LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- They may have been the fiercest competitors on the field, but on Wednesday, retired soccer legends, Alexi Lalas, Dwayne De Rosario and Luis Hernandez, also known as "El Matador," came together to rally support for team Mexico in the upcoming World Cup in Russia.
Lalas admitted it hurt that the U.S. didn't make the cut.
"I want to be very clear. If the United States was in the World Cup this summer, there's not a chance in hell I would be supporting Mexico, but they're not there this summer," Lalas, a former U.S. national team player, said.
But team Mexico, "El Tri," will be there, representing North America, and these retired players say they deserve the support of soccer fans throughout the continent.
"When you look across the world and you see all the continents, whether it's Africa or South America, Europe, you see the teams that don't qualify, they all rally around to support their fellow countrymen or neighbors," De Rosario, a former Major League Soccer player, said.
"This is an exciting team. This is a team I want to support," Lalas added. "This is a team that I want to do well for this summer. And then we're back to normal because the United States will be there in the future. Canada will be there in the future, but this summer its all about "El Tri.""
And it's also all about giving fans their soccer fix.
"We have a soccer culture. It's not underground. It's not niche. It's above ground. It's vibrant. It's discerning. It's educated, and it loves this game," Lalas said. "It loves this game whether we're playing it here in Major League Soccer, whether we're playing it internationally, or whether its a World Cup and even a World Cup without the United States."
Meanwhile for soccer fans in Los Angeles, a new 10-year contract in the works between the Rose Bowl, AEG and the LA Galaxy will mean more opportunities to watch live soccer matches close to home.
Mexico's first match in the World Cup is June 17 against Germany.
Soccer legends drum up support for Mexico in Los Angeles ahead of World Cup
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