Riding down to San Diego in a van full of Goats supporters, Black Army 1850, it was as picturesque a day as any postcard sent from the state of California would show. And how fitting that it was the Goats taking on a Mexican 1st Division team that claims California as part of its target audience. This was the 2012 San Diego Clasico.
The Goats wouldn’t enter the fray alone, as over 70 supporters would make the trip down the I-5 (by way of the CA-73 toll) to support them. So close to Tijuana though (home of the Xoloitzcuintles) it was a foregone conclusion that is would be an away match. And so it was. Undeterred by the heavy show of support for Tijuana, the Black Army and Union Ultras drummed away and chanted. From a distance, Tijuana’s supporters group brought it as well. The sheer ferocity of their supporters group would make anyone think they were watching a regular season match up. Playing in a smaller venue in the form on Torero stadium definatley helped turn it into Estadio Caliente Norte that much quicker.
Advertisement The Goats supporters were showing that they were ready for the new season. Watching as Michael Lahoud scored for the 1st goal of the night, spirits couldn’t be and higher. Taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, things looked ok for Red and White. But this examiner knew that those numerous yellow cards accumulated in the first 45 minutes would hurt the team later. 5 minutes into the second half, it was confirmed as Goats newcomer, Miller Bolaños was sent off. No time to sulk, the support from the B.A. 1850 and the U.U. carried on. The character of a Soccer team is usually best described when they go down to 10 men. What goes through their minds? How do they adjust? As RSL showed last season in a 1-0 win over the Goats, going down to 10 isn’t the end of the world. But 5 goals later, the Goats showed they still have to get things in order. Rookie Casey Townsends goal late in the match was a brief was hopefully a glimpse into some of the good we can expect this season despite the days 5-2 loss.
At the end of the day, it’s still preseason. A great time was had by all who made the trip, and new friends were made. We all agreed that the team still has work to do, but are confident it’ll get done. That and this examiner got to watch his favorite Mexican team play as a bonus.
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