* Separated by just two points in the Liga MX table, both Club Tijuana and Chivas Guadalajara entered the match on Friday looking for a favorable result. Our good friend Kim Tate shot down to Mexico to check out the match. Its a good read and she took some great pictures and shared them with us; we wanted to share them with you.
Words and images of @KimTateSports:
When Club Tijuana became a first division club via promotion in 2009, American soccer fans had little to no idea what was developing right before their eyes just south of the border.
Mexico’s first division, known today as Liga MX, has been around since the early 1940′s. It’s longevity alone provides a rich history within our continent, adding to the credibility for the sport in North America.
We’ve seen massive growth of the game in the United States over a considerably short time-frame through Major League Soccer. We’re almost 20 teams deep – giving us two more clubs than Liga MX by next year, with plans to expand further, and increase an already growing fan base exponentially by the end of this decade. American soccer fans are truly in a fantastic situation right now, and there’s more in store for us.
While we have plans of club expansion, top level Designated Players, a European and MLS icon’s backing and ownership of yet another franchise, it really does get better.
Club Tijuana is pleasantly accessible for the American fan and journalist. Ease of access to information, photos, game updates, and fan interaction is available across several platforms, including the only English-language website and social media accounts in the entire Mexican league.
Aside from signing Americans to Xolos’ First and Under-20′s teams, the Xolos have become a gateway for fans in the United States to get a very real taste of another country’s league and culture right in our back yard.
I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Tijuana from LA every other week to watch these games and interact with the fans who share the same passion for the game as Americans. The people in Mexico have welcomed me and any friends or colleagues from America wholeheartedly into their culture thanks to our favorite sport.
Many current Xolos fans, I’m told in the parking lot of Estadio Caliente, were Chivas fans before the city gave them a first division club to identify with. Chivas is one of the most storied and successful clubs in Liga MX, now tied with Club America at 11 titles. It’s also the only club within the league fielding all Mexican players, and that’s something in which many fans take an extreme amount of pride.
With this in mind, the trip to Tijuana for Xolos vs. Chivas was a perfect opportunity to capture some candid moments with the fans at a sold out stadium of 24,000+ fans.