(West Sacramento, CA)-Miller Lite and Raley Field hosted an exhibition soccer match featuring retired Mexican all-stars on Sunday evening, November 18, 2012.


In front of a modest crowd the superstars from Mexico’ soccer past gathered to give the fans a scoring frenzy. After hosting an international soccer match back in September, Raley Field is quickly being recognized as a prime location for soccer enthusiasts.
On one side you have Club America from Mexico City. On the other you have C.D Chivas from Guadalajara, Mexico. It did not matter that both squads where made up of ex-professional players. All that needs to be known is that the eternal rivalry still looms even after all the years.
In order to feel the depths of the Chivas-America rivalry we have to understand the teams and the history they share with Mexico and Latin American countries.
Club America is owned by the Mexican television network Televisa. The Azul Cremas, as they are affectionately known are categorized by their eclectic roster. With players from Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, along with many other Latin American regions, they embody the diversity of the Mexican league. Something similar to the Lakers or Yankees whose rosters are carefully constructed with the aid of a huge bankroll.
On the other side you have Chivas de Guadalajara, owned and operated by the flamboyant entrepreneur Jorge Vergara. Fixed on tradition, Chivas specifically contracts and develops Mexican born players. Their roster is stacked with Mexican talent and only in certain cases do they sign non-Mexico born players. This self imposed policy dates back to the early 1900 when the team was founded.
Both are adored by fans, as they are the two most cherished teams in all of Mexico; respectively.
Just like their fan base, their stadiums are monumental. Built in the 1960’s, America’ Estadio Azteca is the largest stadium in the country. It holds one hundred thousand plus. Guadalajara’ new Omnilife Stadium seats close to fifty thousand spectators, luxury suites and all. Combined both squads hold 21 national tournament championships; with Guadalajara owning 11 of  those trophies.
Needless to say all of the players that took part in Sundays event are no strangers to large venues. Players like America goalkeeper Adrian Chavez have seen it all.
“At the end of the day its important to stay humble,” Chavez declared in Spanish.
“It’s easy to forget where you come from but at this point I would play against Chivas on the pavement if I had to. That’s what these games mean to us and our fans.”
Ovations, championships, fame; it’s all relevant. At the end of their careers, long after the multitudes of fans, and long after the glory has faded, the ex-pros returned back to rehash old rivalries that cut across international borders.
Such was the case on Sunday evening. These legendary veterans did what they do best. They entertained a group of ageless fans. People from both sides rejoiced after seeing their legends in action; regardless of their age and speed of play.
Much like they do in Guadalajara and in Mexico City, the crowd roared their squads on. In unison they vocalized their chants, and at times gave the game a flare that all players feed off of during competition.
Fittingly the game ended in a 4-4 draw, but the score did not matter. The fans got what they wanted to see; their legends perform in their own back yard.
Chavez said it best when asked about the atmosphere at Raley Field, “For 90 minutes the stadium felt just like home.”

Submitted by Contributing Writer, Marco A. Lopez


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