Team International is a soccer community in Mexico City consisting of people from all over the world that share the passion of soccer. Several days a week members of Team International gather together to play soccer games organised by Sport12. All kinds of games are practised: from playing in public parks, to Fut5 games at modern sport centers, to Fut11 games in the city center.
How it all began
The beginning of Team International can be dated back to February of 2018, when several international people gathered together to have a fun Fut7 game (7vs7) at sport center Polideportivo los Culhuacanes. Girls and guys participated in the game that was played against a humble but very joyful team from the state of Chiapas:
The first members of Team International came from 6 different countries: Fred (ENG), Kim (GER), Majo (MX), Wen (MX), Ben (AU), Johnnie (MX), Nacho (ARG), Carlos (ARG) and Mari (COL). This very first game of Team International was lost 16:5 to the Chiapas All Stars team.
The Formation of an Intercultural Community
From then on, the group decided to meet up once a week to play soccer and have some fun. Each week new players from different parts of the city (from Satélite in the north of the city to Xochimilco in the south of the city) with different backgrounds joined the games. With Jake from England, Hector from El Salvador, Enrique from Venezuela, Edward from Kenya, Ben from Australia and Manni from India very soon we had an extremely intercultural team with players from all continents of the world.
With a fruitful mix of Mexicans and international people alike the games started to become very popular. To make the Sunday soccer meet up more fun the group decided to bring some music to the games that created a very easy going atmosphere. Step by step features like Most Valuable Player (MVP) voting were integrated to give those always fun games a sense of importance as well. Additionally, the players enjoy after game reports about the games with pictures provided by team photographer Fabi. As games are often played at 2pm, right when the sun is at its peak, at one of the get togethers of the group it was decided to provide water for all team members at each game. All those aspects were implemented thanks to the ideas of the early members of Team International and are now a vital part of the community.
High Participation Rates – Team International’s Game improves
Very soon the level of Team International began to improve as well. The first victories were celebrated within a few weeks against other teams that play at the same sport center. The players started to understand each other better on the pitch. Each person’s personal game as well as the overall team play improved exponentially. All players quickly found their best position within the team and tried their best to win the weekly MVP title.
Once Team International had a consistent group of people that was coming to the weekly games, the games were organised between all players of the group. That means that other teams were not challenged anymore but the group split itself into two teams that would play against each other. In fact, several games were played, are still being played and will continue to be played every Sunday at Polideportivo los Culhuacanes from 2-4pm. Teams are mixed as well after about an hour of playing to create different constellations that always keep the games interesting and challenging. Step by step games are being played at other locations on different days as well.
Jakeventus was born
Due to the high participation rate and the increasing competitive games celebrated by Team International on Sunday’s it was time to step up a level. Many players were ready to engage in some more competitive games. In May the first competitive game was organised against the international soccer team of UBER in Mexico City. The game was held in the pitch of Planet Gol in the fancy part of the city “La Roma”. A selective group of players from Team International was nominated for that eventful game. In a competitive but always fair 9-a-side game Team International put a lot of heart and passion into the game (similar as Croatia did in the World Cup 2018 in Russia). The players ran up and down the field and made some very effective combinations to get closer to the opponents goal. At the end however Team International had to accept a 3:2 defeat against a very competitive team from Uber.
From that game on team Jakeventus (in reference to Jake from England, one of the best forwarders and most passionate guys of Team International) was established, which can be seen as an elite team within the overall Team International community. Jakeventus managed to win the return game against Uber in a similarly competitive Fut7 game a few weeks after having lost their first game. The soccer meet ups showed their first positive results.
Team International enters the big Pitch
At the end of June Jakeventus had another promising event when they played their first 11-a-side (Fut11) match at the newly renovated soccer pitch at Centro Deportivo Benito Juarez. By then the team was in very good shape with a healthy mix of people and a clear team structure. Everyone knew exactly what to do in their respective position. A photographer was hired to take pictures of the eventful game. Jakeventus had to suffer some initial strong pressure from its opponent but the team organised itself well after a while. The result was a 2:0 victory in the first Fut11 game of Jakeventus. Many more promising games are expected to be played, such as a game against a Mexican All Star team or a game against a professional women soccer team.
At the end what makes this community special is the treatment of each and every member within the group. Everyone is open to new people that like to join the group. The same open environment that Ben, Jake, Manni, Hector, Edward and co. encountered when they joined the games in the beginning is still preserved. Many people meet up here and then to attend for example social sport events or to enjoy some after-game food and drinks in Coyoacán. Team members with current projects are supported as well, such as the TV comercial Johnnie, one of the founding members, was running. He needed more than 50 people to represent a passionately cheering crowd in a soccer stadium. Several members joined the photo shoot in a small stadium in the south of the city to help provide a more realistic and passionate soccer fan crowd.
