Mexico games that take place in Los Angeles typically bring in large crowds. As city that inhabits a large population of Mexicans or Mexican-Americans, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been deemed “El Azteca Del Notre.”
And with good reason too.
The first leg of the Liga MX final and the team’s late arrival to Los Angeles minimized the excitement of this match on Friday despite being so close to game day but once Saturday arrived, green jerseys slowly began to emerge. As early as noon, all along the streets of Figueroa and even around the Staples Center, Mexico fans were gearing up and heading towards the stadium. To support. To celebrate. To welcome the team to their second home.
It is the Angeleno fans that make the team excited to play in pristine 70-degree weather.
“Mexico fans in the United States are great. They’re of Mexican descent or Hispanic and they of course don’t forget their roots,” Jared Borgetti told FutMexNation.
When fans began to arrive to the stadium and kickoff soon approached, they were surprised with a beautiful Mariachi rendition of the US National Anthem. In the most appropriate epitome of intersectionality, those fans that reside in Los Angeles received a gift. The gift of hearing a song that some might legally identify with or have assimilated enough to know and have it played in a melody that sings so sweetly and familiar in their ears.
“I remember when we used to come play in the United States, we would get so excited because the fans treated us with such administration,” former goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez shared with FutMexNation. “Sometimes more than the fans did back at home [in Mexico].”
The game ended in an unexpected 2-1 loss but came with Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez scoring his 47th goal for the national team, allowing him to overtake Jared Borgetti’s previous record of 46 goals, and naming him the new all-time leading scorer for El Tri.
He scored the goal and the crowd screamed. They were celebrating with him and supporting him. It did not matter if it was a friendly only used for financial gain. The team was back in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – “El Azteca Del Norte” – and fans were here to celebrate with them on a momentum occasion in their second home.