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Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 11:41pm
EL PASO (KDBC) — The stage is set for a world class soccer match in El Paso, and Sunday’s big match is also a big test if the city hopes to land a Major League Soccer team.
The Sun Bowl will be hosting an exhibition match between Mexican club team Chivas and a Brazilian squad.
Neither team had much time to settle in; they both arrived in the Sun City earlier Saturday.
They got right into it, both teams hit the field in preparation for the big match.
“We have the support and tomorrow, we are going to play really hard to get happiness from the crowd that is coming,” said Francico “Paco” Palencia with Chivas.
“It's a preparation match, we are playing with one of the top and historic teams, but we really want to have a good show for that fans that come here tomorrow,” said Mauricio Moreno with Cruzeiro.
Earlier in the afternoon, crews put the final touches on the field to get it ready for play.
They placed all new grass over the Astroplay turf already installed here in the stadium.
The grass is FIFA approved and will help avoid injuries to the players.
“This is a great community. This is the first time we are here hosting a soccer event,” said event organizer, Irene Gutierrez. “We are excited. Hopefully we have a great turn out and hopefully come back in the future.”
Since El Paso's Mountainstar Sports Group is pursuing an MLS expansion franchise, Sunday’s match -- and its attendance -- has taken on added significance.
Organizers said they are expecting anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 fans to come out and show their support.
The Sun Bowl has 51,500 seats.
“At the moment, it is looking great. We are expecting a nice walk up crowd,” said Gutierrez.
With all "soccer" eyes on the game, it could have a huge impact on the future of profession soccer in the Sun City.
Something not lost on the Chivas team.
“We have a lot of fans in Juarez and El Paso and America,” said Palencia. “We are very happy to play this game.”
The game starts at 8 tomorrow night.