The soccer wasn’t great, but the atmosphere at PGE Park was fantastic.
The match was a Clásico de Clásicos de leyendas: Chivas de Guadalajara vs Club América (leyenda translates as “legend” or, arguably in this case: “geriatric”).
Chivas won 2-0. The first goal was a pinball header after a long free kick. The second was a beautiful bending corner. América had chances, but must have taken inspiration from the Timbers Thursday night.
As we sipped Tecate and gorged on Casa Colima tacos de cabeza (delicious with red salsa, cilantro, and onions) we sat high in the North End in section 208. Families in matching red and white stripes and yellow with blue trim surrounded us. 14,761 brought PGE Park the closest to capacity I’ve witnessed first hand since the 2003 Womens World Cup matches.
As a long time member of the Timbers Army, I was humbled. If that annoying “greek chant” goes on for 10 minutes at a Timbers game the capos congratulate themselves, but at this match the noise, flag waving, and flare lighting (yes, flares – you should have seen all those sprinting blue shirted security guys!) never let up. There weren’t a whole lot of organized chants outside of the “chi-vas, chi-vas, chi-vas!” variety, but everyone in the stadium participated. I have now added “attend a soccer match in Mexico” to my list of thing to do before I die.