San Diego is turning into a city full of soccer related events, and San Diego State’s Snapdragon Stadium is at the center of all of it.
Club América and Club Tijuana faced off last Sunday, March 26, in what was Snapdragon Stadium’s Bashor Field’s first ever professional men’s soccer game and boy did they choose the right teams and fans to do so.
Arguably one of the biggest teams in all of Concacaf, paired up with San Diegan’s adoptive Liga MX team, cooked up quite the inauguration to a men’s game in the venue. A day game — with a three hour fan fest prior to the start of the game — combined with the incredible atmosphere and energy in the stands, made it feel like we were watching the Liga MX teams on home soil.
Academy youngster Esteban Lozano’s goal in the closing minutes of the game sealed the victory for América showed just that.
Esteban Lozano’s last-minute goal to seal @ClubAmerica’s friendly victory over @Xolos from the stands. pic.twitter.com/4ROBbVGHjB— Giancarlo Cornejo (@Giancarlo_the18) March 28, 2023
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubAmerica!
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubAmerica!
⚽ ¡Goool de @ClubAmerica!Guarden este nombre: Esteban Lozano
EN VIVO por TUDN, https://t.co/OmeLOvzglE y app
https://t.co/ItVH6zHeUK #TourÁguila pic.twitter.com/ByEPFkf01m
— TUDN USA (@TUDNUSA) March 26, 2023
A day prior, the San Diego Wave Fútbol Club, established in 2021, held their NWSL season opener against the Chicago Red Stars at Snapdragon in what was a historic night for the club. In a five-goal thriller, the Wave started their season in front of a whopping 30,834 fans in attendance — a NWSL record for any team in their home opener.
Alex Morgan, team captain and USWNT legend, scored the goal that secured the victory for the San Diegans.
San Diego stays smashing recordsThe largest home opener attendance in @NWSL history! pic.twitter.com/PFYBjeU1Mp
— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) March 26, 2023
AM13 thrives in the PM pic.twitter.com/dFC24P6Ozb— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) March 26, 2023
A 3-2 victory, an Alex Morgan clutch goal and a record-breaking night.
Still buzzing. SD is a fútbol town. pic.twitter.com/zAr1qgvKXz— San Diego Wave FC (@sandiegowavefc) March 27, 2023
The day after the jam-packed soccer weekend had ended, what was a rumor concerning one of world’s biggest clubs’ coming to play in the border city turned official.
On Monday, March 27, Manchester United announced that they will be playing at Snapdragon Stadium on July 25 as part of their pre-season USA tour ahead of the 2023/24 season. Their opponent? None other than Ryan Reynolds and Rob Mcelhenney's Wrexham AFC.
Red Devils Red Dragons
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 27, 2023
50% Dragon. 50% Devil. 100% Red. Wrexham play @ManUtd in San Diego, July 25th!
— Wrexham AFC (@Wrexham_AFC) March 27, 2023
The Premier League giants will be returning to the U.S. for the first time since 2018 against a Wrexham team that is slowly becoming one of the biggest British clubs in the United States — all thanks to their successful docuseries that aired in 2021.
The Red Devils-Red Dragons matchup doesn’t look like it’s going to be the only soccer game at Snapdragon in the summer, though.
During Mexico’s Concacaf Nations League game against Suriname last Thursday, Gibran Araige, one of the most reliable sources when it comes to El Tri, revealed that Mexico would be looking to book a friendly in San Diego in preparation for their participation in the Nations League Final Four tournament to be played in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The last time Mexico played in San Diego was in 2019 in the extinct SDCCU Stadium when they faced off against Chile in an entertaining 3-1 win for El Tri.
Interestingly enough, this could very well be the first of two games that Mexico could play at Snapdragon in 2023.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Gold Cup will be making a return to San Diego in 2023, with Snapdragon Stadium being chosen as one of two cities to host the semifinal of the tournament in July.
We still have no clue which countries could be playing in the knockout game, but if we base our prediction off previous editions of the tournament, we could very well see Mexico or the USMNT make an appearance. A semi-final between both, perhaps?
Now, with multiple events still to be confirmed, it’s definitely refreshing to see a city that is so passionate for the game of soccer finally get the events that they had been neglected of for so long. After all, when it comes to hosting soccer and fútbol, there’s not many cities in the states that can do both.