The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

The Official Student Media of Blue Valley North High School

THE NORTH STAR

At the Copa

At the Copa

On Dec. 4th, 2023, Kansas City was announced as one of the host cities for the 2024 Copa America, the largest soccer tournament in both North and South America. Kansas City is the only metro area to have two different venues selected, one at Arrowhead Stadium and the other at Children’s Mercy Park. Before this year, the US has only played in four Copa Americas in the last 100 years of the competition. This is also only the second time the US has hosted it. This event marks a momentous occasion for soccer in Kansas City as a whole, as the United States will be playing against Uruguay in the first US soccer game in Arrowhead since 2001.  

Since these games were announced, I have been extremely excited for the tournament, and for the different experiences that I will be able to have if I can attend. As a die-hard US fan, the prospect of seeing my favorite players in Arrowhead, such as Christian Pulisic, Ricardo Pepi and Weston McKennie, is very exciting, and there are also many world-class players for Uruguay, such as Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde, or Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez.

However, while the prospect of watching these amazing players is one reason to look forward to the tournament, the prospect of experiencing these different cultures is probably what I am anticipating the most. South America is a continent that backs its soccer teams completely, with chants, traditions and an amazing history and culture for almost all of its countries. The Uruguayan team is an amazing example of this, they were the first World Cup host country and have won the competition before. They have always had an underdog mentality that I resonated with. I think it would be very beneficial to see this strong sense of pride and belief in action and experience this culture in person. Luis Suarez, the former Barcelona player who now plays for Inter Miami, summed up his country’s soccer culture. In an interview with The Guardian, he said, “There are only three million people in Uruguay, but there is such hunger for glory: you’ll do anything to make it; you have that extra desire to run, to suffer. I can’t explain our success, but I think that’s a reason [for the team’s success].” 

Overall, after attending a match, you will feel much more connected to a nation that you might not have known about before, and the games in Kansas City are two of very few opportunities where you can easily experience this atmosphere and culture. While the US and Uruguay match is a bigger clash of the two titans, the Peru game will be another great opportunity to watch some very good soccer and experience a different culture. Peru is a country whose culture I have admired due to their dedication to their team. They are known for their party culture, and they have created multiple iconic songs, like “Contigo, Peru” and “Peru, Campeones.” This is something that fans of the US team should try to imitate, with more songs and chants that the fans can all do. Also, that game will be a much smaller-scale affair and hopefully cheaper. That game is not my first choice to attend, but I would still love to be there, and choosing a team to cheer for would be extremely fun.

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In all, Copa America’s presence in Kansas City is a unique opportunity for North Students. I know that I will try my best to experience the tournament, with its world-class players, amazing technical skills and widespread and colorful cultures. 

 

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About the Contributor
Paul Struby, Staff Writer
Paul Struby is a sophomore and staff writer of “The North Star.” This is his first year on staff. He is looking forward to covering sports and student life. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys soccer and watching other sports. He is excited to have his story in the paper and to be on staff.  

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