Local News

Soccer Fans Even Climb Trees to Catch RailHawks' Match

Posted July 25, 2007

— The Carolina RailHawks soccer team took on Cruz Azul, one of the top professional teams from Mexico, Wednesday.

The Cary-based team used the exhibition match to tap into soccer's popularity among the Triangle's Hispanic community.

More than two hours before game time, fans lined up outside SAS Soccer Park to see the teams play.

“Cruz Azul is huge,” said Hans Burt.

“For me, it’s a big deal,” said fellow fan Elmer Molina.

The game caught the attention of David Reddy and his son Daniel, who drove down from Virginia.

“We heard the team was huge, and we wanted to see for ourselves, and of course support the RailHawks,” David said. “I hope they do well, but we want the RailHawks to do better.”

For Triangle soccer fans from Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, soccer is No. 1. Rodolfo Garcia and his family live in the Triangle. For him and so many fans, the game brings a piece of their sport's culture to the place they now call home.

“We don’t have too much opportunity to see games, so I’m happy,” Garcia said.

Fans who couldn't get into the game found other ways to get a view of the action. Some climbed trees to see the match.

“There was no way I was going to miss this,” Molina said.

In their first year, the RailHawks are averaging a little more than 4,000 fans per game. More than 8,500 fans filled the soccer park for Wednesday night’s match, and that’s not counting the ones in the trees, on the side of the hill and those standing on cars in the parking lot.

“We did it with Chivas (soccer team) not too long ago,” said Marco Rosa, RailHawks spokesman. “Most of the fans were Latino/Hispanic, and they were all wearing Chivas jerseys. But by the end of the game, they were all wearing RailHawks jerseys.”

Cruz Azul came away with the trophy Wednesday as they beat the RailHawks 2 -0 with goals by Cesar Villaluz and Adrian Cortez.

Next, the RailHawks will face Miami FC at SAS Soccer Park in Cary at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • nisa-pizza Jul 27, 2007

    Hispanic Soccer Fans v "Cary People" ...... that's a fine definition of "Clash of Cultures" if I've ever seen one. ..... what's next ???? A GOP Rally in Carrboro ???

    Cary is not exempt from the huge number of hispanics coming into the area. Most of the apartment complexes and trailer parks (YES THERE TRAILER PARKS IN CARY....especially in the area near the SAS soccer field) are at least 50% hispanic immigrants. Cary is just like everyone else in the county as far as the influx of hispanic folks is concerned so there would be no more of a culture clash than anyone else in the nation is feeling. Granted I'm sure a large number of them are illegal I'm sure the SAS Soccer Park was thrilled with almost double the revenue from that game. Too bad the people of NC didn't support the women's soccer team when Mia Hamm was here with the Carolina Courage, when that park first opened up otherwise they wouldn't have moved from NC.

  • jeffdyson1964 Jul 27, 2007

    I went to the match.What an incredible atmosphere!My first match was last week vs.Chicago Fire.I was fortunate enough to be behind the Railhawk's bench for that win and was impressed by Coach Schweitzer's intensity during that contest. Likewise,this week I was similarly seated with the addition of MANY Cruz Azul supporters. The passion and good humor of those fans is a memory I will cherish for many years to come. On my row alone I witnessed luchadore style masked fanatics,baby carrying families,THUNDERING cries of AZUL!!,AZUL!! I couldn't help but join in the sheer joy of the once in a lifetime experience and hope that one day my fellow local sports fans would one day revel in the glory of the beautiful game.

  • oldrebel Jul 26, 2007

    re: "what's next ???? A GOP Rally in Carrboro ???"...LOL...LOL...mlipi, when pigs fly. Almost an oxymoron. Whew. Thanx, I needed that one.

  • Gandalf Jul 26, 2007


    Yes I did. Only criminals fear the law. You don’t go to a church picnic to bust a drug ring. You go to where drug dealers operate. So in this case you go to where you know a huge population of your intended targets is going to be. Is this racial profiling? Absolutely. But a huge percentage of illegal aliens are Hispanic so to me it is just logical to go to an event they will attend in large numbers and verify they are legal citizens.

  • FloydRTurbo Jul 26, 2007

    Hispanic Soccer Fans v "Cary People" ...... that's a fine definition of "Clash of Cultures" if I've ever seen one. ..... what's next ???? A GOP Rally in Carrboro ???

  • Corazon2007 Jul 26, 2007

    Wanna know why there wasn't any "various legal organizations at that game checking for proper legal status for the attendees"... because all any company wants is MONEY. Anything that would get in the way wouldn't be allowed to be there.

  • berrynice Jul 26, 2007


  • Is it Friday yet Jul 26, 2007

    At least they didnt apparently boo the American team like they do in LA when they play a Mexican one. ( Or chant "Osama" as was done another time).

  • oldrebel Jul 26, 2007

    I can't believe there isn't a scad of complaints from Caryites about the tree climbers. With all the regulations and mandates on how to advertise a business, yard upkeep and almost everything else about living there in general...it seems like spectators in trees would be a hot item for the Cary Gestapo.

  • erggggg Jul 26, 2007