03 September 2005

Preview: US vs. Mexico

This will be a huge game for World Cup qualifying in North America.

How to describe this rivalry? There's really no analogy. CONCACAF is an odd region, given that it encompasses really just a few major soccer powers. And while you might get your odd good year from another team -- Costa Rica, or the Dominican Republic, or Jamaica -- in the end, it always comes down to two: US and Mexico. Mexico have historically been the dominant team, but over the past 10 years, the US has evened the balance of power. The same is true this year, as the US and Mexico are top of the group stage, with only one point currently keeping Mexico in first.

Both teams have won five out of six played. Mexico played to a draw in Panama, and of course the US lost to Mexico 2-1 in Mexico City. So there's not much between the two teams. Today's game will prove crucial in who tops the group.

Will that matter? After all, both teams are sure to qualify. One of these two teams may end up seeded for the World Cup group draw, and that will definitely matter. More than that, though, it's all about the bragging rights between the two countries. The US has had the upper hand for several years now, but Mexico have been playing well and would love to reestablish their dominance. A victory in the US would put forward a powerful claim.

Mexico have played well recently. Their #1 threat right now is Jared Borgetti. His aerial attack has been the undoing of Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and of course the US. But the US has had a good run too, behind Landon Donavan, Brian McBride, and the stellar goalkeeping of Kasey Keller. They will miss Bobby Convey (sent off against T&T) but will have Claudio Reyna back in form.

No matter what, it will be a huge game. I'm glad I'm able to go. I'll post photos and commentary when I return. But for now... I'm predicting 2-1 to the US. Go Nats!

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?