BOISE, Idaho – Rosters have been announced for the upcoming Arena Soccer International Friendly between the U.S. National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) and Mexico’s National Futbol Rápido Team on Friday, Aug. 27 at Idaho Central Arena.
The U.S. roster features 2020-21 All-MASL 1st Team selections Franck Tayou and Justin Stinson, and Tayou is a four-time MASL MVP. Boris Pardo is one of the premier goalkeepers of the indoor game and has a .700 career winning percentage. Drew Ruggles, the 2019-20 MASL Defender of the Year, is in front of Pardo to lead the defense, and making his return to Boise is “Kid Dynamite/Captain America” Gordy Gurson.
“It’s always a battle when we play Mexico,” said Kevin Milliken, President of the American Association of Soccer 567. “The people of Boise have really embraced the arena game, and I know the atmosphere will be fantastic.”
Mexico, who won the 2019 WMF World Cup in Perth, Australia, will feature forward Brandon Ayon, who recently moved to Idaho and will play for the first time in his new home state.
The team is led offensively by Juan Carlos “Charlie” Gonzalez, but the footwork of Brandon Escoto will also be on display in the midfield. Rising star Eduardo “Benji” Monreal will make his national team debut, and Mexico will also feature a 2020-21 All-MASL First Team selection: Cesar Cerda, who anchors their defense.
“We are still the reigning World Champions, so we know how bad the US wants to beat us,” said Mexico Head Coach Rene Ortiz. “So, we have to keep raising the bar to stay ahead of them.”
The Major Arena Soccer League reigning champion San Diego Sockers are well-represented with 10 players spanning both rosters.
The rosters are listed below by position in alphabetical order with age in parentheses:
Forwards (3): Gordy Gurson (29), VcMor Eligue (30), Franck Tayou (31)
Midfield (3): Felipe Gonzalez (31), Juan Gonzalez (31), Justin Stinson (24)
Defense (4): Drew Ruggles (29), Nelson Santana (42), Israel Sesay (30), Uzi Tayou (32)
Goalkeeper (1): Boris Pardo (37)
Forwards (2): Francisco Javier Puente (31), Hugo Puentes (29)
Midfield (6): Brandon Escoto (27), Juan Carlos Gonzalez (27), Christian Gutierrez (30), Gerardo Jurado (24), Eduardo “Benji” Monreal (25), Hiram Ruiz (33)
Defense (5): Brandon Ayon (27), Cesar Cerda (28), Luis Ortega (29), Ismael Rojo (26), Manuel Rojo (24)
Goalkeeper (1): Bryan Sarabia (23)
Tickets are on sale now with prices as low as $25. Tickets are only available online at idahocentralarena.com.
The event begins at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. To book a luxury suite for your party, contact Darren Caskey at 208-424-2200 ext. 2310. For group tickets, call 208-383-0080.