el tri: america’s team

mexico won another gold cup with a 1-0 victory over the united states last night, but even if they had lost, they still would have won

fun elt practicerichyrocks english on youtube

this article by stefano fusaro on espn.com reports on the economic (and political) power that the mexican national football team represents in the u.s.

mexico celebrating their gold cup victory (usa today sports / reuters)

it’s been a good year for el tri in the u.s., but the success is part of a long-term trend that started several decades ago

hefty attendance and ratings in friendlies this year spanning from california to georgia are just the latest in a line of decades-old examples showing that el tri long ago secured not only a major market of soccer hearts and minds in the home of its concacaf rival but with it, a sense of de facto american citizenship.

hefty means big. in football, a friendly is an exhibition match that is not part of an official tournament. span means extend. decades-old means this type of attendance has been happening for several decades. el tri is a nickname for mexico’s national football team. tri is an abbreviation for tri-color, in other words, the red white and green of mexico. hearts and minds is used to talk about support. de facto means actual, not officially but in practice.

mexico starting lineup against south korea in 1998 world cup

el tri has been creating household names in mexico for decades (stu forster/getty images)

though mexico’s friendlies this year have spanned from california to georgia (basically the whole country), the majority of those matches were in california and texas, the most mexican u.s. states.

four of mexico’s six friendlies on u.s. soil since russia 2018 took place in those two states.

soil is land, earth or an agricultural substance; but in this usage it means territory. take place means happen, occur. took is the irregular past tense of take.

soil (tchol.org)

but to reiterate, the popularity of the mexican football brand extends across the u.s.

despite the concentration in the southwest region, mexico hasn’t shied away from staging friendlies in places such as charlotte, north carolina; seattle; denver; and nashville, tennessee, in recent years. in the salt lake city suburb of sandy, utah, 20,213 turned out for Mexico’s 3-3 tie with trinidad and tobago in 2015.

despite means regardless of. the southwest has always been the most mexican region of the u.s.– it actually belonged to mexico until the mid 1800s. shy away from means avoid. stage means organize, hold. such as is used to present examples. turn out, a phrasal verb, means attend. turnout (not used here)  is the eqivalent noun. it’s a synonym for attendance.

the southwest of the united states includes texas and california and used to be part of mexico (giggette/wikimedia commons)

at one of the friendlies in california in march of this year…

gerardo “tata” martino earned his first win with mexico. a roster of stars valued at more than $155 million led by hirving “chucky” lozano and javier “chicharito” hernandez, household names to many u.s. hispanic fans, helped carry the day. surrounding them was a scene that has become commonplace at u.s. stadiums: thousands of young, american-born and bicultural fans speaking english, decked out in mexico’s red, white and green gear, chanting songs and accompanied by spanish-speaking relatives from home.

earn means obtain from working. roster is the list of players. household names are people everybody recognizes. carry the day means win. commonplace means ordinary. decked out means they were wearing a lot of gear (clothes and merchandise supporting mexico). chants are rhythmic repetitions, cheers. relatives are family members, people u are related to. parents in english is NOT the same as parientes in spanish. parents are mom and dad. parientes are relatives

mexican fans decked out in red, white & green gear (getty)

jorge torres, a mexico fan, was at the stadium for tata martino’s first win. he explains

growing up in a mexican household, u inherit a lot of your family’s passions and become so involved with that culture that it becomes part of who u are as a person. a big part of that is following and supporting the mexican national team.

grow up means go from a child to an adult. household is used as a statistical unit to refer to a house and the people in it. inherit means receive from previous generations.

grow up can also mean ‘mature’

fusaro says the passion fans have for mexico’s football team is…

forged in mexican heritage and american fandom, [and] fueled through a meticulous marketing strategy….el tri has a website dedicated to fans who prefer english, and an english-language twitter account, launched last year, boasting more than 49,000 followers and counting.

forged means created. heritage is an equivalent noun for the verb inherit. it’s frequently used to talk about traditions and culture. inheritance is another (not used here) that is usually related to money or property. fandom refers to all of the fans. american means inside the united states. fuel means power. meticulous means very detailed. boast means proudly possess. and counting means the number of twitter followers in english continues to grow (NOT grow up).

members of the harry potter fandom (valerie macon/afp/getty images)

and the meticulous marketing strategy makes money!

the mexican federation, with corporate sponsors that include adidas, coca-cola, the home depot, at&t, wells fargo and allstate, leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to capitalize on opportunities in the u.s.

depot is pronounced differently in the u.s. and mexico. in mexico, the t is pronounced, in the u.s. it’s silent. leave no stone unturned means the mexican federation explores every option exhaustively, they look under every rock (figuratively) for money making opportunities. capitalize on means take advantage of.

guy on a beach with a lot of stones

leaving no stone unturned takes a lot of time (emmett duffy, smithsonian institution)

what do u think of el tri’s unique relationship with the u.s. public? how does it contrast with the trump administration’s attitude towards mexico? share your feelings under leave a reply




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