St. Paul high school soccer teams face off at Allianz Field for the first time
ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - It’s not unusual to find soccer fans lined up outside Allianz Field, but Friday night's fans were there to see Minnesota United.
"I'm so glad they are opening it up to have more community activity like this," soccer fan Brynn Sais said.
They're in line to watch some high school soccer players in action.
"Super crazy to be able to play here and I'm super happy I got the chance," Humboldt High School soccer player Anja Gundale said. "I'm really grateful."
For the first time ever, a pair of high schools faced off on the pitch at the Major League soccer stadium Friday night.
Players for both the Humboldt Hawks and Como Park Cougars got quite a kick out their rivalry playing out on a larger stage.
"Most of our girls have never seen grass this beautiful. I've never seen grass this beautiful. It's way different," said Gabriela Diaz, head coach of Como Park girls soccer team.
Every year, the boys and girls soccer teams from both schools compete against each other to take home a traveling trophy named the Mayor's Cup.
They were supposed to play for the cup at Allianz Field last year, but their historic visit was postponed because of COVID-19.
"Honestly, I'm just so giddy right now that this actually happened," said Matt Osborne, Humboldt High School athletic director. "It was just a crazy idea. It worked and here we are."
The games are not only a first for the players and coaches, but also for many of their fans who haven't been to the stadium to see a game before. Giving them all an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives is the ultimate goal.
"They'll tell their kids about it. Their grandkids. I am sure they are never going to forget this. This will stay with them forever." Osborne said.
There was a lot of loud excitement in the crowd of more than 2,000 people. The idea is to have other high school soccer teams from St. Paul Public Schools play at Allianz Field in the future.