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Inside An Early Morning World Cup Watch Party In Boyle Heights

Smiling soccer fans clap and high-five each other while inside a restaurant. In the background, fans cheer at stadium on a television screen.
Caffeinated Mexico fans high-five each other at Distrito Catorce in Boyle Heights.
(Julia Barajas
/
LAist)
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L.A. soccer fans will be waking up early for the next few weeks, as the World Cup in Qatar continues.

Qatar is 11 hours ahead of Los Angeles, which means morning watch parties are becoming the norm.

Clad in green jerseys, Daisy Chávez Méndez and her friends gathered Tuesday morning at Distrito Catorce, a restaurant in Boyle Heights, just off Mariachi Plaza. This morning's match: Mexico versus Poland.

Chávez Méndez is part of PodeRosas, a supporters group devoted to cheering for Angel City Football Club, L.A.’s professional women's soccer team. PodeRosas members are also fans of Los Angeles Football Club, which just won its first MLS title.

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This is where we come and cheer for Angel City. This is where we come and cheer for LAFC, so of course we have to come and watch our home country,” said Chávez Méndez.

Clad in jeans, t-shirts and jackets, a large group of women and men hold up a scarf that reads "PODEROSAS," which features two roses on each end.
Daisy Chávez Méndez (center) with fellow members of PodeRosas.
(Julia Barajas
/
LAist)

The Mexico vs. Poland game drew fans from all backgrounds, including Emily Grijalva, who’s Guatemalan.

“My family's always, like, why do you go for México?" she said. "But I've been living and working for 16 years in Boyle Heights. I work at a high school that's predominantly Mexican, Mexican American. My own children are half Oaxacan. So, yes, I'm here to support my people, and I hope they win.”

Grijalva said she’d like to see soccer fans show the same level of enthusiasm for female athletes.

“Men’s sports — especially the World Cup or the liga mexicana [the Mexican league] or LAFC — they get so much love, so much attention. And I'm a fan too," she added, "but we should also consider going out to an Angel City Football Club game, or other women's sports, because they definitely don't get the same support as the men do.”

A woman rolls up her sleeve to show off a tattoo of a tigress in a ski mask.
Alma de Jesús Ramírez shows off her new PodeRosas tattoo.
(Julia Barajas
/
LAist)

The Mexico vs. Poland match ended in a goalless draw (0-0), but the fans left the restaurant joyously.

"It wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but I was really proud of how they played,” said Chávez Méndez, lauding Mexico’s veteran goalkeeper, Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa. “There were moments of just, like, genius plays.”

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Mexico will play again on Saturday against Argentina. Here's your full World Cup watch party guide.

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