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Only Here Podcast: Gringo Xolos Root Hard For Tijuana’s Soccer Team And The City Itself

A few

Photo by Marty Albert

Above: A few "Gringo Xolos" fans pose with other Club Tijuana fans in this undated photo.

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Tijuana’s professional soccer team, the Xoloitzcuintles, have fans on both sides of the border.

In fact, the Xolos’ official tagline is “el equipo sin fronteras” — the team without borders.

Today, we talk to self-described “Gringo Xolos,” a growing group of fans in San Diego who are obsessed with the soccer team in Tijuana.

Aired: May 1, 2019 | Transcript

Tijuana’s professional soccer team, the Xoloitzcuintles, have fans on both sides of the border.

In fact, the Xolos’ official tagline is “el equipo sin fronteras” — the team without borders.

In KPBS' "Only Here" podcast, host Alan Lilienthal gets to know the self-described “Gringo Xolos,” a growing group of fans in San Diego who are obsessed with the soccer team in Tijuana.

These San Diego fans’ hardcore dedication to the Tijuana team is more important than ever right now.

Tijuana was recently ranked by a report as the the most dangerous city in the world in 2018 because of the city’s high homicide rate. And although the majority of the violence is concentrated in a few parts of the city and is usually drug-related, the numbers still freak people out.

Mix that news with the fact that the border has become more militarized and politicized under President Donald Trump — who’s been threatening to close the border with Mexico altogether — and, well, lots of would-be tourists to Tijuana are just too intimidated to cross the border right now.

Tijuana relies heavily on tourism, so lots of businesses are taking a big hit. But the Gringo Xolos are helping keep at least some of the cross-border traffic going.

These San Diego fans are rooting hard for the Tijuana soccer team, but they’re also rooting hard for the city of Tijuana itself.

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