NBC Sports -- As soccer players battle in the heat of
However, millions of these fans are not cheering on the red, white and blue shirts of Team USA, but the green of Mexico — which confronts World Cup host Brazil on Tuesday (3 p.m. Eastern time).
The most popular game was Mexico-Ecuador, in which more than 80,000, overwhelmingly in dark green shirts, took to the AT&T Stadium in
“We can fill out stadiums all over the
In Mexico-US games with open tickets, support for
Much of this disparity can be explained by the long-running challenge of making US sports fans take soccer more seriously.
Bumper crowds of course watch the big three sports of American football, basketball and baseball, where the nation’s best athletes play.
While soccer mania engulfs Latin America and Europe during the World Cup, some in the
However, the support for the Tri also speaks to the
High school student Mellany Quiroz, who watched
“My dad was always saying, ‘Go
“At the games, there is a lot of atmosphere and fans singing,” she says, reciting the Tri anthem, “Cielito Lindo,” a Mexican folk song that’s also a mariachi favorite.
Andrea Garcia, an immigration lawyer who watched
“It is one of the main ways that people feel comfortable expressing their Mexican-ness,” says Garcia, who is originally from
Divided team devotion has provoked discussion over the nature of multicultural societies in some countries. In Britain, conservative politician Norman Tebbit once called for immigrants to take the “Cricket Test” — in which the team they support shows where their loyalties lie.
However, Tristan, who served in the
“We are a society with a mixed heritage and that is a good thing. Many don’t know that the
Tristan also complains that the US men’s team has failed to capitalize on the Latino support or its talent. There are only three Latinos in the 23-man
“The team doesn’t represent me. The influential people in
When Tristan was younger, he says, a
Support for the
John Powell is among fans traveling to
“I came to
Powell believes the love for the Mexican team is a positive thing that could encourage more Americans to follow soccer.
“You have a game in
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