La Tricolor (the Tricolor), is the nickname for Ecuador’s national football team. Most people here just call it La Tri for short. The tricoler refers to their uniforms which are yellow, blue and red and are also the colors of Ecuador’s flag. The home games are played in Quito. The association is the Federación Ecuatoriana de Fútbol (FEF). This is their emblem.
On match day many Ecuadorians wear a Tri fan shirt with the F.E.F. emblem to show their support for the team. Street vendors all over Ecuador sell the shirts, mostly yellow, as well as Ecuadorian flags also on match day.
The next World Cup finals will be held in Russia in 2018. 32 teams will be in the finals out of 209 teams who are eligible. Playoffs to determine the final 32 teams began last year. Ecuador has made it to the finals in 2002, 2006 and 2014.
After the first four playoff matches for the 2018 finals, Ecuador was the only South American team remaining without a loss. They beat Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay and Venezuela. In the teams long history they’ve never been in this position before.
Last Thursday was their fifth match, it was against Paraguay and held in Quito. The match started at 4 P.M. and the streets here were deserted, just about the entire country was glued to a TV set at a watch party to see the match. The match ended in a tie, 2-2. So at this point La Tricolor still remains unbeaten in World Cup elimination matches.
One of our stars is Enner Valencia who also plays professionally for West Ham United in England. In 2014 he kicked a goal that was clocked at 61 MPH at 25 meters. His nickname is Superman.
The Tri plays Columbia in Columbia on Tuesday at 3:30, 3/29, and once again Ecuadorians will be glued to a TV set somewhere. Even if Ecuador loses, at worst that would leave us tied for first among South American teams. If we win or tie, that would leave La Tricolor in sole possession of first place among South American teams and unbeaten.
Update – Columbia beat Ecuador, 3-1. This leaves Ecuador tied with Uruguay who each have one loss and one tie.
The next World Cup elimination match isn’t until September for the Tri.