By Julia Barajas/LAist
Originally published Nov 22, 2022
L.A. soccer fans will be waking up early for the next few weeks, as the World Cup in Qatar continues.
Qatar is 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles, which means morning watch parties are becoming the norm.
Clad in green jerseys, Daisy Chávez Méndez and her friends gathered on a recent Tuesday morning at Distrito Catorce, a restaurant in Boyle Heights, just off Mariachi Plaza. This morning’s match: Mexico versus Poland.
Chávez Méndez is part of PodeRosas, a supporters group devoted to cheering for Angel City Football Club, L.A.’s professional women’s soccer team. PodeRosas members are also fans of Los Angeles Football Club, which just won its first MLS title.
“This is where we come and cheer for Angel City. This is where we come and cheer for LAFC, so of course we have to come and watch our home country,” said Chávez Méndez.
The Mexico vs. Poland game drew fans from all backgrounds, including Emily Grijalva, who’s Guatemalan.
“My family’s always, like, why do you go for México?” she said. “But I’ve been living and working for 16 years in Boyle Heights. I work at a high school that’s predominantly Mexican, Mexican American. My own children are half Oaxacan. So, yes, I’m here to support my people, and I hope they win.”
Grijalva said she’d like to see soccer fans show the same level of enthusiasm for female athletes.
“Men’s sports — especially the World Cup or the liga mexicana [the Mexican league] or LAFC — they get so much love, so much attention. And I’m a fan too,” she added, “but we should also consider going out to an Angel City Football Club game, or other women’s sports, because they definitely don’t get the same support as the men do.”
The Mexico vs. Poland match ended in a goalless draw (0-0), but the fans left the restaurant joyously.
“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I was really proud of how they played,” said Chávez Méndez, lauding Mexico’s veteran goalkeeper, Guillermo
“Memo” Ochoa. “There were moments of just, like, genius plays.”
Mexico lost against Argentina on Saturday and needs to win its next match Wednesday, against Saudi Arabia, to remain in the tournament. Here’s your full World Cup watch party guide.