By: German Sanchez (head coach) and Humberto Cruz
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
German: It’s a great level of competition.
Humberto: What made us interested in participating in the Unity Cup was really to represent our country with pride and once again, take part in a fun and unifying tournament. The tournament brings people of all different nationalities together to show off their skills and see old faces from other teams.
What was your favorite moment from last year’s tournament?
Humberto: I think just overall, seeing everybody enjoy the beautiful game that is soccer! And seeing how well both our team and others play.
How did your team come together?
Humberto: It was all because of the social media account of the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia, who helped put out the message for more players to join the ‘National Team’.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
Humberto: Our team is one of hardworking and dedicated members who all come together despite busy schedules to play the beautiful game. We feel as though this year is our year to win! But at the same time, we look forward to seeing all the other teams within this great tournament and wish them the best of luck.
What does soccer mean to your community?
German: Soccer is one of the best sports, and my community likes it a lot.
Humberto: Soccer plays a big role in Mexico, so its presence in the community here is like a call back home! Soccer in our community means all of us can get together and play. It forms connections and friendships, and it helps strengthen the bond within our members.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
German: It’s a great opportunity to meet people and learn about others’ cultures. It’s also a great way to get involved with the city.
Humberto: Soccer is our team sport; the notion of team is emphasized in that nobody is better than the others in terms of race, color, or orientation. The members of a team are like siblings who all work together to gain a victory– nobody in soccer wins because of one individual, it’s because of the whole team. Furthermore, playing other teams allows for the testing and witnessing of skills, so it opens people to each other and creates friendships.
What places or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about the culture of the country your team represents?
German: Mexican restaurants around the city, and festivals, especially on May 5 (Cinco de Mayo).
Humberto: There are many authentic Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia, especially in the Italian Market/9th and Washington area of the city. Also, Xolo Tacos (14 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr) serves authentic Mexican dishes and drinks in a vibrant and charming atmosphere.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your team’s country?
German: We are a team that likes to play friendly.
Humberto: Mexico has the sixth most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, and the most sites within the Americas.