In my last post confirming an upcoming friendly against Paraguay in Kansas City for El Tri, I also hinted at the Mexican Football Federation discussing negotiations for a match against either Costa Rica or Ecuador.
Well, today the Mexican Football Federation revealed via their official website that the other friendly in March will in fact be against Ecuador on March 28th at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
Not soon after, the LA Memorial Coliseum confirmed the news with a post on Twitter:
@lacoliseum @ColiseumJack PRESALE VIP PACKAGES AVAILABLE CODE: CARLOSVELA15 http://t.co/XzLrAeUjVE pic.twitter.com/tasC2RcDw3— Jill Coliseum (@ColiseumJill) January 22, 2015
Now, I know I promised that most of my posts would be informative and not completely personal opinions but this one I simply can’t contain because this is seriously such a perfect time for Mexico to come back to California, particularly, Los Angeles.
A digressive tangent with a point
My very last Mexico game was in 2010 when Mexico faced New Zealand at the Rose Bowl.
I remember feeling so happy about the fact that there were so many other fans wearing their jerseys with pride and that there was this aura of this love for soccer that I had not been able to feel before.
Of course, back then I did not know or follow the Mexican National Team as much as I do now.
Before it was simply a hobby that I love. Now it is something that I love that I want to turn into a career.
Not many of you know this but I go the University of Southern California, which is obviously, at the heart of Los Angeles and literally right next door to the Coliseum.
I’m currently a senior at USC and for the past three and half years, I have spent most of my studies (I’m studying Broadcast & Digital Journalism with a Sports Media Studies Minor) trying to enlighten those around me about the beauty that is soccer. Going into the university, especially one that is—without a doubt—very American-football oriented, I realized that trying to like anything that was pushing against the current was hard the first couple of months I was there.
No one knew any players other than Ronaldo or Messi. Whenever I asked someone who they went for when I talked about the Premiere League, they did not “have a favorite team; they were all good.” And when the 2014 World Cup happened last year, there was barely any mention of it in my classes during the spring or fall semester. Whenever some mentioned it in my classes later that fall, only three or so people who raise their hands to talk about them even actually watching a game.
There was the hipster soccer fan in me that didn’t want to have these “new fans” who only knew about Donovan or Messi or Neymar to start loving the sport but then there was that other part of me urging to pay attention. This sport matters. It’s “The World’s Game!”
Conclusion: It Matters Here In Los Angeles Too
I commute to USC and whenever I drive to school, I’m constantly passing by soccer fields. Go own Vernon Ave, and you’ll catch 40-year-old men playing with all their hearts. Go down Figueroa, you’ll catch a few fields too. Even behind the Coliseum, while football season is high and in motion, go down Vermont Ave and you’ll see soccer fields behind the stadium where different girls and boys’ soccer teams are playing on the grass provided right there.
Soccer is an integral part of the Los Angeles community and to all the Hispanic people that inhabit the city from all parts.
Which is why I’m so excited for the game on March 28th. It means that little soccer shop on Figueroa and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd will have more fans coming out to try to buy the latest jersey.
Pre-gaming will mean carts full of bacon-wrapped hotdogs waiting to be purchased, ESPN Deportes and all our favorite Spanish radio networks having tents, giving out prizes, and playing cumbias. Speaking Spanish will be a norm and knowing about Miguel Herrera’s legacy before the World Cup dramatics that we all loved will be an easy conversation piece. It will mean that having a soccer ball and juggling on the sidewalk next to Jill and Jack will be okay.
Soccer is coming back to Los Angeles and with Mexico playing at the Coliseum, it’s coming back in a beautiful way.
I’m so excited to share this with all the non-fans and hopefully convert them and make them understand why this sport matters.