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USA-MEX...Again

We know the Americans can beat El Tri in Chicago and Columbus and Phoenix and almost everywhere else they've faced each other on U.S. soil the last 10 years. Estadio Azteca in Mexico D.F.? (Or anywhere else in Mexico, for that matter?)That's another issue. The Americans are 0-22-1 all-time in Mexico and 0-12-1 in World Cup qualifiers there.

Mexico is a quality side, but there's no denying the impact of Mexico City's altitude and smog. Sort of like attaching an exhaust pipe to your mouth and running for 90 minutes.

The U.S. team will get another chance Sept. 9. The USSF officially announced the long-rumored friendly today. Also expect an announcement soon about USA at South Africa in November.

Playing on an international fixture date, both the USA and Mexico should be at, or near, full strength. Will the American lads finally break through?

By Steve Goff  |  August 1, 2007; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

Can't wait till this game..i hope i see adu, sizzo, and altidore in the US roster for that game

Posted by: Luis | August 1, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Exciting! I'm surprised Mexcants want to play a friendly at Azteca. You'd think the less familiarity USA has there the better El Tri will fair in "games that matter".

Posted by: Beans | August 1, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Gonna be great. Let's see if we can keep the streak going ... I think we can. Call in all the boys though, and cancel anything else. Should be just as memorable as all the others are.

Posted by: G-Unit | August 1, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

But that game is going directly head to head against the Revolution Game at Estadio RFK. Damn it!!! Choices choices choices.

Posted by: G-Unit | August 1, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, take a strong squad for sure. But it's going to be an uphill climb all the way. Impossible to play at that altitude with that air quality. Huge homefield advantage.

Having said that, winning in an atmosphere like that is a massive victory if you can pull it off. I'll be rooting for the red white and blue.

Posted by: Matt | August 1, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

This is great. Get some Assteca experience for the USMNT before world cup qualifiying. This is the match to set up a win later on in WCQ! Maybe this game the Mexican fans will show a little class and not throw bags of piss on the field.

Posted by: johnny | August 1, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

The term "friendly" is hardly appropriate.

Posted by: the cheat | August 1, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What's the point of playing Mexico 3 times in a year? We've got their number and can beat them anywhere but Estadio Azteca. So why not go play other teams that we're less familiar with and get our guys used to playing against different styles?

Posted by: adam | August 1, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Adam- i would say that the game is scheduled because people will watch the game and we need ratings.

Posted by: bribri | August 1, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe this game the Mexican fans will show a little class and not throw bags of piss on the field."

Maybe Clint Mathis and Josh Wolff will be relevant again.

I often wonder how much controversy it'd create if US fans treated the Mexican fans and the Mexican team like their fans treat ours. Not that we should.

Posted by: DWE4 | August 1, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Bribri,

Why does it help the USMNT to have ratings? I suppose it's some more cash in the coffers, but I agree with Adam that there's no real point in us playing Mexico again.

Bringing in a quality side from Europe to the States would have been a good idea. We got England in Chicago in '05, perhaps the French, Irish, or Germans would have been interested?

Posted by: Kyle | August 1, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised Mexico agreed to this. If I was them I wouldn't want the USA getting chances to adjust to Azteca, or at least to gain experience playing there.

Posted by: The Other Vienna | August 1, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Any non-FSC/GOLTV, English-language regular cable channels broadcasting this game? I can't see ESPN being willing to supercede this over Week Two of the NFL...

Posted by: Juan-John | August 1, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Actually - that is precisely why ESPN will televise the game - they don't have the broadcast rights to Sunday afternoon NFL games. They'll need something to put on opposite the NBC and Fox coverage of the NFL.

It might hurt ratings a bit because of the fact that the NFL is so big (some people are fans of both sports) but this is a big deal so it should get good TV coverage.

Posted by: tmc | August 1, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

I think the Mexicans scheduled the game hoping for a morale boost after the previous two losses this year. The team improved greatly during the Copa America and they'll be gunning for their chance at redemption.

