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'It's a whole different vibe': Jersey business reaps benefits as Kansas City hosts Copa America matches

“It's a whole different vibe” — Local jersey business reaps benefits as Kansas City hosts Copa America matches
Posted at 8:27 AM, Jul 01, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The U.S. Men’s National Team faces off against Uruguay Monday night at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for the Copa America tournament.

El Padrino in Kansas City, Kansas, sells jerseys and is going all in for Copa America.

Owner Raul Villegas said he started feeling the effects of Kansas City’s soccer community long before Copa America, which will be good test for the FIFA World Cup in 2026.

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“It's a whole different venture and it adds a lot of value for not just my business, I'm guessing restaurants around the stadium [benefit, too], and all that, so I think that on Monday, it's going to be twice as much, twice as passionate," Villegas said. "And now we host a game here in Kansas City. The U.S. national team, for a lot of the Latino community that already become citizens of the United States, we also want the U.S. to win."

El Padrino owner Raul Villegas
El Padrino owner Raul Villegas

Jeffrey Mendoza was buying his Team USA jersey ahead of Monday night’s match when he spoke with KSHB 41 News.

He agreed with Villegas that national pride fuels the fanbases.

Jeffrey Mendoza
Jeffrey Mendoza

"Monday is going to be a lot bigger, right?" Mendoza said. "We, Arrowhead, is known for being the loudest stadium in the NFL, and I think the U.S. Men's National Team fans are gonna replicate that for this game."

USMNT lost against Panama last week. There are a couple of ways the men can move on to the next round, but the easiest is to beat Uruguay.