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Hispanic League Soccer Championship attracts 1,500 fans

Xelaju beats San Jose 2-1 in La Gran Final
"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. BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 26, 2014

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.