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Borderland ‘socca’ teams set to participate in continental tournament

JUAREZ, Chihuahua (KVIA) -- Borderland socca teams and players will represent our area in a continent-wide tournament in Cancú, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Players from both Ciudad Juárez and El Paso will be representing Mexico and the U.S. in the cup.

It's set to happen this weekend and next week Southeast of the border.

"SOCCA" is an organization that has over eighty countries affiliated including Mexico and the U.S. The sport is similar to the popular sport of soccer, but with several key differences. Socca is played on smaller fields and often has faster games. The organization will host the next SOCCA America's Fiesta and Cup, where two teams from Ciudad Juárez and one from El Paso will play this weekend.

"Both the people of Juárez and El Paso, see it as the same community," the President of the Americas SOCCA Confederation Sergio Ibarra said. "I think we are the same, and I think that at the end of the day, we are what we are, a community eager to show that we can and that we will be in the biggest showcases which I believe this tournament is one of them."

Borderland sports leaders want to keep seeking opportunities for local soccer talent to help them achieve their dreams.

Ibarra also said both in El Paso and Juárez there are a lot of athletes with a lot of quality that maybe have not had the chance to prove it in big stages. As a long-time borderland resident, he wants to give those young players an opportunity.

Another long-time borderland soccer player will be commanding the U.S. men's national team in Cancún.

Leandro Carrijo is originally from Brazil, but he arrived at the border almost ten years ago to play for FC Juárez and then for the El Paso Locomotive.

Carrijo that being the head coach for the U.S. national team at the SOCCA America's Cup representing the country and the Borderland is exciting for him and something he always wanted to do.

Carrijo said some of his El Paso-based players tell him they used to help at the soccer stadiums recovering balls among other odd jobs, but they always wanted to have an opportunity to play.

Now they will be participating in this tournament with hopes of bringing the championship back to Ciudad Juárez and El Paso.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Heriberto Perez

Heriberto Perez Lara reports for ABC-7 on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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