Well, not really.
But how many casual readers would read a post headlined “I love the culture and the people, but harbor a healthy disdain for the Mexican National Team”?
I share the same perception of Mexican futbol some Europeans have of American foreign policy: it’s perceived as insular and arrogant. And that provides motivation.
There’s really only two things you need to know about today’s U.S.-Mexico game in Houston: The U.S. is unbeaten at home against Mexico, outscoring them 15-1 along the way. And the Mexicans want to change that. Badly.
I spent part of last weekend talking to the likes of former U.S. internationals Mike Sorber and Chivas USA Coach Preki and current internationals Brad Guzan and Brad Davis about why the U.S. has Mexico’s number these days, at least “at home” (Mexican fans will, as usual, far outnumber American fans at the game).
There were no good observations.
“The U.S. has grown as a football nation,” offered Preki, but that doesn’t really shed much light on the American dominance over a nation filled with accomplished, highly-technical and highly-paid futbol players. Most soccer observers would contend the domestic Mexican league is better than the one here, so you can’t simply say MLS is the reason either., even though that has surely helped. Has the U.S. simply psyched Mexico’s players out?
No matter. It makes for a great rivalry. The game is at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
Columnist Paul Oberjuerge has some thoughts about why Americans should care about the game.
Grahame L. Jones over at The Times provides context and perspective on the increasing importance of the game to both the U.S., Mexico and the growth of the sport.
Get that healthy hate, um disdain, on.