Team International – a young energetic group of people with all kinds of backgrounds that shares the passion of soccer in Mexico City
Update: Team International with new team shirt
Mexico City, November 2018
In November 2018 new team shirts were introduced to Team International. With the new black shirts the bond of the community is reenforced. Some players even use the shirts when they go out together. All shirts wear the number 12 in the back, representing you, the passionate soccer fan and amateur player. On the left site of the shirts the website of Sport12 is illustrated.
The players of the first game of Team International with the new Team International shirts from left to right were;
Erick (MX), Jake (ENG), Manni (IN), Johnnie (MX), Kim (GER), Hazael (MX), Hector (SV), Der (MX)
Update: First Anniversary of Team International
Mexico City, February 2019
When Fred (ENG), Kim (GER), Majo (MX), Wen (MX), Ben (AU), Johnnie (MX), Nacho (ARG), Carlos (ARG) and Mari (COL) met up one year ago to play soccer together, no-one had an idea of the dimensions that Team International would enter. Since the first game, the group managed to play every Sunday without failure, to the date. As explained above, every time new people join the games and games are played in different parts of the city already. We have a community of more than 400 players in Mexico City.
The 11 a side games at Benito Juarez stadium started off with tremendous difficulties, due to the competitive characteristic that 11 a side games require. We managed to turn boring initial 11 a side games into fun attractions by organizing prestigious games between Mexicans and International players, with Mexicans having won more games so far than the internationals. Now, players from other nationalities like Japan or Venezuela gather together to challenge the Rest of the World team, consisting of Mexican and international players.
And the winner is…
In order to celebrate the great and diverse soccer community in Mexico City, the first Anniversary was held in “Casa de Gus”, organized by Gus himself and defender Wenceslao.
The most active players, on and off the pitch, gathered together to celebrate the anniversary with a barbecue and a party at night, to which other friends were invited. The highlight of the Anniversary was the election of the players of the year. A jury of 14 players voted the best players in 6 different categories. We proudly present the players of the year 2018 of Team International:
Most Appearances Award 2018
Héctor was invited to the games by founding member Johnnie. Since his first appearance in the third game of Team International, the defender from El Salvador participated so far in almost all games. Irrespective of the day and place of the games. Héctor is always there. With 44 appearances in one year, Héctor won the “Most Appearances Award 2018” before Mexican players Hazael and Wenceslao.
Fair Play Award 2018
“Big boy coming…”. This is how most people know Danny. His trade mark is making runs on the wings and introducing them by shouting out loud to his teammate. US-boy Danny joined Team International in August. Since then he attended almost all games and showed impressive improvements. His athleticism makes him a valuable player on the wings. Despite his strength, Danny does not make use of it too much and always decides for a clean tackle. He is yet to be booked. He is the winner of the “Fair Play Award 2018”!
Best Goal Keeper 2018
Carlos is a natural goal keeper. He does not fear getting the ball into the face. Whatever he has to do to prevent the opponent team to score he does. He anticipates shots very well and his saves are extraordinary. Everyone is glad to have the Mexican goalkeeper on his site for the games. Carlos is the winner of the “Best Goal Keeper Award 2018”!
Best Defender 2018
Team International without defender Wenceslao is unthinkable. He is one of the founding player and ever since always present in the games as well as social events. A class player, who played for the Puma’s academy in his early years, that anticipates the balls like no-one else and organizes the defense perfectly. Wen is a vital part of Team International and the winner of the “Best Defender Award 2018”!
Best Midfielder 2018
Fast, instinctive and a good team player. Pablo has everything what it takes to be a good player. The French man joined Team International in the early days, at the first 11 a side game against Amaury and Friends in the north of the city. Since then, on and off the pitch Pablo is a major element of the diverse group. He organizes the game for his teams in the midfield at the games and makes the girls fall in love consistently on the night outs of Team International. Pablo, who got his nickname “Moctezuma” during an acting role, is the winner of the “Best Midfielder Award 2018”!
Best Striker 2018
Arguably one of the best strikers in Mexico City, Pierre impressed many people with his technical and impulsive playing style. Whenever Pierre is on the pitch, there is a lot of action. Defenders like Hazael enjoy getting a challenging task of defending against the French striker. It would be great to see the talented player more often at the games. A few games for and against Team International were enough to convince everyone that he is the winner of the “Best Striker Award 2018”!