Mexico hosts US in World Cup qualifying today

12 Aug

Donovan usa mexGet ready for another tough battle in the rivalry between the US and Mexico. This afternoon’s game will be played at Estadio Azteca, home of over 100,000 screaming Mexico fans.  The US has never won at Azteca, posting a 0-22-1 record on Mexican soil with the lone draw coming in 1997.  If any US team can win in Azteca, it’s this group.  The team has the confidence to play with anyone in the world.  That confidence stems from a defeat of top-ranked Spain and a near-upset of Brazil in the Confederations Cup.  There’s also a little bit of anger following the shellacking the US took in the Gold Cup final.  Only three players from today’s squad played in that game, but that loss has still got to be giving the US some motivation.  In order to win, I think the US needs to play like they did against Spain, meaning don’t be scared or intimidated; make smart, quick passes; and finish the opportunities in front of goal.  They also need to make sure they keep their composure as things tend to get heated when these teams meet (example: Rafa Marquez karate-kicking Tim Howard in the last qualifier).

Mexico recently got a big confidence boost as well, beating the US in the Gold Cup final, 5-0.  Granted, it wasn’t the first team US squad, but you’ll take a 5-0 win over your archrival any day.  Mexico is currently sitting in fourth in CONCACAF qualifying (meaning they wouldn’t automatically qualify for SA 2010 if qualifying ended now).  In this game, the pressure is on them to perform.

The game will be televised on Telemundo and Mun2 (which is supposedly being provided free of charge to cable providers today) beginning at 4 p.m. ET.  It’s ridiculous that NBC Universal is not showing the game on any of their channels that are accessible to more US households.  I know that I had to add the Spanish speaking channels to my cable package in order to get the game at all.  Games this big should be available for everyone to watch.

Highlights from the February World Cup qualifier, which the US won 2-0:

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