(LA Times) — It was imperfectly odd. It was strangely unsettling. It was uniquely American.
On a balmy early Saturday summer evening, the U.S soccer team played for a prestigious championship in a U.S. stadium . . . and was smothered in boos.
Its fans were vastly outnumbered. Its goalkeeper was bathed in a chanted obscenity. Even its national anthem was filled with the blowing of air horns and bouncing of beach balls.
Most of these hostile visitors didn’t live in another country. Most, in fact, were not visitors at all, many of them being U.S. residents whose lives are here but whose sporting souls remain elsewhere.
Welcome to another unveiling of that social portrait known as a U.S.-Mexico soccer match, streaked as always in deep colors of red, white, blue, green . . . and gray.
“I love this country, it has given me everything that I have, and I’m proud to be part of it,” said Victor Sanchez, a 37-year-old Monrovia resident wearing a Mexico jersey. “But yet, I didn’t have a choice to come here, I was born in Mexico, and that is where my heart will always be.”
On a street outside the Rose Bowl before the Gold Cup final, Sanchez was hanging out near a motor home that was hosting 17 folks — 15 of whom were Mexico fans. Inside, that ratio held, there seemingly being about 80,000 Mexico fans among the announced crowd of 93,420.
To add insult to injury:
(ESPN) — Goalkeeper Tim Howard was still upset after the U.S. lost the Gold Cup final, but his strongest reaction had nothing to do with the four goals Mexico slotted in his net.
After El Tri’s 4-2 victory at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Howard blasted CONCACAF officials for conducting the title ceremony in Spanish.
“CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves,” Howard said. “I think it was a [expletive] disgrace that the entire postmatch ceremony was in Spanish. You can bet your ass that if we were in Mexico City, it wouldn’t be all in English.