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Soccer

Chivas Soccer Club Houston City Soccer Academy, Chivas Soccer Academy

4of15Monterrey”s Alex Grijalva goes high to keep the ball way from Chivas players on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at the Alamodome. Monterrey won, 1-0.

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5of15As players pose for photographs before the game Monterrey fans show their colors in background. 

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6of15At the fan fest fans had the opportunity to try their kicking skills. Chivas will play Monterrey, before a celebration featuring live music, mascots, food and championship trophies on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at the Alamodome.

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7of15Chivas Jesus Molina misses an opportunity on a corner kick as Monterrey goalie Esteban Andrada makes the save in the first half.

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8of15Chivas fans cheer their team during game against Monterrey. The teams’ exhibition games were part of a preseason tour played in select American cities.

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9of15Chivas fans cheer their team during game against Monterrey. The teams’ exhibition games were part of a preseason tour played in select American cities.

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10of15Fans had the opportunity to pose with the mascot at Sunday”s fan fest. Sunday’s event drew 14,317 fans to the Alamodome.

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11of15At the fan fest fans had the opportunity to pose for photographs with the Chivas Trophy from 2017. Chivas will play Monterrey, before a celebration featuring live music, mascots, food and championship trophies on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at the Alamodome.

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12of15At the fan fest fans had the opportunity to pose for photographs with the Chivas Trophy from 2017. Chivas will play Monterrey, before a celebration featuring live music, mascots, food and championship trophies on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at the Alamodome.

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13of15Kathy Cortez tries to avoid the teasing of her son Fabian Chavez,behind flag, as her husband Sotero watches. Her son was the only one of the family who was cheering for Monterery, which defeated Chivas, 1-0 on Sunday at the Alamodome.

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14of15Chivas fans cheer their team during Sunday”s game against Monterrey at the Alamodome. Monterrey won, 1-0.

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15of15Chivas fans cheer their team during Sunday”s game against Monterrey at the Alamodome. Monterrey won, 1-0.

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Welcome to Pretemporada MX San Antonio 2021.

Justin Rodriguez, a staunch Chivas fan, was among the throng thrilled by the start of the anxiously-awaited match

“We’re the best loyal fans ever, no matter what, 100 percent!” Rodriguez, 29, said. “I’m ready to be with my brothers in the group!”

Fabian “Fonzy” Cortez disagreed.

His love for Monterrey is so strong he’s risked ridicule from his parents, brother and cousins, who are all in the Chivas camp.

“We’re going to win!” Cortez, 24, yelled, eliciting eye rolls from his family.

“He’s crazy!” His mother Cathy Cortez, 49, said.

PrimeTime Sports and the Alamodome hosted the event that brought thousands out to witness the premiere Liga MX clubs’ first matches in San Antonio. The teams exhibition games were part of a pre-season tour played in select American cities this summer.

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Other cities on the tour have included Salt Lake City, San José and McAllen.

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On Sunday, 14,317 fans attended the event; Saturday’s match drew 27,160 people.

On Saturday, the first of the two matches resulted with Club América defeating Tigres UANL, 1-0.

Chivas fans even brought a dog to Sunday”s match against Monterrey at the Alamodome.

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On Sunday, the crowd stood and applauded the teams as they walked onto the green turf holding the hands of youngsters wearing protective masks, T-shirts, black shorts, white socks and tennis shoes.

Banners of fans from Houston, Dallas, McAllen and as far away as Chicago stretched behind opposite goals. And beyond each goal, the fans of each team took turns filling the arena with thunderous roars.

Before the match, fans of all ages streamed into Lot B for Fun Fest, the pre-match event. At 1 p.m., more than 100 people were at the event that featured music, food and games.

Fans lined up to take photos with a championship trophy, kick soccer balls and pose with club mascots like Monterrey fan Rodriguez. He waved his club flag as he joined his wife, Claudynee Garcia, 30, for a photo with Monty the Bulldog.

Following the team is a family tradition. Rodriguez was drawn to the club by his wife who was born in Monterrey, and followed the team, just like her father, who cheered the team on for years.

Chivas fans cheer their team during game against Monterrey on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at the Alamodome. The teams’ exhibition games were part of a preseason tour played in select American cities. Monterrey won, 1-0.

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Adriel Campos, 12, joined team Chivas at an early age. He wanted to see the players live in honor of his stepfather José Mora who introduced him to the sport in 2011.

“I’m excited to be here today,” Adriel said, a Chivas flag draped over his shoulders. “My favorite player is the goal keeper.”

After taking a photo with a championship trophy, Adriel and his mother, Griselda Campos, 36, joined their cousins who they’d traveled with from Odessa. Among the Chivas faithful was one turncoat — Fabian Cortez, the true blue Monterrey fan.

Cruz Mancias tries his kicking skills but but unfortunately hit the attendant at Sunday”s fan fest.

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His brother José Corez, 26, jokingly called him a loser. His father, Sotero Cortez, 49, who watches the games with him, shook his head. His mother wearing a red and white jersey, smiled and waved her hand to dismiss his boasts.

Whichever team won or lost, it would be a long, five-hour ride back home for Fabian Cortez.

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As they headed to the Alamodome, Cortez unfurled his Monterrey flag with pride. He was used to being the odd man out.

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