It’s like a ritual – one the Mexican Soccer team could just as soon do without. Every four years El Tri heads north to take on their rivals in the US for a World Cup qualifier in Columbus, OH. And the USA wins 2-0. Once again last night, Team America took a few early punches before striking back with authority to score two goals. This is the fourth straight time for this scoreline in Crew Stadium in the Hex – going back to 2001. And it should have been 3-0, but Clint Dempsey missed a penalty in the dying moments:
“It’s this mystical thing. It’s like this ghost. Clint missed that penalty and I feel like there was something that’s haunting (for) that to happen on purpose because just to keep that Dos a Cero. What is that, four straight now? That’s crazy, it’s unbelievable, it’s such a weird thing, but we’ll take it any day, all day.” – US Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya
Forget the Red Sox-Yankees, Michigan-Notre Dame, or any of the pre-packaged NFL rivalries. The biggest most intense rivalry of the season is on display tomorrow night (Tuesday, 7 pm CST, ESPN2). That’s right it’s USA v. Mexico with a World Cup entry on the line.
This was the game we were supposed to attend in person; however, tickets sold out in record time and our name did not come up on the lottery. So we will have to be content with watching on TV. Join us, and you won’t be disappointed.
For Jurgen Klinsmann and Co., it’s time to solidify a trip to Brazil with time to spare and stick it to El Tri. For Mexico, this is a chance to kick-start a late surge towards the World Cup now that ineffective coach Chepo De La Torre finally got the axe. Several interesting sub-plots on the line…
Columbus Mystique: Since that faithful snow-bound day over 12 years ago, Columbus has been the designated home site for US wins over Mexico in World Cup Qualifying. Crew Stadium – the original MLS soccer-specific venue, will feature a rabid pro-American crowd, even if the weather is likely to be downright sub-tropical. Thanks to recent success by both MLS and the National Team, Columbus is no longer one of the only places to feature a heavily pro-US fan atmosphere. Ohio was the original, though, and we’re hoping the winning vibe can continue this round. Continue reading
USA 2, Mexico 0. Once again.
But, of course, that’s only part of the story. For those of us diehard U.S. Soccer fans, it’s an almost poetic scoreline. The 2-0 victory for the red, white, and blue has been almost guaranteed in nearly every significant game against our arch-rivals south of the border. In the last ten matches on U.S. soil, we are 9 wins, 0 losses, and 1 tie. Of course we still haven’t won in Mexico City, but that’s for later. In the last three home World Cup Qualifiers, 2-0. In the epic World Cup Match in South Korea 2002, 2-0. It’s oh, so satisfying.
We arrived in Columbus around 2:00 local and proceeded straight away to Ruby Tuesday Pub (not the chain restaurant), which is this reconverted house in the middle of an otherwise residential neighborhood on the far north end of OSU campustown. This was the scene:
You had U.S. Supporters from all over. You had the brass band with Rocky Balboa on trumpet and Captain America on Tuba (see slideshow below). You had PBR tallboys and discount pitchers. Free Pizza courtesy of the American Outlaws U.S. Supporters Group (of which we’re now proud members). In short, you had one hell of a pregame party… Continue reading