14 April 2007

Atlas, Guadalajara's fresa team, struggles for respect

Mexican society has its fresas (young snobs, usually from wealthy families) and nacos (tacky or bad mannered folk, who will never penetrate the Mexican elite's closed circles; think Rodney Dangerfield in Caddy Shack), although these days, it's sort of trendy to be naco (just witness the fresas packing the Lucha Libre in Guadalajara on Tuesday nights.)

In soccer, Guadalajara's Club Atlas is considered fresa. It draws many of its fans from the west side of the metropolitan area and the area's private universities. But the club is ironically one of the least affluent in the Mexican league - and has only once captured a championship. It lags far behind Chivas, the common man's team, in both popularity and on-field success. Atlas, though, develops more talent than any other Mexican club, through its network of soccer academies, which have churned out star players Oswaldo Sanchez, Rafael Marquez and Jared Borgetti - among others. (All now play elsewhere.) Seven current and former Atlistas suited up for Mexico's 2006 World Cup squad.

With the Tapatio Classic between Atlas and Chivas going tonight, here's my piece on Club Atlas in today's Miami Herald Mexico: http://www.mexiconews.com.mx/24239.html

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