2nd Jimi Cup Gives Soccer Fans Extraordinary Experience

Payers and Winners cover

For the second straight year el Jimador's sponsored Jimi Cup gave several lucky soccer fans the experience of a lifetime.

10 lucky contest winners 21 and older were chosen after describing a "Game to Remember" on their Facebook page. Their prize? Participating in a soccer match outside Guadalajara, Mexico featuring legends from both the U.S. and Mexico.

I covered this event last year and it was a trip I'll never forget. I spent three days in central Mexico hanging out with not only numerous legends of the sport but I got to sip tequila straight from the barrel atop the donkey. 2012's piece is a three part series you can read the conclusion to here.

This year's match was July 9 at the Casa Herradura estate in Jalisco. Alexi Lalas, Monica González, Claudio “El Emperador” Suarez, Brandi Chastain, Taylor Twellman and Ramon Ramirez were the legends who participated in the second edition of Jimi Cup.The Mexico team was led by Claudio Suarez, while Alexi Lalas captained the U.S. team.

Contest winners each played one half of the contest. After the one hour friendly concluded, the winner of the Jimi Cup went to Mexico with a score of 6-3.

The rosters included:

U.S. National Team

  • Alexi Lalas (captain): el Jimador brand ambassador, National Soccer Hall of Famer and former legendary defender for the U.S. national team, Alexi became the first ever U.S. player to play in Italian Serie A. 
  • Brandi Chastain: Women's national team icon, Brandi has won two Women's World Cup championships, two Olympic gold medals, and an Olympic silver medal.
  • Taylor Twellman: Current ESPN lead analyst, Taylor scored 101 league goals for MLS's New England Revolution from 2002-2009 and participated in 30 international games.

Mexican National Team

  • Claudio "El Emperador" Suarez (captain): Former Mexican legend that represented his national team in three World Cups and last played for Chivas USA, Claudio has the record for most caps with the Mexican national team.
  • Monica Gonzalez: Founding member of the Mexican Women's National team in 1998, Monica led the team to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup and was the captain from 2003 to 2007. The 2004 Olympian is currently a soccer analyst for ESPN.
  • Ramon Ramirez: Former Mexican national team midfielder, Ramon is one of the all-time most capped players for Mexico and last played for MLS' Chivas USA team. He participated in several World Cups becoming a key player in the starting eleven. 

The 10 lucky contest winners who played alongside and against their soccer idols, enjoyed an exclusive tour of Casa Herradura distillery and experienced the art of tequila making first-hand.

  • Clarabella Alcantar (Alpharetta, GA)
  • Cristobal Garcia (Evans, CO)
  • Stuart Grierson (Buena Park, CA)
  • Martin Herrera (Inglewood, CA)
  • Steven James (Miramar, FL)
  • Andrew Lickenbrock (Medord, MA)
  • Lindsey Miller (Portland, ME)
  • Bette Shapiro (Red Bud, IL)
  • Andres Suarez (Escondido, CA)
  • Pat Trevino (Kitteny, ME)

Seth Vertelney of Goal.com, Charles Ventura from FOXSoccer.com, Carlos Velazquez from Univision.com, and two el Jimador executives, reviewed the entries and selected 10 winners based on originality, emotion, personality and use of the el Jimador brand.

If you're a soccer fan you have to keep an eye for this contest come Spring '14. It's an experience you'll tell your grand children.

Josh Helmuth is the editor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports for the latest in sports on your newsfeed.