3er Mundialito Playa del Carmen

Jun 23, 2008

On Saturday the American team showed up at Mamitas Beach ready to kick some serious booty in the Mini World Cup. Though not the general favorite, we thought we might have a chance, having recruited one more Mexican to round out our team.

The day started with a game against Israel. The US team was feeling ready. While most of the teams were made up of a small handful of people from that country and the rest Mexicans, Israel fielded a team of mostly Israelis. For perspective, Canada had only one Canadian on their team.

There were sixteen teams playing: Mexico, Germany, Holland, Uruguay, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Israel, Canada, England, US, France, Chile, Cuba, Brazil and Switzerland.

America held it's own against Israel, which is pretty good considering how bad they beat everyone else they played. About half of our team didn't even know the rules, so we think we had that going for us- maybe they were just so confused by our "technique" that they couldn't score! They did beat us, but only by 3 points.

Next up was Argentina. They won last year, so they were pretty amped, plus there is quite a large Argentine expat community here, so they had lots of fans to cheer them on. Here is a photo of the American cheering section:

Anne (who is Mexican but not afraid to shout "USA!") and yours truly. At one point the announcers even called out "Where are the American cheerleaders?" and I yelled out "Here I am!" Yeah, it was that bad. Anne asked me why there weren't any Americans there to watch the game and I had to tell her what I guess is the truth, Americans don't care about soccer?!?

Anyway, Argentina kicked our butts bad, 6 to 0. They were very rough and had bad attitudes. If the ball hit them in the arm they would fall down like it was the end of the world, hold their arm and roll around in the sand until the referees awarded them a penalty and they got to take a shot at another goal. (I told you I don't know the rules, but that's how it looked like it was working...). At one point they asked our guys to stop hitting them and we responded that we would only hit them as much as they were hitting us. It was a rough game and losing so bad made us feel a little depressed, but we rallied.

Just before breaking for lunch we caught a little Capoiera action on film thanks to the Brazilian team. It was generally agreed upon by all the women present that the Brazilian team should have to play without their jerseys.

The last game of the day was against England. They were another team that had maybe 2 British players. They had spent the morning tying with Argentina and then getting beaten by Israel, so I’m sure that they were looking forward to an easy game.

The guys on the British team were super nice. They came over and introduced themselves and shook hands. We all had a nice laugh over the fact that if they beat us by 7 points Argentina wouldn’t progress to the final (due to the fact that they tied with them in the morning). They beat us 11 to 0 but somehow Argentina progressed and not them.

By the end of the day we had lost a couple players, but we still managed to smile. Mostly, I think the guys were proud that they lasted all day physically! Only the young Mexican guys were accustomed to playing lots of soccer.

Having lost two games, we (thankfully) didn’t have to play on Sunday. Apparently, Argentina lost to Israel and then Israel lost to Italy. I heard that the game between Italy and Israel was excellent, with Italy winning by 1 point.

Congratulations to everyone who played and big ups to Italy for winning the whole thing. This was the 3rd Annual Mundialito, we’re planning on training from now until the next one, viva Estados Unidos!

Anne helped me understand a pun that the announcers made. The referees during the game against Argentina wore black and yellow striped jerseys.

When they came out the announcer said:
“Que bonito son los arbitros! Parecen abejitas. Salieron bien rayados!”

The first part basically means: How pretty the referees look! They look like little bees!

“Salieron bien rayados!” means something like “They came out here really lucky.” Or “They came out here just in the nick of time” but has a double meaning of “They came out really well striped.”

I can’t wait till I don’t have to ask what the pun means!


Fned said...

Wow! That sounded like great fun!!! You're a great sport's reporter btw... I'm glad Italy won... I too would have been pissed if the Argentian's won... they seemed pretty abnoxious... just like the real national team! ;)

P.S. in case you didn't know this, there's a little rivalry thing going on between Mexicans and Argentinians that goes way back... :)

mexpat said...

Fned- yeah, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be! Did that bien rayados thing make sense (since I'm sure you got it without my silly translation)?

Plus, you'll be happy to know that France kicked pretty serious butt, too. They had an ex-pro player on their team and tied with Spain in a really awesome, fast paced game. I didn't catch any of their other games, though.

minshap said...

I really loved this blog entry of yours and I hope you don't mind that I mentioned it and linked it to my blog entry on basketball... what you reported and experienced and photographed was like the epitome of "getting the story"! Congrats! and I'll be looking forward to the next mundialito or whatever other beach sport you guys undertake!