It had been almost 20 years since I had seen my country’s fútbol team, La Selecta, play in person. This past Sunday, after being here in the United States all these years, I had the opportunity to see them play against Panama in a Gold Cup quarterfinal match.
Before we even went into the stadium, even in the Metro on the way to the game and the parking lot before it, I felt happy to be surrounded by so many Salvadorans.
The first game was U.S. vs. Jamaica. I sang along to the anthem of my adopted country, the homeland of my wife and my children, The Star Spangled Banner, (well, I tried but I honestly still can’t get all the words right. Do people who speak English as their first language know what “ramparts” are?) I felt proud to see other Salvadorans waving the U.S. flag and happy when the United States won.
For the second game, as I sang along to El Himno Nacional de El Salvador, I had a flood of memories. I thought back to all the games I went to in El Salvador with my friends over the years and though I felt nostalgic for my homeland, I felt happy at the same time.
We lost the game, which was disappointing, but I’m still proud of my country’s efforts, and prouder still to be part of the crowd that was lucky enough to cheer them on.
While we waited for the Metro train to go home, my wife, Tracy, interviewed me – so, I’ll share that with you.
P.S. – Tracy always taught me that if I don’t know a word, look it up. English lesson of the day from Dictionary.com:
Ramparts – a broad elevation or mound of earth raised as a fortification around a place and usually capped with a stone or earth parapet.