As for the Americans - any chance to play at the Azteca is a good chance. I say, start the players who are most likely to play in the inevitable qualifying game in 2009. No Keller or Mastroeni, for example. Err on the side of youth and potential.

Posted by: SSMD | August 1, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

We are not going to win at Azteca, and we would be very lucky to tie. Not unless we train hard for something like three weeks at altitude first, which is not worth it for a friendly. Even then the prospect of getting a result would be very doubtful. Bruce Arena did not think it worth it, even, to train that way when we had to play at Azteca in the WC qualifiers.

Let Mexico be a big fish in their polluted, elevated, but small (in the grand scheme of things) pond.

We beat Mexico in the States, we beat them in the 2002 WC. I think we will go on beating them most of the time on home or neutral grounds. I don't care about Azteca.

Posted by: Ron | August 1, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

According to the article, the game is going to be on ESPN2. Also, it's the first week of the NFL season.

Posted by: Tim | August 1, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

any news on how convey is coming along with his recovery? i'm hoping he can make it back to full strength and take over the left wing again.

Posted by: pat | August 1, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

Are you not going down to Houston? Why not if you're not? Big game, and you're sick of travel, or what?

Posted by: G-Unit | August 1, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Donovan won't be there, the Galaxy have a match Sept. 8 vs. Colorado, and unless they are mathematcally out of the playoffs (possible, yes), no way he leaves for a friendly, even against Mexico.

Hate him all you want, but name another guy you'd rather have playing against El Tri.

Posted by: Alan | August 1, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

El Tri is about the best team we can regularly play, nothing wrong with getting that experience. Playing in Azteca is great, especially if we can win. It is the next obstacle to tackle. Now, if we could get a friendly with a quality strength Brazil or an Argentina that would be better. A convincing win in Mexico could persuade a better European national team or our South American friends to gice us a shot. I like it, good move.

Posted by: T. Henry | August 1, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with T.Henry, but I'm not really hyped about playing Mexico again this year, even if its in Mexico. Would rather see the team face one of these quality European teams that we need to figure out!

Posted by: jasonVA | August 1, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Problem with playing a European team is that most of them have Euro Qualifiers so the pool of available teams is very limited. Also the top teams don't want to play us because of the fall out if we get a result against them vs. the experience gained from playing us

Posted by: dwbpnm | August 1, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

people are wondering why we're playing Mexico again? B/C this time it's a friendly that's actually useful and meaningful.
Sure we have bragging rights against Mexico, but they sure ring hollow when you realize we have no idea how to beat them on their own turf (we've scored only once in Mexico since '84).
This will be great experience. I'd rather the U.S. ONLY play Mexico IN Mexico from now on. Then we'd actually be getting something out of these friendlies.

Posted by: fig | August 1, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

--------
But that game is going directly head to head against the Revolution Game at Estadio RFK. Damn it!!! Choices choices choices.
--------

on 9/9, the NE@DC MLS match kicks of (on TeleFutura at 3pm ET).
the US@Mexico friendly starts at 4pm ET (on ESPN2 and Univision).

Goff, is there any talk of MLS (or Univision/TeleFutura) wanting to move up (or way back) the NE@DC start time on 9/9?

Posted by: conflicts | August 1, 2007 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Alan - I bet Landon will play against Mexico. Bradley would be foolish not to call him up, and I don't think he'll turn down the chance to play. If nothing else, he can improve his personal performance from the last WC qualifier at the Azteca, which wasn't too good.

Posted by: SSMD | August 1, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

"According to the article, the game is going to be on ESPN2. Also, it's the first week of the NFL season."

I guess I got confused because of all the pre-season NFL stuff (isn't that the felons-in-pads, concussion-generating sport?).

