Perhaps the most accomplished American soccer player of all time is coming to Milwaukee, and local fans will have the chance to see him take the soccer pitch on the baseball field live this summer. On Wednesday, July 11, Landon Donovan will lead his Club Leon squad against their rivals, C.F. Pachuca, in an International Soccer Showcase at Miller Park, the Brewers announced Thursday.
The two teams represent Liga MX, the first-division soccer league in Mexico, with Donovan headlining a collection of some of North America’s premier talent. Taking place during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the combination of one of the United States’ most successful players and two top Liga MX teams should make the game appealing for American, Mexican and general soccer fans alike.
"I am excited to play in Milwaukee and at Miller Park," Donovan said in a statement. "Matches like this are great to grow the game of soccer."
This is the third professional soccer match ever played at Miller Park. In 2014, Chivas de Guadalajara faced Swansea City, and in 2015, Club Atlas took on Newcastle United. Chivas and Atlas are both Liga MX teams, and both games were well-attended, especially by Mexican supporters.
Tickets to the Leon-Pachuca match go on sale to the public on Friday, May 11 at 10 a.m. with prices starting as low as $15.
"We are thrilled to bring world-class professional soccer back to Miller Park," said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. "The home of the Brewers continues to prove its unique ability to host a variety of great events."
Aurora Health Care, Wisconsin’s largest health care system and official partner of the Brewers, will be the presenting sponsor for the match, with signage and onsite activities throughout the stadium.
"At Aurora Health Care, we’re committed to celebrating the rich diversity within our communities," said Erickajoy Daniels, Aurora’s senior vice president of diversity & inclusion. "Being a part of the soccer match at Miller Park presents another tremendous opportunity for us to grow meaningful connections with our patients and families in the Latino community."
Founded in 1892, C.F. Pachuca is the oldest team in Mexico and among the most prolific Liga MX clubs in recent history. Since its promotion to the Mexican first division in 1998, the club has won six league championships – most recently in 2016 – and five CONCACAF Champions Cups, most recently in 2017. Club León, founded in 1943, is based in the city of León, Guanajuato. The club has won the Liga MX championship seven times, most recently in 2014.
Some of the region’s best players will be on display when Miller Park's baseball diamond transforms into a soccer pitch, as León brings a talented and experienced roster to the match. In addition to Donovan, Leon features Mexican-American goalkeeper William Yarbrough and Jamaican forward Giles Barnes. Pachuca, meanwhile, boasts a star-studded roster of its own, with USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez and Mexican National Team standouts Erick Gutierrez and Raúl López.
For complete match details and to purchase tickets for the Leon-Pachuca game at 7:30 p.m. on July 11, visit Brewers.com/soccer.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.