Monday Night Fútbol

Latin Americans seek the norteamericano dream: moolah

Soccer may be the L.A. Confidential of American sports -- underrated, overlooked, and lacking in attendance -- but in most other civilized countries (and, yes, a few Stone Age ones) it's the hottest ticket in town. Latin America's top soccer teams will compete for national pride, glory, and the $250,000 top prize at Copa PanAmericana 2007. The event may not put international soccer on the map here, but considering the Valley's hefty Hispanic population, these guys are bound to attract a few fans. The three-day event kicks off with Argentina's Boca Juniors versus Alianza Lima of Peru at 6 p.m., followed by Mexico's Cruz Azul against Colombia's popular Deportivo Cali. Since most players hail from way south of the border, Phoenicians may not know whom to root for. Our pick? The Peruvians, who weathered the tragic loss of their entire team and technical staff in a 1987 plane crash. Hey, if the sappy We Are Marshall was able to rake in more than $40 mil despite Matthew McConaughey's cloying performance, a measly $250K for Latin America's underdogs isn't out of the question.
 
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