3a Mundialito de Futbol: Let the butt-kicking begin

Jun 17, 2008

Our good friend Robert, the owner of Coffee Cafe, got this great idea a few weeks ago to sponsor the US team in the upcoming Mini World Cup that is being put on by Quinta Magazine and Mamitas Beach. The thing is, none of the Americans on the team actually know how to play soccer, but that's just a small detail.

Somehow Hans got roped in to play. He's been practicing running on the beach and kicking a ball (since the games will be played on the beach) and the last two days the "team" has gotten together in the AM to practice. We're all pretty sure they're gonna lose, the question is just HOW bad they're gonna lose.

This is the third annual Mini World Cup and last year there wasn't even an American team. Argentina walked away with the cup last year, but not before they came to blows with the Italians. Latin Americans take soccer seriously, so the US is just in it for the fun of it (and because Robert got this great idea...)

Each team has to play three 30-minute games against another team. Whoever wins two of the three advances in the tournament. We aren't expecting to last the day, but we couldn't help thinking that if we could just get paired against Canada, or even (gulp) England, we might have a chance.

Last night we went to Coffee Cafe to see all the jerseys (copies of the real jerseys worn in the World Cup by each country) and to learn who would be paired against who. They had divided the 16 teams into four groups lead by Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Italy. They then proceeded to pull the rest of the countries out of a hat and place them in groups. Each group would have A. B, C, and D teams.

As they started pulling, and we started praying, they pulled all the B teams (and since A plays B and C plays D- per group) we did a collective sigh of relief since we weren't A or B. We wouldn't play our first game against Mexico, Argentina, Spain or Italy. There might be hope for us still, although they had already picked England (and they'd be playing Argentina- wha ha ha ha ha- but I digress).

Time to pick the C teams. The US got picked to play in Grupo B, with Argentina and England. Now we just have to wait and see who we'll be playing against. Then Canada got picked to play under some other group, so we knew we were in for it.

Israel. They US team will be playing against Israel. Have you seen the kinds of Israelis we get here in Playa del Carmen? Try young, just out of the Army, in awesome shape, tall, muscular... you get the idea. Here's their team captain if you need some help imagining:

Anyway- the game play starts this Saturday, June 21 at 9am on the beach at Mamitas. Please come out and show your support for our fledgling American team! (Don't worry, we only need 4 out of the 8 team members to be Americans and we have one German and three Mexicans, so maybe we do have a chance)! I'll be there documenting the whole thing.

Oh- and as a plus, because my little camera died, I got a press package thanks to the fact that I was toting Hans' fancy semi-pro Canon SLR. Gotta love that- at least they didn't think I was a tourist!