GAME ON!: Mexico vs. South Africa : Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog The 2010 World Cup starts today with Mexico vs. South Africa. Mandalit del Barco will watch the game from a Mexican neighborhood near L.A. and Robert Smith reports from a barbecue joint in New York city full of South Africa soccer fans.
NPR logo GAME ON!: Mexico vs. South Africa

GAME ON!: Mexico vs. South Africa

Mexico plays South Africa in the first game of the 2010 World Cup.

Los Angeles is a mecca for Mexican immigrants so there's sure to be lots of hoopla at Plaza Mexico in the L.A. suburb, Lynwood. Early Friday morning, thousands of soccer fans are expected to watch the opening match, broadcast on jumbo, 25 foot tall screens. The outdoor event is supposed to feature free food, music, and prizes, and a DJ from a popular Spanish-language radio station broadcasting live. "Extra's" Mario Lopez promises to stop by, and MTV Tr3's VJ Jazmin Lopez is billed as the emcee.

More importantly, I'll be there to report on LA's World Cup "fiebre" and I can't wait to see how it compares to the South African fan-fever in New York City.

South Africa plays Mexico in the first game of the 2010 World Cup.

Oh, sure Mandalit. Way to take the easy assignment of finding Mexico fans in Los Angeles. I'm covering the other half of the World Cup opener here in New York City. We have plenty of South Africans in the city, but there isn't exactly a Little Johannesburg district to cruise. But New Yorkers are an enterprising lot and will turn down no excuse to start drinking early in the morning. So I started hunting down the places where fans of Bafana Bafana ( the nickname of the South African team) will be allowed to toot their vuvuzelas (that's the big annoying horn you'll be trying to get out of your head for the next few weeks).

I finally found a South African barbecue joint in Hell's Kitchen called Braai. They are opening early for the games.  I can't promise any African celebrities or Mario Lopez, but check out the menu for tomorrows game: Ostritch Benedict with a Peri-Peri Mary and something called VetKoek met Mince, which I'm told is beef on a split deep fried dough bun. I don't know much about South Africa's football prowess, but it sure sounds like the breakfast of champions.