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Border & Immigration

Tijuana's Xolos To Compete In Playoffs

Two Xolos fans of many who painted their faces and donned costumes to show support for their team.
Brooke Binkowski
Two Xolos fans of many who painted their faces and donned costumes to show support for their team.

This week the Xoloscuintles, or Xolos, will compete in the semifinals of the Apertura Tournament 2012. The match is a high watermark for the Tijuana soccer team, starting its first year in Mexico's first division, Liga MX.

But the Xolos are reflective of more than a successful soccer club. They have been a source of hope of Tijuana. In the recent years, the city has seen tourism plummet with the rise of cartel violence. The rising prowess of the team has been a clinging pride on both sides of the border, helping the two countries find a common ground in sport.

Roberto Cornejo is the assistant general manager of the Xolos club.
Brooke Binkowski
Roberto Cornejo is the assistant general manager of the Xolos club.
Roberto Cornejo is the Xolos assistant general manager and a resident of both the U.S. and Mexico. Bringing together the two cities, he says, was his vision all along.

“Soccer in San Diego is very big. The majority of kids play either [recreational] or some type of club in their life as they're young," Cornejo said. "San Diego's an educated population in terms of soccer, and Tijuana has I think more links to San Diego than, say, Mexico City or farther south.”
The Xolos play at Monterrey on Thursday and will host Monterrey at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets for Sunday’s match are on sale now. If you live in the area, it might be a perfect time to revisit Tijuana.