Gold Cup 2023 Quarter final — Guatemala vs Jamaica: A window into heritage

Adrian de León
4 min readJul 11, 2023
Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash

In football there are always two sets of stories, those that narrate what happens on the pitch and those that narrate what happens outside the pitch; maybe you could go as far as calling it two schools of thoughts. The first school, the Quantified school, is where students engage on formation theory, algorithmic data sets, and argue over player and referee performances. It is the school where the driving stories are what happens on the pitch, and the byline is where their ideology ends.

The other school could be described as the Romantic school, and this is where students are engaged with the cultural, emotional, and philosophical implications of what happens on the pitch, and most importantly, what happens off the pitch. For these students, the pitch is the culmination of a train of thought that began in their own experience.

The Quantified school looks at a game, like the Gold Cup quarter-final between Guatemala vs Jamaica, as 22 players whose worth can be calculated by the performance and stat lines of the actors. To them, the match isn’t an amalgamation of human stories but the organic projection of extrapolated numbers. They are the bodies that are reduced to xGs and pie charts on Twitter and YouTube. Through the lens of this school Guatemala vs Jamaica was a TV spectacle or an…