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Who will feel the sear of the Azteca grill on March 26, the United States or Mexico?

Mar 15, 2013, 5:30 PM EDT


Jon Arnold’s extensive blog piece today at American Soccer Now is pancake stacked with goodies from soccer news south of the border that U.S. fans might like to know.

He’s got the bits and bytes on former Sporting KC man Omar Bravo, on former Red Bulls man Rafa Marquez, plus some Liga MX, some Herculez Gomez, some Copa Libertadores, some Edgar Castillo … lots of great stuff.

But the highlights of the ASN piece are links into the Mexican and Costa Rican rosters announced over the last few days for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers. (We told you the other day about the Costa Rican bunch named for next week’s World Cup biggie in Denver.)

Meanwhile, here’s something related that U.S. Soccer supports can chew on:

We keep talking about all the pressure on the United States ahead of next week’s contest at DSG Park outside Denver. It is Rocky Mountain sized, or something close to it, at least.

But what about our Mexican amigos? Talk about pressure!

Remember, El Tri seriously blew it on Final Round CONCACAF qualifying Match Day 1. They played to a disappointing scoreless tie at home to Jamaica.

The Mexicans can help atone with a win next week in Honduras. But as we saw in the U.S. loss, Los Catrochos are hardly and easy out, especially in San Pedro Sula.

Even if El Tri gets three points there, on March 26 pressure will hang in the air like the infamously nasty Mexico City smog when Mexico meet the United States at Azteca. That’s the same Azteca where Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. team upset Mexico last August.

Yes, that was just a friendly – a very different and far less threatening beast. Still, that result will not hurt the U.S. confidence going into the smog- and altitude-assisted cauldron that is Azteca on match day. And it will surely be on Mexican minds.

If El Tri can manage only a point March 26 – giving the team just two points from its first pair of home matches — José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre’s coaching job will certainly be in jeopardy.

And if the Mexicans fall to Klinsmann and Co.? Katy, bar the Azteca door! It is not being too dramatic to say that “Chepo” may not last the night as El Tri’s man at the helm.

Is de la Torre already showing shaky knees about it all, leaning on older guys he thinks he can trust? Hmmmm.

Depending on how the results fall in one week, the United States may not be the team feeling the sear of the Azteca grill.

  1. danielofthedale - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Ok lets play a game of what if. Lets say both the US and Mexico lose next Friday and they draw down in Mexico. Who is in more trouble? The US with just one point or the Mexico with just two points?

  2. slxc - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    The U.S. team has a spell with Klinsmann, because European teams can withstand and even win on European soil, but when it comes to going to the Central American land yankee team simply can not withstand the hostile climate of Central America, if so then the U.S. team is going to complicate the world Cup qualifying and must take every game as local without giving away any points. Otherwise spent with Bob Bradley when the U.S. quipo could arise in Central America, but when it came to European soil was a mess. “Luck hopefully overcome Mexico in the Azteca again.”

  3. footballer4ever - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    For the next 2 FIFA WC Qualifier matches, the pressure always falls on the home team to win since it’s expected for the road team to lose. If Honduras beats Mexico is San Pedro Sula, then Mexico will feel double the pressure to beat the US at Azteca and anything less than a won against the americans will create a big chaos for el tri.

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