SEVILLE, Spain – On Monday, the West Virginia University men’s soccer team toured the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium and continued training in preparation for its final match on Tuesday.
The Mountaineers got an inside look at FC Sevilla’s home stadium, which seats 42,500 fans. Currently, the Red and White are fourth in the La Liga table. West Virginia completed its final training session at Estadio de La Cartuja and plays the Málaga CF Academy team on Tuesday. The squad finished runner-up in the La Liga Youth championship behind Real Madrid. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CEST/noon ET. Coverage will be available on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@WVUMensSoccer).
Rising senior and captain Joey Piatczyc blogs about his experience in Spain so far:
Hello everyone, it’s Joey Piatcyzc right here from Spain. We’ve had a great time in Sevilla. On Sunday, my teammate Albert Andres-Llop
and I met with Dani Senabre, who is a famous Spanish YouTuber. It was a fun time as we walked around the city center of Sevilla. We had a great time and lots of jokes, so be on the lookout for the video soon.
We played Real Betis on Saturday and came away with a good, 2-1 win. We gave up a soft penalty, but we defended well and we scored again in the second half.
Before that, we played FC Sevilla and we lost 1-nil. We gave up a silly foul late in the game and they capitalized on a free kick. We also had a couple of chances as well to put away the game. It’s hard to say we lost 1-nil, but we did.
We have Málaga CF on Tuesday and we’re really excited about that. They are supposedly the best team we are going to play over here in Spain. They are ranked first in La Liga in the youth league, so it should be some really good competition. We’ve been able to train in the Olympic Stadium, which holds 65,000 people, so we’ve really been enjoying that.
The facilities we have been to have been unbelievable. We’ve visited Real Madrid, FC Sevilla, Real Betis and Cádiz CF. We’ve been to some really cool places.
The food has been unbelievable. We are close to the beach, so there are a lot of seafood and fish. Everybody is loving it so far.
This experience has been huge for us. We are experiencing another culture of football. The way the younger guys can move the ball and make us run is what we usually do to teams in America. I think we are picking up on it just in training today. We are moving the ball a lot faster and playing a lot quicker as well. Hopefully, we can bring back this experience to America and use this in the fall season.
I think the biggest thing that we’ve been able to see is the fútbol culture. We went to a La Liga 2 game and the stadium was a fifth full and almost louder than American stadiums that are full capacity. The people are diehard fans. It’s very cool to see another culture.
Until next time, Let’s Go Mountaineers!