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Saprissa vs LDA 

Kansas flies the colours of the local soccer team.

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I was walking around the Central Market area in Alajuela, and in the window of a junky accessory store (sort of a Central America version of Ardene—much smaller) I saw a mauve and white striped plastic ring which appealed much to my stunted 14-year-old fashion sense, so I went in and asked to see it.

In the middle of the stripes was a mauve dragon—perfect juvenile icon. The woman said, “Saprissa”. “¡Saprissa!” I said. “¡No muy bien!” Saprissa is the name of the arch rival of Alajuela’s soccer team, LDA, which is short for Liga Deportiva Alajuelense. LDA is very important here; it has a long and glorious history. On game nights, if I am outside on the patio I can clearly hear the roar of the crowd and the muffled announcements crackling over the loudspeakers. I hope I will get to a game, if I can find out what nights there are games, how much tickets are and where I can get one.

There was no way I was going to buy a Saprissa ring. Then the woman held up another ring, red and black. ”Alajuela,” she said. Yippee. I got the LDA ring—not as pretty, but much, much more appropriate. $3. I paid and put it on and left the shop feeling like a local.

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