USA VS Mexico On and Off the Field

A single day of watching Spanish television channels showed the ever evolving, and even competing, relationship between Mexico and the US through the lens of sports and politics.

     I witnessed history being televised on two different Spanish TV Networks. One channel showed México playing against the United States in soccer, and on the other channel the news report televised the first day of the Deferred Action Policy. Watching it all happen on television, I started to draw connections between the two events.  Historically they will mark an important day for USA and México relations, and we will see the rippling effects both on and off the soccer field.

     The soccer game was not as exciting as I had hoped, so I surfed back and forth to the news. On one channel I saw shots of people waiting in lines to fill out the application for temporary work permits, and on the other channel I saw close shots on goal. The USA scored a surprising goal with less than four minutes left in the game. The referee added an extra three minutes to the clock for injury time, and as I clicked back and forth from the news to the game I watched interviews with students whose life could change if they qualified for the policy. Everytime I switched back to the game I observed failed offensive attacks by the Mexican forwards to try and tie the match.  The final score read 1-0, the USA walked away with a historical win, and as I switched back to the news I also watched what some consider to be a historical win for the Mexican community.  The impact of these two moments will forever change my community on different levels, not only on the subject of immigration, but also in the soccer community.

     The friendly soccer encounter took place at the historic Estadio Azteca in México City. It was their sixty first match, and for the first time in history the USA finally won on Mexico's home turf. The winning goal happened to be scored by a Mexican American soccer player named Michael Orozco who actually plays for San Luis, a professional soccer team in the Mexican League.  As he celebrated with his team mates, images of the deferred action news kept flashing in my mind.  Orozco's goal not only made history and won the match for the USA, but also symbolically showed America a different side to the immigration debate. 

     Even though the deferred action policy is not a pathway to citizenship, it will hopefully open the door for many people to advance in their careers and start playing in the professional world. This day will be remembered in the history books not only for the American victory on Mexican soil, but for the Mexican victory on American soil. Time will show who will capitalize greater from these two wins. The soccer match and the deferred action policy will bond the populations of these two countries together stronger, and possibly even change the future of soccer on this continent as well. It was a great news day for Mexican Americans on and off the field.

About Fernando Perez

Fernando J. Perez is a video journalist and a digital media instructor at Silicon Valley De-Bug.  

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