Former USA and Mexican National Team Stars Play in Reunion Match
Minnesotan Tony Sanneh Plays in USA v Mexico Reunion Game
Last Saturday in the Sun Bowl at El Paso, Texas, you may have had a hard time convincing some retired US and Mexican National Team soccer players that “time heals old wounds.” A USA vs Mexico Reunion match was held in which some of those countries’ former National Team stars got to lace up the cleats one more time and enter back into competition between the North American neighbors. The heated rivalry between the two CONCACAF powers, Mexico and the USA, is said to be one of the most intense in the international world of soccer.
While things may not have risen to the same fevered pitch as when these players wore their countries’ colors, things still got spirited for a while. Tony Sanneh, former 2002 US World Cup star, participated in the reunion game for the first time on Saturday. Going into the match Sanneh reported he’d heard the game could get chippy at times. The match didn’t disappoint Sanneh who said that things did indeed get physical for a while. But overall he said the players had a great time and the supporters in the stands seemed to as well.
20,000 fans, mostly Mexican supporters, came to watch the reunion match. “I was amazed to see how many people turned out,” said former 1990 and 1994 US World Cup player Paul Caligiuri. “I know that we had our stars and Mexico had their stars. But, for a game of alumni, it’s amazing.”
Sanneh echoed those thoughts and said there were moments in the game that “got very exciting.” Mexico’s Marco Antonio Ruiz volleyed a chip pass from Benjamin Galindo to put the Mexicans up 1-0.
The second goal came from Luis Hernandez. Sanneh praised the shot calling it “a great goal.”
The Mexicans beat the US 2-0 but even though the USA lost, Sanneh said, “All in all it was a good day.”
Some of the notables to suit up for the game:
Claudio Suarez, Jorge Campos, Luis Hernandez and Ramon Martinez.
Marcelo Balboa, Paul Calageri, Fernando Clavijo, Thomas Dooley, Cle Kooiman, Tony Sanneh, and Dante Washington.