Old rivalries between national football teams of USA and Mexico are rekindled. Adding tinder to the flames is the recent election victory of Donald Trump becoming the 45th President of the United States. After making bold statements in his election campaign about building a wall to keep Mexican’s out and saying that most Mexican illegal immigrants are rapists, Mexico supporters will be more fired up than ever. Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix already have large Mexican populations who love football. Attendance at the Rose Bowl has exceeded 90000 as the USA performances have improved allowing them to challenge Mexico who have a long footballing heritage.
Mexico and USA are the two major powers of the 41 member Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). They have played 66 times since the first match May, 1934. The largest victory was Mexico 6 USA 0 in 1949. World Cup Qualification and the CONCACAF Gold Cup are the most important matches between the two sides. Mexico dominates the series but USA are catching up especially since the 1990’s when soccer in America started to really get big attention.
‘Dos a Cero‘ is a phrase that keeps coming up with Mexican fans, which is a lot more friendly than in 2004 when Mexican fans chanted ” Osama, Osama ” during a 4 – 0 thrashing of their neighbours, an obvious reference to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was after Landon Donovan, who currently plays for LA Galaxy, reportedly urinated on a practice pitch in Mexico. All after a long history of tit for tat rivalries.
USA are favourites to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup making qualification and tournament matches even more important between now and then. Fever pitch tensions will result in an exciting match which will generate much banter on both sides. Banter may spill over to more serious incidents between two sides with a simmering and chequered history of the beautiful game. Especially if American starts to beat their old rivals on a regular basis.
Where and when is the match?
USA play Mexico in the 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF final round of qualifying Friday, November 11, 2016. Kickoff is 7.45 PM ET or 11.45 PM GMT.
The venue is MAPFRE Stadium; Columbus, Ohio. FS1, and Univision are showing the match in the US. The sponsor is AT&T.
Jurgen Klinsman has called up 10 Major League Soccer players as part of the 26 man squad. Tottenham Hotspur defender Cameron Carter-Vickers gets his first senior appearance. Also in defence DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle) makes the roster. Other players who also play English Premier League include goal keeps Brad Guzman (Middlesborough) and Tim Howard (who left Everton earlier this year and now plays for Colorado Rapids). In midfield Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) makes the roster.
First generation American Citizen Michael Orozco who plays for Tijuana (Mexico) may also make the team. His parents where born in Mexico but he was born in the USA. Does he worry about getting kidnapped if he saves vital goal attempt from a Mexican striker in the final minutes of the game? It’s not unheard off.
Mexico’s roster does not include any players currently playing in any English leagues, however, there are 12 players currently playing for European clubs. Including Johnathan Dos Santos (Villarreal), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven ), Hector Herrera (Porto), Raul Jimenez (Benfica) and Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen).
Considering the list of Mexican players in top flight European Clubs this is easy; Cero a Dos, naturalmente. Hasta Luego Estados Unidos. In spite of this match USA and Mexico are both likely to qualify for the 2018 World Cup because the top two teams from CONCACAF members will go through to the next stage.
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