The U.S. soccer team’s inevitable trip to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa has its biggest test so far when it travels to Mexico City for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier.
The Americans’ troubles south of the border have been well documented. (The U.S. is 0-22-1 on Mexican dirt.)
Mexican winger Andres Guardado is predicting a 3-0 Mexico win. Someone’s been drinking too much of that brown water.
The U.S. will not lose 3-0. I’m not saying they’re going to win. But they’re not going to have a repeat of last month’s Gold Cup final, which featured a C+ pool of American players losing 5-0 to El Tri.
Back in the U.S. lineup will be arguably the world’s best goalkeeper (Tim Howard), a freshly minted AC Milan defender (Oguchi Onyewu), the MLS’ best player (Landon Donovan, who continues to upstage his poster boy teammate), a Premier League team’s cult hero with a new four-year contract (Clint Dempsey) and a young striking duo each coming off impressive Confederations Cup performances which led to positive summer transfer movement (Charlie Davies and Jozy Altidore).
It’s a different squad. And expect a different result.
The environment in the Azteca Stadium will be at a fevered pitch. Every step the Americans take will be hissed and booed. Bags filled with urine will rain down on them. It’s a guarantee. (Kind of makes me thankful that the only thing Mexican fans doused my friends and I with back at the 2007 Gold Cup final in Chicago was Miller Lite.)
Want to know what Mexican soccer fans are like? Imagine a cross between Philadelphia sports fans and hyenas.
Personally, I don’t care if the whole damn country gets swine flu. Is that a bit harsh? Sure. But when you’ve been treated like I have by Mexican supporters, I’m entitled to some harsh words. Am I anti-Mexican? Damn right I am. What, it’s OK for them to be so unabashedly anti-American, and I can’t reciprocate that disdain without being branded a xenophobe?
This is my My Red Sox-Yankees. My Cowboys-Giants.
When it comes to U.S.-Mexico, I’m as heated as this guy when the Buckeyes play Michigan. Well, maybe not “as” heated.
But World Cup qualifiers between CONCACAF’s two giants is a must see. Problem is, it might be hard to find it.
Telemundo owns the broadcast rights and the only English version of the game will be shown on Telemundo’s Spanglish MTVish offspring mun2.
If you have a decent package through AT&T U-Verse, you get it. NBC Universal is helping out too, but it’s not on ESPN, which will make the game hard to see for most Americans. Plus, it’s at the unusual 4 p.m. EST time slot.
So if you can’t watch because of cable restrictions or are stuck at work, come join Rumors and Rants for some good old live blogging.
Anything else would be un-American.