Cape Gazette

Hispanic League Soccer Championship attracts 1,500 fans

Xelaju beats San Jose 2-1 in La Gran Final
By Dave Frederick | Aug 26, 2014
Photo by: Dave Frederick "El Gato" - "The Cat" - Adelso Velasquez makes the final leaping save to preserve the championship 2-1 victory for Xelaju. Notice San Jose goalie Marlon Trejo, No. 1 in green jersey, has pushed up as a extra man looking for the tying goal.

The Spanish play by play came from the press box with "rrrs" rolling rhythmically into the sultry summer darkness. Music seemed to ride the moving clouds, setting the stage for La Gran Final of the Superliga Familiar de Delmarva Aug. 23 at Sussex Tech High School.

Fifteen hundred partisan soccer fans took their sides of the stadium and settled in for the men’s championship featuring the favorite Xelaju MC Delaware versus San Jose or Red versus Blue flying up and down the Bermuda pitch for 90 minutes in fast-framed blurred action and exquisite beauty.

“Many of these athletes are professional-level players,” said league President Gerson Guox,  a native of Guatemala and owner of three restaurants, all named La Quetzalteca. "Our Hispanic League has a total of 800 members with many English-speaking players born in the USA and players from throughout Central America like Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, plus a few South American countries. “

Xelaju scored early in the game when Jose Perez from Guatemala, falling down and almost horizontal, buried a shot to goalie Marlon Trjeo’s left for a 1-0 advantage.

San Jose scored late in the first half off a corner kick that Rolando Lopez of Honduras headed into the far corner past Adelso Velasquez, better known as "El Gato” - “The Cat “ because of the way he jumps.

Second-half action was fast and intense, highlighted by midfield collisions, crashes and leg cramps. Xelaju pushed the offensive action and in a flurry of shots on the San Jose net, a defender punched away a shot and the crowd immediately screamed “Balonmano!”- handball.

A penalty shot was awarded. Leo Sanchez of Honduras did the start-and-stop trick to get goalie Trejo off balance and buried the game-winner for Xelaju.

Wilber Santizo from Radio La Exitosa, 930 AM and 104.1 FM, interviewed Sanchez afterwards as Player of the Game.

In the 6 p.m. Ladies Championship,  Manchester 17 defeated VB United 3-0 on two goals from former Cape Henlopen player Stefanie Mendez and one from Aline Guzman.

A fall league will start up in a few weeks, as year-round soccer is pretty much the way life rolls for these gifted players.

Jose Perez is prone but sends it home for a goal. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Jose Perez, kneeling, celebrates scoring the first goal of the game for Xelaju. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Teammates congratulate Jose Perez, No. 12, on his goal. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Rolando Lopez of San Jose, far right, ties the game on a header. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
San Jose celebrates the tying goal. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Rolando Lopez, No. 2, uses a sliding tackle to win possession. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
"El Gato," Adelso Velasquez, makes a save for Xelaju MC Delaware. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Jerry Gabarrete goes for a header. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
A handball by a defender in the goal cage area is an automatic penalty shot. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Manchester 17 celebrates the 3-0 championship win in women's league final. (Photo by: Dave Frederik )
Stefanie Mendez scores one of her two goals in the women's championship game. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
A penalty shot by Leo Sanchez of San Jose beats goalie Marlon Trejo to tie the game at 1-1. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Wilber Santizo, from Radio La Exitosa, 930 AM and 104.1 FM, interviews Leo Sanchez. Sanchez was named Player of the Game for his goal that gave the championship to Xelaju. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Someone plays Abba's "Dancing Queen" - you just have to stop and dance. Blue player dancing Nelson Perez and Red player Manuel Velasquez are also watching the dancing No. 15, Jose Posada. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Contesting a 50/50 ball are Red team's Manuel Velasquez and Blue's Kener Santos. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Carmelo Abellaneda, 3 years old, is ready to play some soccer. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
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