April 27, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the 12th time since 2005, the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team is set to welcome one of the youth national squads of Mexico to the South Bend area.
With eight games in the past month against a variety of college and university opponents in the rearview mirror, the Irish close the 2017 spring slate when Notre Dame and the Mexico Under-18 National Team square off at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday at Alumni Stadium. Live coverage will be available on ESPN3, featuring commentary feeds in both English and Spanish.
Notre Dame fashioned a 4-1-3 mark in its previous eight exhibition contests this spring, routinely playing in front of capacity crowds at Fort Wayne’s D’Arcy Stadium against regional rival Indiana (0-0 draw on April 8) and at Grand Park in Indianapolis against Kentucky (2-0 win) last weekend. The Irish opened the schedule with their first win over a United Soccer League (USL) side, dropping the Bethlehem Steel 2-1 on March 16 in Pennsylvania.
Notre Dame enters Friday’s match against the Mexico U-18s on a six-game unbeaten streak in friendly competition this spring, winning three and adding three draws in exhibition starts since tying Oakland 2-2 on March 25. The Irish own a 7-3-1 (.682) all-time edge in prior meetings against the Mexico U-17 and U-20 sides, with Friday’s contest the first matchup between Notre Dame and the Mexico U-18 club.
It was junior forward Jon Gallagher who scored the lone Notre Dame goal in the 12th minute of last year’s 2-1 setback at the hands of the Mexico U-20 team on April 22, 2016 at Alumni Stadium. Gallagher, the eventual Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, has scored a goal in each of his first two career matches against Mexico after also finding the back of the net in the 65th minute of a 2-1 Irish win over the Mexico U-17s in 2015. Senior defender Matt Habrowski is the other active Notre Dame player with a goal in spring competition against Mexico, heading home a Patrick Hodan free kick in the first half of a 3-2 Irish victory in 2014 against the Mexico U-20s.
General admission tickets for Friday’s match are available for $8 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors. Contact the Murnane Family Ticket Office at 574-631-7356 or visit UND.com/buytickets for more information.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men's soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League's Buffalo Bills.