Besides, I know MY household (me, myself and I) will be watching ESPN2! :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 1, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Having attended the last WCQ in Azteca, I can state that I saw and smelled no bags of piss thrown. We got beer poured on us when Eddie scored to pull us within one, but the huge American flag overhead took the brunt of it.
I HIGHLY recommend a once-ina-lifetime visit for a match there. B/c Costa Rica had recently had to play in an empty home stadium as punishment for poor crowd control, the security was exceptional. Our motorcoach escorted into the stadium by police. They formed a riot-police protected pathway into the stadiium and we had our own section including our own bathroom. Many fans exchanged cameras with the mexicans as pictures were taken together with the fence between. I will say that I was shting myself beforehand (although Montezuma's revenge played a part) but once there, all was good. We had to wait til the stadium cleared to leave, but folks were in good spirit- that they won helped.
I am presently saving up for the next qualifier... it is THAT worth it. And sometime soon we'll win there!

Posted by: billq | August 1, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if i'm wrong (cause i'm not positive) but i thought players don't have a choice; if the NT calls you go. Wasn't that the big deal with beckham?

Posted by: laur | August 1, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Relatively speaking, I think September isn't that bad for the smog...

Posted by: RK | August 1, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Laur: not quite. If the national teams calls you on a scheduled FIFA date, your club cannot refuse to let you go. Individual players, however, can refuse to be called up...they probably will never get called again, but of course you can refuse a call.

Posted by: Northzax | August 1, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

any news on convey's recovery from injury? i'm hoping he can take back that left wing position.

Posted by: pat | August 1, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Laur: not quite. If the national teams calls you on a scheduled FIFA date, your club cannot refuse to let you go. Individual players, however, can refuse to be called up...they probably will never get called again, but of course you can refuse a call.

Posted by: Northzax | August 1, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"What's the point of playing Mexico 3 times in a year? We've got their number and can beat them anywhere but Estadio Azteca. So why not go play other teams that we're less familiar with and get our guys used to playing against different styles?"

Why?

Because its a FIFA date and all Euro teams will be busy with Euro-qualifiers and South American teams will be gearing up to thier WC qualifiers.

I dont see much point in bringing an African country especially since almost all the squad will be jet lagged by the time they get here.

Thats probably the same reason why Mexico and the US agreed to play again. Overall they are good teams, they can play each other and get something out of the game especially with more US and Mexican player playing abroad. Better to play each other than play a friendly against Guatemala or Haiti.

Posted by: Vic | August 1, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe FIFA can pass a rule about smog rule like they did for altitude. We just have to bribe, sorry, encourage the officials to set scientifically based limits that allow matches in American metropoli.

It's only fair that we play Mexico in Mexico after playing them twice in the US this year. And then there's bleeding the youngsters and all that. Maybe Alecko will get called up, being based in the Rockies. It's not like RSL will be in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 1, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

God, i hope we bargained to have American refs for the match, but then again, that might be even worse than the biased mexican ones...

Posted by: savannahfan | August 1, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

It should be another barn burner.
I agree with #1: Zizzo, Altidore and Adu should be on there as they are all better options at their positions (assuming they play Adu at in position and not out wide languishing like he did at DC and RSL.
I mean seriously, does anyone think Altidore isn't he best striker in the pool right now? The little guy is a beast and fast becoming a man.
Hope the US wins so we can put a little more doubt into El Tri.
NorthZax: you are correct. However, it also has to be a FIFA date that applies to your federation. (thus the Copa America squad being less than 100%)
Also, if a player refuses to play for his country he can't play for his club during the time frame allocated for international players so there really is no point to refusing rather than simply asking to be left off before selections are made.

Posted by: papa bear | August 1, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Suprised it took this long for the USSF to annouce the game. The FMF had announced this game last week. In an interview on Televisa the FMF president challenged the USMNT to beat them in Azteca.

Posted by: Darthspud | August 2, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

honestly...The USA sucks at soccer...they're not soccer material...just stick to Football. Plus, Mexico always plays better...even if the US wins.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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