​LAFC gifts Mexican community with El Super Clasico

In an effort to give back to the Mexican community, LAFC announced this week that they will be hosting the biggest soccer rivalry in North America. Club Deportivo Guadalajara and Club America will face off in an international friendly to be played at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The match is set to be played on Sunday, September 9th with kick-off scheduled at 4:30 p.m.Although LAFC plays their home games at Banc of California Stadium, it was determined that the match be played at the neighboring venue due holding a higher capacity. Banc of California Stadium has 22,000 seats allocated in their buildingand the L.A. Coliseum has just about 80,000 seats in theirs. This will allow more fans the opportunity to witness the Super Clasico.

LAFC has fans from all different backgrounds and nationalities, but there is one that dominates over all the others. Of the 4 million people that reside in the city of Los Angeles, half of them are from Mexican descent. There is something about the Mexican fan that gives the game a different feel to it. The passion, the energy and the chants have all been implemented smoothly into LAFC’s 3252 as part of the soccer experience in Los Angeles. This match will be played in the United States, but it comes at a time of patriotic celebration for our neighbors: Mexican Independence Day.

Mexican Independence Day is officially on September 16th, but due to MLS scheduling, El Super Clasico will be played one week before. However, LAFC will host a home match at Banc of California Stadium on September 15th versus New England Revolution in a game that will surely be a soccer fiesta.

Guadalajara and America are the two biggest clubs in Mexico with each having won 12 Liga MX titles. They also both attract the most fans in the country with over 60 million combined. Chivas (Guadalajara), current CONCACAF Champions League winners, are known for only playing with Mexican-born players while America is the club that signs the big-name international stars to achieve success. Both approaches have worked one way or another for each club. However, there is a certain player on LAFC’s roster that has ties with one of these clubs, a player that Mexican fans idolize here in Los Angeles and rest their hopes for an MLS Cup.

LAFC forward and Mexican international Carlos Vela has been a huge part of LAFC’s early success in Major League Soccer. From becoming the club’s first designated player to being named the captain of the 2018 MLS All-Star team, Vela has always been a fan favorite. When Vela was 13 years old, he signed with Guadalajara’s youth system where he played for the next three years. After impressive performances at Guadalajara, he was called up for the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup and came home with the championship trophy along with being named the top goal scorer of the tournament with 5 goals. Due to his excellent individual efforts, English club Arsenal signed him to a five-year deal from Guadalajara. Although Vela never got the chance to play for the first team, Chivas holds a special place in his heart.

El Super Clasico was last played in Los Angeles in 2005 when America beat Chivas 2-1 in front of 88,000 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Thirteen years later, only one player remains from that game, Carlos Salcido. The 38-year old veteran is playing his last season as a professional and it will be the last time Chivas fans in L.A. will be able to see him play. Salcido has had an illustrious career that includes league titles in Holland with PSV, league titles in Mexico with Chivas and a gold medal with Mexico in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Another memory of that event in 2005 was that it was actually a double header. The first game was a regular season MLS match between Chivas USA and the Los Angeles Galaxy, in which the latter won 1-0.

LAFC is giving back to the Mexican community an experience like no other. Millennials make up a majority of LAFC’s fan base as they persuade their parents to follow and support the Black and Gold. The parents are the ones that do not really follow MLS soccer but focus their attention on Liga MX, primarily Chivas or America. This match will serve as a great opportunity for families to come together and bond over the beautiful game. Most families are not able to afford making a trip to Estadio Azteca (America’s home stadium) in Mexico Cityor Estadio Akron (Chivas home stadium) in Guadalajara to watch El Super Clasico but LAFC is making this possible for their fans in Los Angeles as they bring it to their own city. Whether you support Chivas or America, this match will be one not to be missed.

-Benjamin Virgen

August 5, 2018

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