In the Box


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Reliant Stadium has been host to the most memorable soccer games in the City of Houston's history.

You can start with the biggest soccer game in Houston and Texas history back on May 8, 2003 when the U.S. and rivals Mexico played in the first ever soccer game at Reliant Stadium in front of 69,582 fans.

Fans up close and personal experienced the rivalry in soccer that is the U.S. and Mexico while seeing stars like Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, and Luis Perez perform.

Lone Star Sports and Entertainment has brought to Houston many significant games since this historic night.

The first ever English Premiership visit came in the form of Everton this past summer when they took on historic Mexican teams Pachuca and Club America in the Copa de Tejas.

In fact, Everton who currently sit in third place in the English Premier League, credit their trip to Houston for helping them to get off to a good start to their season.

Following that Houston was chosen as one of only 10 cities to host the U.S. Women's National team on their "fan celebration" tour.

Recently 20,000 fans had an opportunity to say goodbye to Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Joy Fawcett up close and personal as they easily defeated Ireland.

Striker Abby Wambach lit up the scoring lamp hitting four times and assuring U.S. fans that the future of the women's national team is in good hands.

If you were in attendance at some of these matches you will remember them for a lifetime.

I will never forget the celebratory atmosphere of the U.S. and Mexico match.

It was a night where soccer was priority and we all came to the party to honor the beauty of a sport that touches so many.

I will never forget being reminded while watching the U.S. Women's National Team play Ireland what an incredible impact these women have on young soccer players.

The faces and excitement of the youth players at the stadium that night were priceless.

I would imagine one day as adults they will talk about the time they saw Mia Hamm at Reliant Stadium when they were teenagers.

Reliant Stadium also hosted preliminary rounds of the prestigious Interliga tournament last year on Jan. 9 and 11 which included top Mexican teams like Club America and drew crowds of 22,124 and 31,146.

The Interliga tournament is played to determine which two Mexican clubs will earn a berth to the world reknowed Copa Libertadores to compete against the best teams in South America.

The Copa Libertadores in South America is considered to be the equivalent of the European Champions League.

In essence it is the best of the best that play in the Copa Libertadores.

In five weeks on Wednesday Jan. 12, Reliant Stadium and the City of Houston will once again be hosts to the Interliga but this time will host the two final games which will determine which two teams go on to the Copa Libertadores.

"By hosting the championship games we know that the two winners at Reliant Stadium will be traveling to play in the Copa Libertadores," said Jamey Rootes, President of Lone Star Sports and Entertainment.

"A championship is on the line and these players will be giving everything they have to win these games at Reliant Stadium."

Historic Mexican teams Monterrey, Tigres, Club America, Chivas, Toluca, Atlante, Santos, and Jaguares could be among the final teams in Houston this coming January.

Once again Houston area fans will have the opportunity to be a part of a historic soccer event at Reliant Stadium.

World class teams, world class players, world class facility, and world class fans.

And right in our own backyard!

Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches for the Fox Network as well.  He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" radio show on 90.1KPFT FM Radio every Sunday from 5-6 pm.  Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league all star selection and team captain.

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