had.

The much anticipated preseason match is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. MST. Tickets are available at If you can’t make it out to the Sun Bowl, the match will be televised nationally on Fox Deportes.

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