USA-Mexico World Cup Qualfier

In a little less than an hour, Mexico and USA square off the first match of the final round of qualification for the World Cup in 2010.  USA and Mexico have quite a bit of history together and have sprouted a heated rivalry since the Yanks arrival on the soccer scene.  Game is at 6 CST on ESPN2.I’m not going to preview the game, but if that’s what you’re after, I’ll point you here.  For a little more on the history of the rivalry, I’d suggest you look here.  The author of the latter article runs a soccer blog called An American Game, which is worth taking a look at.

I tried to get tickets to the game, but they were sold out in 90 minutes, plus I didn’t really have the time.  I would’ve squeezed it in somehow.

A couple story lines to watch:

The weather:  The Mexican team doesn’t really like playing in cold, wet weather.  That’s exactly what they’ll be facing tonight in Columbus, Ohio.  Good decision by the Americans to play the game there.

The streak:  I could be wrong on this, but I don’t think Mexico has won on American soil in a decade.  Fans in Ohio were told to wear red tonight, so we’ll be able to easily tell just how big of a crowd advantage the US has.

No Freddy Adu:  This isn’t really a storyline, but it’s worth mentioning.  Adu is overseas right now and isn’t on the 20 man roster for Bob Bradley.  The other young American striker, Jozy Altidore, will be present tonight.

Rough Play:  This game has been extremely rough and has seen tempers flare quite a bit in recent meetings.  I still remember Raphael Marquez being sent off for a vicious tackle on my favorite player, Cobi Jones, in the World Cup in 2002.

Those are three things I can think of off the top of my head.

PTI just said that Mexico is 0-8-2 in their last 10 trips to the States.  Maybe it’s not the last decade, I don’t know.  Anyway, apparently Mexican fans will have voodoo dolls that say “Gringo” on them.  Nice Touch.

I’m picking the USA 2-1 in this one.

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