PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An unusual soccer tournament for immigrants is kicking off in Philadelphia.
Teams representing Mexico and Vietnam will play each other on Friday in the first match of the Unity Cup, a citywide competition organized by local officials.
The World Cup inspired Philadelphia’s new mayor to create the event in an effort to bring together diverse communities. The teams have been holding friendly matches to prepare.
Interest in the inaugural tourney has been intense. All 32 spots were booked within five days and hundreds of players are competing. Teams represent countries as far away as India and Congo.
The championship will be held on Nov. 5 at the Philadelphia Phillies’ stadium. The winning team will receive a trophy modeled on the Stanley Cup, with players’ names engraved on it.