Latino State News
CULTURE: Pilsen Soccer Mural Gets an Update
Wednesday, with the help of BEHR paint and the Chicago Fire, artist Oscar Romera was given the opportunity to restore and update a soccer mural he originally created on a Pilson wall at 1030 W. 16th St. in 1998.
When he first painted the mural in ’98, Romero featured the Chicago Fire’s Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos, and Polish striker Roman Kosecki playing on the Soldier Field pitch. Now, he’s added Dasan Robinson, Patrick Nyarko, Mike Banner and original Fire player C.J. Brown.
Carlos de los Cobos, the Fire’s head coach, was at the mural’s unveiling and enjoyed the connection between the original and the current players.
‘Soccer is more than just a game,’ said de los Cobos. ‘It is an expression of self. This mural is beautiful and not only connects the past and present history of the club, it connects the Fire with the members of the community here in Pilsen.’
Four-term Alderman of the 25th Ward Danny Solis, was present for the reveal as well, and said he was proud to have the mural in Pilsen.
‘The Chicago Fire mural is an important part of our community’s heritage because of our passion and commitment to soccer and the club,’ said the alderman. ‘I think this can serve as a starting point for the city’s other teams and organizations to do similar projects – the White Sox have already expressed interest in doing something like this and I think it’s a good tool in tying together the cultural and artistic aspects of our neighborhood here in Pilsen.’
The updated mural was unveiled at an appropriate time as soccer is a huge part of countries all over the world, especially in Central and South America and September 15th through October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month.
‘I was excited from the beginning to restore the mural with the help of the Chicago Fire,” said Romero. “Soccer is a great way to bring people of different backgrounds together. The Fire team and it’s fan base are multicultural team: Latino, Mexican, Polish, Caucasian, African-American – I hope this mural serves to unite the different backgrounds in Chicago behind one word – soccer.’