FRESNO -- Club América, one of México's most-heralded and oldest soccer clubs will make its presence felt at Chukchansi Park.
The legendary team -- with 14 Mexican soccer league titles -- will play an exhibition match against Jaguares de Chiapas on June 27. Club América owns 33 titles: 14 Mexican Soccer League titles, 6 Campeonatos de Copa, 5 de Campeón de Campeones, 5 CONCACAF titles, 2 de Copa Interamericana, and 1 de Copa de Gigantes (CONCACAF). The Águilas were founded over 94 years ago.
Both clubs hail from the Mexican Soccer Federation's First Division. The Águilas play out of Azteca Stadium in México City's Santa Ursula.
Club América, which reached the semifinals of the 2012 Clausura tournament, has attracted over 100,000 fans in past matches against rival Chivas de Guadalajara in the Súper Clásico and in international match play.
The franchise, which is owned by Mexican television network Televisa, has been celebrated around the soccer world in international and national tournaments alike.
A new pact with head coach Miguel Herrera was negotiated after the semifinal loss. Herrera, who has suited up for Mexican clubs Querétaro and Atlante. is considered one of the few coaches to lead players like forward Christian Benítez, the Torneo Clausura's top individual goal scorer with 14 (tied with Toluca's Iván Alonso).
Offensively, América ended in third place in the overall statistics; Jaguares is fifth among the 18 First Division clubs.
The event is a colloborative movement by Univision, promoter Fred Godínez Jr., who runs his family-owned Latino Entertainment, Inc., and Chukchansi Park.
Godinez, Jr. is proud that they have delivered the high caliber of Mexican soccer to the Central Valley.
Promoters have also made sure ticket prices remain affordable, starting at $10 for kids and $20 for adults.
"We have a game with Club America, which is one of the most-beloved teams and is also one of the most-hated teams in México," said Godínez, who added the cost for the entire exhibition match toppled the $300,000 mark.
"They're classified in the top 20 teams worldwide. They have more CONCACAF championships than any other team on this continent and more international wins than any other team on this continent."
Godínez managed to book América for the Fresno game, which comes after a stop in Dallas.
After Fresno, the Águilas will play in San Diego and finalize the tour in San Francisco. The stops represent the Águilas only preseason play in the United States before the start of México's next tournament.
Delivering the likes of América and Jaguares to Fresno, admits Godínez, was met with some skepticism.
"I'm not a local promoter in Fresno, there's plenty of local promoters in Fresno that believe they own the market. They don't realize that when you bring in teams of this caliber, it's a very powerful force," said Godinez.
"The gentleman that owns team América owns Televisa México, which owns Univisión. Jaguares de Chiapas is owned by the second-richest man in México, which is the 18th-richest man in the world. He owns the Tecate beer brand."
Godínez added that his company's goal is to succeed against all challenges, a philosophy that has enabled him to sign other high-end entertainment.
"We have been working semi-exclusively since 2002 with Ralph Hauser Promotions and Vicente Fernández. We have done most of his northern California and west coast shows the last 8 years," said Godínez.
Through Latin Entertainment, Godínez has presented soccer matches the last three years in Arizona, Nevada and California. Plans are in the works to expand to Illinois, Texas and Washington.
"We're licensed worldwide with FIFA in Switzerland for everything that we do. We cater to the Latino market, but we do have plans on presenting European teams and some teams out of Asia to bring in international friendly matches to the U.S.," said Godinez.
What: Soccer match between América vs. Jaguares
When: June 27
Where : Chukchansi Park (Fresno)
Time: 7 p.m.
Note: Fresno Fuego will play the first match against the Turlock Express (not the indoor franchise) at 4 p.m.
Tickets: $10 for kids, $20-and-up for adults depending on seat location and can purchased at Chukchansi Park.
Details: (559) 442-1047.
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