50 Years of Coras USA

My latest article for KCET is available to read and enjoy. It’s a deep dive into Coras USA, aka Coras de Los Angeles, a local soccer team that existed for 50 years in southern California. The team was a cultural umbilical cord for Mexicans in Mexico and the US and later became a gateway for young players hoping to become professionals.

What began as a fun ritual for the weekend grew into a family legacy of community-building that lasted half a century. During its existence, Coras USA united working-class, immigrant families from Nayarit and other regions of Mexico in Los Angeles and provided youth players a pathway towards a professional career during its final years in the city of Riverside.

“Its original name is Deportivo Coras USA,” explained Lopez of the team founded by his father and uncles. “The first name that it had was Coras de Los Angeles. Along the years, it had a couple of name changes like Deportivo Nayarit [and] Deportivo Coras Nayarit. It’s always been Coras but it’s been known for Coras de Los Angeles because it branched out of Coras de Tepic.”

Read the story in full here: https://www.kcet.org/arts-culture/50-years-of-coras-usa-how-two-generations-built-community-with-soccer

Howler Magazine Returned in Time to Welcome Gareth Bale to Los Angeles

And that’s thanks to your truly! Yes, Howler has returned from the ashes in a web-only format for the time being and I was invited to write up a fun story about the most famous Welshman’s arrival to California.

For example:

[Imagine] Bale behind the steering wheel, his family in tow, checking his options on Google Maps as to whether he should take the 405 south to the 10 to the 5 or head further south on the 405 to the 91 to the 5.

Read the rest here: https://www.whatahowler.com/gareth-bale-in-los-angeles/

Why Did Soccer Fail In The U.S. When Other Sports Thrived?

Below is a link to a research paper I wrote last year that I’ve uploaded to my Academia page. It concerns research into the growth of gridiron football (NFL-style), baseball, and basketball in the US and why association football (a.k.a. soccer) failed to grasp the country’s imagination as the other three.

https://www.academia.edu/40016593/Why_Did_Soccer_Fail_In_The_U.S._When_Other_Sports_Thrived

An excerpt:

Most importantly, “the game in America badly lacked willful leadership…Plenty of athletic departments and administrators may have thought soccer was vaguely a good thing, yet none seemed to possess the eagerness and ambition to lift it to greater prominence” (Wangerin “Distant” 32).

The main issue facing the leagues across the nation was the lack of a governmental body to enforce a set of rules agreed upon by all. Leagues played according to their own sets of rules, which put them at odds with each other and the fanbases they catered to. A league in St. Louis, for example, “played halves of 30 minutes instead of 45” (Wangerin, “Soccer” 29).

The AFA, founded, ironically enough, by a group of British expatriates made the first to attempt to unify the country’s leagues in the late 19th century. Unfortunately, any and all attempts at unification became power struggles between British and American leaders of the sport who “engaged in petty rivalries and internecine organizational struggles that only helped to preserve their narrow fiefdoms and the status quo at the expense of creating an institutional structure that might have been able to disseminate the sport to the vast majority of the American public” (Markovits “Offside” 53).

The Early Stage of a Future Doctoral Thesis

https://www.academia.edu/38306987/A_Meditation_On_Association_Football_As_Global_Aesthetic

The link above leads to a paper I wrote (and rewrote) last year. It touches on the possibility of association football as a global aesthetic based on the ideas of Chinese philosopher Li Zehou, specifically within his work found in Four Essays On Aesthetics: Towards A Global View.

Before the L.A. Galaxy, Chivas USA, or LAFC, We Had The Los Angeles Aztecs

I wrote about the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League (1970s) for L.A. Taco:

Aztecs-74-Road-Team-1

Perolli’s crew burned through the opposition, and won the Western Division Trophy. Weeks later, they won the NASL Championship Trophy after they defeated the Miami Toros (unrelated to the former LA/SD team) after penalties. It was the first time a professional soccer final was televised nationally in the United States.

“It was one of the most exciting games of the season,” says Gregory, “because we tied the game in the last minute, three to three.”

That debut season would be the only year that the Aztecs ever won a title. Their sister indoor squad didn’t fare any better as they won a single division championship in their final year, 1981. Gregory sold the team after the first season. He and Perolli accomplished the goals they set for that first year and he wanted to focus on his medical career.

“It grew so fast that it grew right out of my hands,” he remembers. “I was a doctor and I was actively practicing and I could never have handled it after that.”

Read the rest at L.A. Taco!