Paterson hosts international women's soccer match between Colombia and Guatemala

Lucy Yang Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Paterson hosts historic soccer match between Colombia and Guatemala
Lucy Yang has more on the soccer match at Paterson's Hinchliffe Stadium.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Paterson, New Jersey was kicking with pride Tuesday night as Colombia faced off against Guatemala in a soccer match at an historic stadium.

The two national women's teams are at the top of their game, competing in the Garden State to showcase their talent.

Families came out, fans came out, but most of all, girls came out. The inspiration was not lost on young players.

"They are beautiful women, and they can play football and it's difficult," said 12-year-old Marian Rodriguez.

"It's just really fun. I just like watching the sport because it's my favorite," said 9-year-old Sarah Bustamante.

Even adults were thrilled for this historic women's game. Christina Caamano plays in a rec league and coaches her high school girl's soccer team.

"I'm excited. I watch women's soccer on TV and to see it happen right in my backyard," Caamano said. "I'm from North Jersey originally and the fact that they're here. I'm just in awe seeing these stars."

The historic Hinchliffe Stadium is a former Negro League park. For 26 years, it fell into ruins. But after $100 million in renovations, the city can now boast a brand-new soccer field, football stadium and baseball diamond.

"Now it's a symbol of strength in this city," Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said. "We're making history here at Hinchliffe Stadium. First time we have two international women's teams playing on this field."

"I think the love is real. The traffic, the line," said Paterson Director of Recreation Benjie Wimberly. "This is an unbelievable day for the city of Paterson."

Paterson has a large Colombian population, so the crowd went home happy with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night.

"We're really excited," Bustamante said. "Watching and supporting Colombia women's national team."

There was so much pride on the home field. Perhaps the biggest winner at this game was the city and its residents.


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