Feb
17
2008
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Latinos And Non-Latinos

Etcheverry has many friends in the Latino community, but his circle of friends does not stop there. He speaks fluent English and has befriended people right across the footballing spectrum, such as Bruce Arena, who coached the USA national team for eight years. “In Washington we have an average gate of almost 20,000 and already, 75 per cent of spectators are from the USA. We Latinos have football in our blood; the nice thing is trying to gradually change the mentality of the local population, who are so fond of their baseball and their American football,” he enthuses.
Despite his Bolivian roots, Etcheverry’s has mixed feelings on some issues. He receives offers to coach Bolivian clubs – the last one came from Oriente Petrolero – but at the same time he has to think of the future of his four children: “It’s very difficult to decide whether to return to Bolivia or stay in the USA. I wouldn’t want to uproot my children; if the opportunity to coach a first-division team in my country arose, I would go first and then I’d bring my family over. My eldest son is 20 and is studying at a Bolivian university, but my second son, who’s 18, wants to stay in the USA and go to university here. My 14-year-old could go to a bilingual school in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and so could my ten-year-old daughter, who was born in Washington,” considers El Diablo, but then he is immediately caught in two minds: “I would be enthusiastic about a two-year project at Oriente and my family are right behind me. But I’m happy in my current job. Furthermore, the USA will be playing qualifying matches and continental tournaments, they are a major force at youth level and I will be busy travelling and going to get-togethers, just like when 1 was a player. It’s great: when I retired from football at 35, it left a big hole, but now I’m really happy.”