This soccer-mad L.A. Latina has attended seven World Cups. Qatar will make it eight, following on the heels of Brazil and Germany.
Jorge Vergara, a soccer nut since his own first game at age 8, has written his own playbook: “The Road to Qatar.”
In the book, Vergara describes the journey from his first game to the World Cup on Friday when he was the most nervous, the most confident, and perhaps the one most excited of all to be playing in the world’s biggest tournament.
He also describes his journey from being an immigrant to one of the top players in MLS, and his life in the U.S. He gives advice to U.S. soccer fans and has plenty of funny photos.
Vergara was born in the Mexican border village of Zapopan, Mexico, about 30 miles southwest of Guadalajara. He moved to the United States when he was 3 years old. His father went back to Mexico when he was young, and the family later moved back to their native country.
He played for Mexican clubs Guadalajara and Leon before joining the L.A. Galaxy in 2008. In 2010, Vergara was an MLS All-Star and MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
“I am a U.S. citizen,” he said. “So I am very proud to call the United States my home.”
He spent a year living in Guadalajara before coming to California to play for the Galaxy.
“A lot of people ask me how I got here, and I tell them the story that I’m going to tell you now,” he said.
Vergara’s life in L.A. changed the day he was robbed at gunpoint in 2015. He said the incident was his closest call to making it big in the world of soccer as he played for Mexico at the 2015 Gold Cup.
Vergara said he was taking a walk with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles County