If the Chattanooga Football Club keeps beating its guests from Mexico, they might not come back.
Monday night at Finley Stadium, Chattanooga FC scored twice in the final 24 minutes to win 3-2 in a friendly against the under-20 squad from Club de Futbol Monterrey, one of the elite clubs in the Mexican Premier division.
Chattanooga FC coach Brian Crossman had to play without a couple of starters who were out of town for the holiday weekend. He also gave his reserves a lot of playing time before Saturday’s game against the Georgia Revolution. CFC can clinch the National Premier Soccer League Southeast Conference title with a win.
Backup goalkeeper Ryan Peck, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s director of marketing, started in goal in place of Thomas Hunter. In his first significant playing time since the 2009 season, Peck got to see up close some of the future stars for Monterrey’s pro team, which won the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League.
“For me, this is all icing on the cake, other than my job at UTC,” Peck said.
Forward Robbie Hill, another backup getting a chance to start, provided some early fireworks. One minute in, he delivered a perfect inside-out, right-footed strike from the right wing that sailed into the top left corner of the goal.
Two of Monterrey’s starting forwards, the team’s u-20 director Nicolas Martellotto said, will soon be joining the pro squad. One of the two, Luis Gutierrez, tied the game in the 34th minute. Peck made a diving save on a shot from the right side, deflecting the ball away, but it went right to Gutierrez.
“He was in the right spot — not much you can do about it,” Peck said.
Monterrey’s other pro-bound forward, Roger Cornelio, gave his team a 2-1 lead in the 60th minute on a penalty kick.
“To know I’m playing against some guys that are going to be on the first team, and potentially Mexico’s national team, that’s something special I can add onto my career,” Peck said.
Phil Beene tied the game in the 76th minute following a deflected pass, and Tom Webster scored the game-winner in the 85th minute after intercepting an errant pass in front of the Monterrey goal.
Monday’s game was CFC’s second in as many years against a development squad of a Mexican Premier team. In its 2010 season opener, CFC defeated the u-23 team from F.C. Atlas of Guadalajara in front a crowd of 6,317 at Finley.
The announced crowd Monday was 1,630, though that number appeared to be at least 400 short of the actual attendance.
Event promoter Scott Spencer has Monterrey on a quick tour through the United States, playing six matches in 10 days. Martellotto said the tour, which is part of the club’s preseason practice, is a good cultural experience and allows the players to compete against different styles of play.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...