Soccer: Terps Host El Salvador at SoccerPlex
Men’s team will play El Salvador’s Under-23 Olympic Team on Sunday, March 11.
(Updated 2:01 p.m.) The University of Maryland Men’s Soccer Team will play El Salvador’s Under-23 Olympic Team on Sunday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds.
El Salvador is using the game as a warm-up for Olympic qualifiers, according to University of Maryland athletics spokeswoman Jodi Fick.
The Olympic qualifiers, from March 22 to April 2, afford the top two teams the right to represent the region in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, according to the CONACAF, the official sanctioning body for soccer in North and Central America, and the Carribbean.
El Salvador is scheduled to play the U.S. U-23 team on March 26.
The game folds into the Terps’ spring training, which officially begins Thursday against Virginia Commonwealth University.
"We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to play the El Salvador Olympic Team just weeks before their CONCACAF qualifiers," said Head Coach Sasho Cirovski in a press release. "It is an honor to showcase our team against such a skillful team and proud soccer nation. I have great respect for the tremendous skill and style of Salvadoran soccer as well as their extremely loyal and passionate fan base, which I have seen firsthand."
Gates open at 1 p.m.
The Salvadorean team can anticpate a warm welecome. "We anticipate a lot of people coming out, especially from El Salvador," promoter Elias Polio told Patch.
SoccerPlex Director of Operations Keith Lenert said the El Salvadorean fanbase in the Washington, D.C., region was "huge," second only to Las Angeles. Lenert said the venue was expecting a sell-out crowd. Nearly half of the 4,000 tickets available have already been sold, Lenert told Patch.
El Salvador and Terps are both known for being attack oriented, according to Lenert, but choosing an American, college-level team of University of Maryland's ilk — the Terps are two-time NCAA champions — could give the players the preparation they'll need to take on U.S. team in the Olympic qualifiers.
Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at the following locations:
- La Chiquita Express
- Zodiac Express
- El Cuscatleco Sports Bar
- La Frontera Restaurante
- Morazan Grocery
- Taca Masabrosa
For more information, call 703-577-5749.