Professional soccer game to be played at Memorial Stadium

Mohamed Bafakih, Online/Sports Editor

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Professional soccer will be making its return to Bakersfield after a decade with a pair of Mexican league powerhouses on Nov. 14 at Memorial Stadium.

The long-awaited return will feature 10-time Mexican league champions Toluca (also known as Diablos Rojos or Choriceros) against Gallos Blancos of Queretaro, Bakersfield’s sister city team.

In a news conference held on the south end of Memorial Stadium on Oct. 5, BC’s sports information director Francis Mayer described how huge of a year it has been for Bakersfield College and Memorial Stadium, which is now in its 60th year.

Mayer then introduced Hispanic media consultant and Time Warner Cable correspondent Polo Ascencio. Ascencio addressed the Hispanic media that was in attendance in Spanish and then introduced Champions Soccer president and the reason professional soccer will be hosted here, Ranbir Shergill.

Champions Soccer is a locally-founded organization that has hosted over 40 professional teams in international matches and training camps.

Shergill, a graduate of California State University-Bakersfield, expressed his excitement for this upcoming event.

“It [Memorial Stadium] is probably the best venue in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and we’re really excited to host the match here,” Shergill said.

With Bakersfield’s large appreciation for soccer, this is a chance for fans to come out to see quality players in person rather than just on TV or drive down to Los Angeles.

“It’s going to be unbelievable,” Shergill said. “The community loves soccer and its professional soccer right here in Bakersfield. Liga MX is a league that is followed all over and both teams have had a good amount of success and the roster includes many international players – players who currently or have played on the Mexican, Argentinean and Paraguayan National Team.” Both teams will be looking to get into the league postseason which will begin just over a week after the Nov. 14 matchup that includes a trophy at stake.

Toluca is currently third in Liga MX standings with a record of 7-2-3, and 2014 Liga MX runner-up Queretaro is currently 12th out of the 18 teams at 4-3-5.

Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. and pre-event festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets to watch both teams are now available at www.internationalsoccerchallenge.com or ticketfly.com with ticket prices ranging from $15-$35 in advance, or $20-$40 at the stadium.

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