Los Perros de La Frontera: 5 Reasons to Cross the Border and Root for the Xolos

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Ever since 2011 when the Xolos (i.e. pronounced sholos not cholos) fought their way up into Mexico’s first-division professional soccer league, “Los perros de la frontera” have been making noise on an international level.

In their short lifespan, the Xolos (short for Xoloitzcuintles, an Aztec dog breed) have gone on to become League champions in 2012 and contenders at the quarter-finals in the last Copa Libertadores (South America’s most prestigious soccer tournament).

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the city of Tijuana has fiercely backed their home team all along their journey with their own particular brand of border-town raucousness.

This season’s matches at Tijuana’s Estadio Caliente -built especially for the Xoloitzcuintles- still promise to be high-energy with the introduction of new players and a new Technical Director.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s worth the border wait to cross into TJ and root for the Xolos:

1. They’re a Binational Team

Sticking true to their border roots, the Xolos are very much a binational team, having more U.S.-born players on their roster than any other Mexican league soccer team. Players Joe Corona, Alejandro Guido, Paul Arriola, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza collectively come from Texas, San Diego and Los Angeles. Aside from this, the Xolos also have native Baja Californian players, as well as a good mix of Central and South American players.

2. TJ Street Food

If the soccer isn’t quite holding your attention, something else might…

Attending a Xolos game is sort of like receiving a crash course on Tijuana’s street food. You’ll be able to choose from an array of Mexican beer served in chile-rimmed cups, churritos preparados, clamatos preparados, tacos and chamoyadas and other creations that will most likely contain enough chile to leave your tongue numb for the remainder of the match – and you know that’s a good thing.

3. The “Porras”

There are what are known as “xolofans,” and then there are their hooliganesque porras (clubs); “La Masakr3”, “La Perrada” and “Los Cachorros”.

Their biggest porra is “La Masakr3,” and this posse of devotees has had their back since the team was founded in 2007.

Their crazier antics like beer baths, mass use of sparklers, spraying of fire extinguishers and alleged rock-throwing at opponent team supporters are restricted during regular matches (watch out during friendly matches). Yet, you’ll still notice their chanting, tribal drum beats and waving of red and black flags from wherever you’re seated in the 21,000 seat stadium during official games.

4. The Visiting Teams

It used to be that since the city of Tijuana didn’t have its own first-division soccer team, “tijuanenses” were stuck rooting for teams from other Mexican cities; namely long-time Mexican favorites like las Chivas or el América. So, if you wanted to watch las Chivas in action, you had to fly yourself out to Guadalajara to see a game. But now that the Xolos have ascended to first-division, you can watch big name teams right in Estadio Caliente. Some popular teams coming to Tijuana this season are; Pumas, Cruz Azul and Santos Laguna.

5. To Party in TJ:

Because games are held on Friday evenings and end before 10 p.m., which is still early for Tijuana time, you’ll want to take the festive energy at the stadium somewhere else before heading back to the long border cross. And since there’s heavier traffic on Fridays to enter Tijuana, you should depart early. Go on and make it a full day in TJ to get the most out of your experience!

More Information:
Tickets can be purchased via international will call through and range from $30 to $90.