International soccer is returning to Dell Diamond for the second time this year when two of the giants of the Mexican professional league square off on the second Saturday in October.
Liga MX rivals Chivas de Guadalajara and Tigres will hook up in a friendly on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 5 p.m., the American-Statesman learned Friday.
This will be the fifth Liga MX match at the home of the Round Rock Express, but the first time the Triple-A ballpark has held two such events in one year. Tigres beat Pachuca 2-0 July 8 before 7,255 fans.
“Chivas and Tigres are two of the very best clubs in Mexico, and we are excited to welcome them back to Central Texas,” Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment COO J.J. Gottsch said.
Chivas played in the first Liga MX friendly at Dell Diamond in 2015 and drew a crowd of 11,181 for a 1-0 win over Pachuca that is believed to be the second-largest all-time soccer audience in Central Texas.
The popular Guadalajara team carries a league-record 12 championships. In 2017 Chivas became the first team to win the league regular season and the Copa Cup playoffs in the same season since the return of Copa MX in 2012.
Los Rojiblancos may feature standouts like forward Alan Pulido, midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro and goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota.
Tigres UANL, the popular Monterrey-area club, also has a stack of Liga MX titles, six to be exact. Los Auriazules have won Liga MX each of the last two years and reached the final of two international tournaments, Copa Libertadores and CONCACAF Champions League.
“Over the last five seasons, Tigres has been the best team in Mexico,” said promoter Juan Carlos Padilla of SPD Sports. “Chivas is a long-time traditional power.”
Mexico’s reigning champion may feature stars such as forward André-Pierre Gignac, Mexican national midfielder Jürgen Damm and goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán.
Tickets start at $40 and will be on sale beginning next Thursday.
The match comes as the Austin area awaits the arrival of men’s pro soccer in 2019. The Austin Bold FC of the USL are set for launch in March in a new stadium at Circuit of the Americas, and Precourt Sports Ventures is close to bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to town next year.
Currently the area has a Division 2 women’s club, FC Austin Elite, that plays at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex.