“A day at the field with La Liga de Washington.”
Sure it was Super Bowl Sunday, but I spent this morning watching something I should have a long time ago – futbol de mi raza.
My friend Raul Sandoval is a hard-working guy, and besides being a father, radio show host, TV show host and nightclub emcee, he also runs La Liga de Washington, a roughly 95-percent Latino soccer league in the greater Seattle area with two divisions, Super Premier and Premier.
Sandoval’s winter/spring season opened today with three games at Robinswood Park in Bellevue. It was San Juan (wearing Chelsea replica jerseys) against Mexico United (in Sounders FC rave greens) in one match, while on the adjacent field were two other teams, one wearing England national team replicas and the other in FC Barcelona dark pink.
Watching Mexico United would have made the Sounders FC organization proud. Here was a team of mainly high-schoolers from the Eastside, all in Sounders jerseys and clearly taking pride in the local pro side, the very fan base the club should be further cultivating. But that’s just my two cents.
La Liga is almost entirely but not limited to Latinos. The soccer is very competitive and the tackling is hard. These guys take this game seriously and they spend a lot of money for registration, field use fees, top-notch uniforms and quality equipment.
The champion of the Premier Division moves into Super Premier the next season. This is the seventh year of the league, and La Liga is one of three major Latino adult leagues in the Puget Sound area.
Teams are either named for business sponsors, like Casa Bonita and Casa Poblana, or a particular region of Mexico or Central America where players on the team come from (Lindo Nayarit, Cieneguitas, Compostela) or favorite Mexican pro clubs (Aguilas, La Quemada Cruz Azul). Below are some photos of the Quemada v. Casa Poblana match.
Celebrating a goal for Quemada, in their Cruz Azul kits.
Getting physical (Poblana in black Puebla kits)