Centennial Park is in Santa Ana. In a soccer-mad city, Santa Ana's Centennial Park is the Indianapolis Speedway of the sport, the place where all fútbolistas aspire to play on manicured fields that host seemingly continuous games from sunrise to 10 p.m. (raza plays 72 hours of soccer per week there, according to city officials). But some of the best action isn't even on the park's four official fields—check out the pick-up games that happen on every available square inch, with backpacks and even books substituting for goal posts, a beehive of humanity that makes the FIFA World Cup seem like an English high tea. The sweetened cinnamon aroma depletes any need for cream or milk to remove the bitterness customary to regular coffee, which might explain why café de olla is typically served strong and black in Mexico. Milk and sugar may be added, but they're certainly not needed.
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As the sun sets behind a Santa Ana soccer field, the sweat starts to evaporate from the boys' soaked, red jerseys. A word becomes more visible: MONARCAS. The boys range in age from 9 to 17 and in skill level from beginner to almost-...