In the mornings in between phone calls to her son, asking how his host family was treating him and if he'd already eaten, she'd cry some more. That the only thing they could do is support him. But even for Daniel, that distance became too much. About a year after Ricardo left, his family drove to Dallas for a tournament.
Twice a month they'd make that hour, mile drive. Coaches told Daniel that Ricardo was doing very well, and he had a bright future. During the visit, Ricardo told his father he wanted them all to move to Dallas so they could be together again. We're not coming. Whatever dreams he imagined himself pursuing were suddenly in doubt. To be 13 years old and to say no to the person who's given you so much feels like the most difficult answer you'll ever give. He missed the friends and family on both sides of that river that separates everyone there.
I'll miss all of you. He began to cry. If you've seen the tears of a stoic Mexican man hardened by life, it stays with you. They hugged and kissed. Daniel told Annette what was happening, and she told him she was ready to move. Four years ago, the entire Pepi family -- father, mother, brother and sister -- moved to a suburb north of Dallas.
Ricardo left his host family and moved in too. And just like it had in their old house in San Eli, their life revolved around soccer. When they weren't at games, or at school, or Daniel at some construction site, or Annette cleaning another office, they'd watch Liga MX. Maybe they were playing at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
Or maybe the Mexican national team was playing in the United States, where they're this country's most popular team. Who knows? Though he came up through both Mexico and the U. They're a bilingual group of FC Dallas supporters who during tailgates, play salsa and rap, and talk to each other in some combination of English and Spanish.
Ruiz first watched Ricardo play in , back when the precocious teen was a member of North Texas SC and scored a hat trick in his first professional game. Born and raised in Dallas, Ruiz is also a fan of El Tri. And so, after a summer of watching Ricardo score at an increasing pace with FC Dallas -- including becoming the youngest player in MLS history to notch a hat trick -- Ruiz figured the dual national kid from El Paso would choose Mexico.
Yes, Ricardo had attended international youth camps with both countries and was a member of the United States' U World Cup squad. Still, there has long been a perception that players coming from the U. At worst, the system ignores them. They'd called up Ricardo and he said yes. When he announced his decision, Ricardo said that even though he'd chosen the United States, he was proud of being a Mexican American and that "will never be taken away from me, no matter what national team I play for.
It hardly mattered that they too were surprised. Villalpando says he immediately started paying attention to him because of their similarities. You have to take pride in that, especially him being with FC Dallas along with me being a U.
He was about 11, and the United States was about to play Mexico. But before he could say anything, his father -- from Irapuato, Guanajuato -- answered for him. But still, not every game is fun. Ever since that, I've always been a U. They tell him he should remember where he and his parents came from. And before each United States versus Mexico game, they tell him to get ready to lose. To me, it's nothing. Ruiz says that hurt. He says if Ricardo ever scores against Mexico, that'll hurt too.
Villalpando says that felt great. A year after Ricardo left home for Dallas, his family moved from El Paso to join him. Those were full of rocks and weeds with thorns that'd get stuck to his shoes, laces and socks.
He said wherever I wanted to play, he would support me. Ricardo's friends back in El Paso have been supportive too. Still, Ricardo says he knows there are a lot of people and even media who think he should have chosen Mexico.
Explaining only that it was a better opportunity, he says he made the right choice. Whenever he talks of that decision -- he's asked the same question in each of his increasing number of interviews -- there's zero doubt in his voice. He's calm and at peace just like he is before every game, when he sits in silence and meditates. On Nov. To not feel any type of emotion when he hears the Mexican national anthem play, and he's not singing along.
Maybe even cry, since members of El Tri and their fans have been known to do just that. Ricardo says that game will be different. He knows two countries will be watching and the line between who cheers for whom isn't always clear.
He knows he could become the first Mexican American superstar on the USMNT, and that there will always be those who think he made the wrong choice. He knows his father's dream was once to have a son play for El Tri. But now, Ricardo knows he has his father's full support. That away from this place between the United States and Mexico, I'd always feel a barrier between me and whatever place I lived. That's the thing about this place.
It's a lot of things and some of them are contradictory. It sometimes feels like the most beautiful place in the world. Other times, it feels like living in the middle of the desert was always going to end with an escape. That same rugged beauty can inspire the wildest of dreams: a young boy playing soccer in Europe's biggest leagues, a former construction worker writing this. But it's also the type of place that can suffocate you.
So, you leave because there's no other choice. But sometimes running away creates a sense of guilt. Leaving can cause irreparable damages to bonds once so strong you would have bet they could withstand any distance. Leaving makes you understand that the farther away you are, the less likely you'll ever feel at home. He misses the culture, how everyone's friendly and humble and how Spanish is what you most often hear on both sides of the Rio Grande.
He misses his family. The season is long, so it's harder to return. When I tell him I've never been, he responds with an incredulous "nooooo" that goes on for at least two seconds. I tell him the place we used to eat was a simple cart next to a gas station that, if it had a name, was ignored. The fing guy at the gas station.
We laugh and the people around us don't even know why. It's difficult to describe but it's in the way they talk, especially when the conversation turns to Spanish. Instead, it was the two Commodores at Team Sydney were celebrating their return to action with Fabian Coulthard and Garry Jacobson from a major makeover. We had the time. They are just expensive cars to run. They are not getting any cheaper. Both cars were at Triple Eight for the majority of the break.
They only got kicked out when they needed to re-work the workshop as T8 was moving its engineering machines to a new satellite workshop. Normally what I do is, when T8 build a new batch of cars, they build two for me. Whenever Roland builds them for us. The former Tekno base on the Gold Coast has now been leased and Webb confirms work will soon begin on a permanent home in Sydney.
Or a home state or anything else. The former winner, with Will Davison, says he has focussed on his fitness and also lost trimmed-down through I enjoyed it last year. Actually, unless a better option came up, I made the decision on Sunday at Bathurst last year. I enjoyed myself, I had a good time driving, and I think I did a good job. It is almost a homecoming for Hazelwood who previously spent six years with the team before joining Brad Jones Racing in Hazelwood drove for MSR for four years in the second-tier Super2 Series, notably winning the title in , before both he and the team stepped up to the Supercars Championship together at the start of Since Hazelwood departed, the team has expanded to two cars and he envisages that the team will go places, particularly when the Gen3 regulations are set to be introduced in That was a big key element for both Matt and I moving forward.
Goddard, a year-old Gold Coaster, flew out of the blocks at the start of the year when he lapped quickest for Matt Stone Racing at the pre-season test at Queensland Raceway. He also qualified fourth in Tasmania, where he scored his best result with seventh place, but the rest of the year has not gone as well.
I can do a couple of subjects each semester. A lot of people get stuck in the rut where they pay to drive for their whole career. I want to go for it, and try and get results. Kostecki began the weekend with a bang by securing third place in Race 20, while Brown overcame disappointment from that same race to earn his maiden podium in Race Speaking after his breakthrough achievement, Brown was elated.
Obviously, there was a big change up there last year when Anton left us. It was a regretful moment for the year-old, who ended up finishing fifth, but he refused to let the error dampen his spirits after a successful weekend. Kostecki followed it up with a fourthplace finish in Race 21, while Brown conserved his tyre stocks in finishing 11th. The former believed the results over the round were just reward for the team after its work during the forced break. One catch is that when Cauchi leaves Triple Eight he will be forced to serve six months gardening leave, sitting out for half a year before he returns with Grove Racing.
In their place is a mixture of youth and experience. The race-winning engineer has worked with Nick Percat for numous seasons but will step up to be the engineer of Shane van Gisbergen, as well as fill the role of Chief Designer. Broc Feeney will have a familiar face when he steps up to the Supercars Championship. Feeney and his Super2 engineer Martin Short will make the step up together into the main game.
The pair have worked together well so far this season, with Feeney holding the Series lead with two rounds remaining. Shane van Gisbergen is looking forward to working with him and building a solid relationship, which is so important between a driver and engineer.
Auto Action broke the news that Quinn was close to purchasing the circuit in April, with the GT racer now officially taking control of the day-to-day running of the circuit 45 minutes southwest of Brisbane. Since then, John Tetley and Tony Quinn signed a pact under which the latter will take over the lease, management and operations of Queensland Raceway.
Greater Western Sydney had a much tougher road to the decider. They made their intentions known with a big win over the in-form Western Bulldogs in the first week, but narrow wins over Brisbane and Collingwood left the Giants short on gas for their first-ever AFL Grand Final appearance. The opening quarter was low-scoring and cagey, with the Tigers taking a seven-point lead into the first break. By half-time, however, the game was all but over. Richmond piled on five unanswered goals in a second-quarter blitz while GWS struggled to feed the ball to their frustrated forwards.
The gap widened further after the main break as the Tigers romped to an point victory — their biggest winning margin in a GF. The match was notable for several reasons. The Magpies had finished 13th the previous season, thus continuing the trend of teams bolting into flag contention from outside the top eight.
Despite spending the entirety of the season inside the top four, West Coast managed to fly under the radar for much of the campaign. They destroyed a well-liked Melbourne side in the prelims, yet there were doubts over their ability to get the job done at the MCG without the suspended Andrew Gaff and injured Nic Naitanui. It was all black and white early on as the Pies booted the first five goals of the game.
The Eagles lifted, however, reducing the deficit to 12 points at half-time and clawing back to level pegging by the last break. After a riveting final term, it was West Coast who emerged victorious on the back of some heroic efforts in defence and a nerveless finish from Dom Sheed. The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Eagles midfielder Luke Shuey, who finished the game with 34 disposals, eight tackles and a goal.
The Tigers had not played in a grand final since , with their last flag coming two years before that. Adelaide, the minor premiers, were playing on the last Saturday of September for the first time since their upset win over North Melbourne in The Crows enjoyed a better start to the game, but four unanswered goals in the second quarter saw Richmond take a nine-point lead into the main break. Named best afield in the grand final, the superstar midfielder became the first player in history to win the Norm Smith Medal, the Brownlow Medal and a premiership in the same season.
Sydney, which finished on top of the ladder, was the first team to enter the grand final with a stunning victory over Geelong in the preliminary final. Australian bettors are also able to place bets on particular players and this is always a fun option when betting on certain aspects of the AFL Premiership Final.
Predicting which player will score the most goals, who will score the first goal or the last goal or a player to score at any time during a match or the AFL Grand Final. Which player will possess the ball at the 4 stages of a game is another player option. Bookies will post the list of players and their odds.
The team with the biggest improvement would be St Kilda and the worst slider would be North Melbourne. These polls can sometimes be helpful, but ultimately Australian bettors should do their own research to allow for a successful outcome. Australian Betting Sites.
Any company who truly values their position in the sports betting market will have a multitude of options to choose from when it comes to odds, markets and specials so you will never be bereft of choice when the big dance rolls around.
These two were the clear standouts from the early weeks of the season, and although they both endured some ups and downs over the rest of the journey, the Demons and the Bulldogs entered the decider in red-hot form after dominant wins in their preliminary finals. The first half was everything a footy fan would want in a GF.
Melbourne took the ascendency, kicking out to a point lead at the first break, but the Bulldogs bounced back in the second quarter and went into half-time with an eight-point advantage. Then everything changed. In the space of three minutes, the Dees erased the deficit with two goals from Bayley Fritsch and another from Ben Brown. After that, it was all one-way traffic. The condition were always going to suit the Tigers, however, and that point became clearer as the second half wore on.
On a night full of footy firsts, Dustin Martin put in a dazzling display to become the only player in history to win the Norm Smith Medal three times. They blitzed the Brisbane Lions side in the first week and followed up with a point win over Geelong in the preliminary final to enter the last Saturday in September on an game winning streak.
Greater Western Sydney had a much tougher road to the decider. They made their intentions known with a big win over the in-form Western Bulldogs in the first week, but narrow wins over Brisbane and Collingwood left the Giants short on gas for their first-ever AFL Grand Final appearance. The opening quarter was low-scoring and cagey, with the Tigers taking a seven-point lead into the first break.
By half-time, however, the game was all but over. Richmond piled on five unanswered goals in a second-quarter blitz while GWS struggled to feed the ball to their frustrated forwards. The gap widened further after the main break as the Tigers romped to an point victory — their biggest winning margin in a GF.
The match was notable for several reasons. The Magpies had finished 13th the previous season, thus continuing the trend of teams bolting into flag contention from outside the top eight. Despite spending the entirety of the season inside the top four, West Coast managed to fly under the radar for much of the campaign.
The line is the winning spread of points a team must either win or lose by for that bet to pay out. AFL Season Pricing Ladbrokes were the first online sports bookmaker in Australia to offer exclusive AFL season pricing with head-to-head betting markets available for all 23 rounds of the home-and-away season. These markets give supporters an excellent opportunity to back their favourite AFL team across the full season. AFL season pricing is updated each round so checking back on a weekly basis is key.
We have these markets available By Rounds or By Team to make it even easier to follow your club. The markets are affected by the round-by-round AFL results and usually the teams sitting the highest on the AFL ladder are at the shortest price to win the competition. AFL Season Wins Betting Betting on AFL Season wins is open even before the start of the annual Premiership and lists prices club-by-club to record either under or over a certain number of wins across the overall 23 week regular season leading up to the finals series.
The decision is made based on the votes cast by field umpires after each game during the AFL fixtures and is a highly coveted award.
Bet now. AFL Grand Final head to head betting is an easy wager, which team will win a match or the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne. The favourite to win will always be shown at less odds and . Feb 21, · Australian Football League Betting. AFL Premiership Betting. AFL Premiership Betting. New Customer Offers, 18+, T&C’s Apply to each of the offers . Oct 05, · Early AFL Premiership Odds. Here are the early odds for the AFL premiership winner, courtesy of the best Aussie rules betting sites. Melbourne Western .