Fewer than 10,000 tickets had been sold as of Monday for Tuesday night’s friendly between the national teams of the United States and Honduras at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton.
U.S. officials are hoping for hefty walkup sales, as the game features a dozen players from the World Cup team, including Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Clint Dempsey, and South Floridians Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Bedoya.
Bedoya and Altidore have done their part for ticket sales. Bedoya has 60 friends and relatives attending, and Altidore has 70.
“Obviously, playing on the national team is always a dream, but to be able to represent my country in front of my family and friends is something I never thought would happen,” said Bedoya, who grew up in Weston and won a state title with St. Thomas Aquinas High. “I trained [Sunday] at Lockhart, where I won a state title in high school, brings back so many memories. It’s awesome. Between me and Jozy we could fill a whole section.”
Bedoya joked that his entire bonus for this game will be spent on tickets. He and Altidore are rooming together on this trip and are both nostalgic being back home.
“I remember scoring in that final in Lockhart, coming to Miami Fusion games,” he said. “I was giving Nick Rimando [former Fusion goalie on U.S. team] some stuff about his age because I used to be a little kid going to those games asking for autographs.”
Altidore grew up a few miles away in Boca Raton, and has memories from the FAU campus.
“Driving into FAU, those first soccer fields you see are the ones I used to play on,” he said. “We used to have tournaments there. A lot of memories come back to where it all started, but also remind me about where I want to go.”
Altidore is frustrated at Sunderland, in the English Premier League, where he has scored just one goal in 34 matches. And his World Cup was cut tragically short when he injured his hamstring in the opening game.
“It’s very difficult and we talk about that,” U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann said. “Our most important expectation is that he gets playing time, that they put him on the field and he has the possibility to score goals. If he’s not on the field, we suffer with him. We watch the games week in, week out. When he comes in — no matter how many minutes he gets — that he gets a chance. We keep our fingers crossed that he has a chance to score.”
Altidore tries to remain confident.
“When these times come, you are tested,” he said. “You have to be patient and wait for your chance, but also stay true to what you’re all about. If not, well, we’ll look for solutions.”
The U.S. team practiced at FAU Stadium late Monday afternoon. There was some bad news out of U.S. camp. Joe Gyau, a Borussia Dortmund midfielder who played in last week’s exhibition against Ecuador, will require surgery on a torn knee ligament and will be out until January, Klinsmann said.
Kickoff for the game is 8p.m. Tickets are available through TicketMaster and at the stadium box office.