Know Your Concachampions: Chorrillo F.C.

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Our tournament — the CONCACAF — is in full swing. This contest of pretty lousy soccer and heaps of enthusiasm has a lot to offer, both on and off the field. Well, maybe more off than on the field, but that’s besides the point. The point is that this is our tournament, we’ve got 24 teams from all around CONCACAF, 9 from North America, 12 from Central America and 3 from the Caribbean, and who needs the Copa Libertadores when you’ve got a Champions League going on so close to home. With all that is new, all the details, all the teams involved, it is easy to lose track and lose sight of all the excitement. That is why we have decided to start this guide, in hopes that it will help you enjoy the Concachampions even if the games are pretty hard to watch. First up, El Chorrillo FC.

El Chorrillo barrio in Panama City breeds tough guys. This economically deprived zone suffers from gang violence and marginalization; it is one of the many barrio bravos in Latin America. It also produces hardass men, foremost among them, Roberto “Manos de piedra” Durán; he of the “No más” fight against Sugar Ray Leonard; he who was rumored to have knocked out a mule with one punch. Panama City is also home to two professional football teams, and one of them is playing the Concachampions.

Chorrillo FC might have pulled the upset of the First Round a few days ago. Defending champions Cruz Azul from Mexico arrived at Maracaná Stadium on August 19 with that grin of self-sufficiency. They left shaking their heads in disbelief: in 90 minutes, the yellow-clad Panamanian team had just beaten them 1-0.

The team was founded in 1974 and it hung around the lower divisions. Fortunately for la Fiebre Amarilla, in 2001 they beat Pan de Azucar FC for a spot in the First Division of la Liga Panameña de Futbol. Not only that, they managed to win the Apertura tournament in 2011. Here is an inspired video showcasing the team:

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Alfredo Stephens might be their highest profiled player: he has international experience, since he has played for the national side as an Under-20. It was not him, though, but Justin Arboleda who scored the winning goal against Cruz Azul.

In all fairness, the Chorrillo will probably not go much further. Their on-field limitations are inversely proportional to their off-field enthusiasm. Cruz Azul is definitely not a great test, since it has ben languishing in the bottom part of the standings at its local tournament. Be that as it may, the all yellows from Panama City have just defeated a multi million dollar team: who can argue with that. “Historic starting XI” reads a picture on the team’s website of the guys who handed it to the Mexicans.

There is no definitive proof who committed the deed, and I’m not pointing any fingers, I’m just saying that since the day after the Cruz Azul game the wikipedia entry for Chorrillo FC has been, let’s say, “harshly albeit childishly edited”: