Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Mexico Diary: A full Azteca awaits USA
by Mike Woitalla, March 24th, 2013 6:51PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, mexico, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla

Many buildings in Mexico City sink a few inches a year, such as the National Cathedral, which is also becoming the city’s version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Estadio Azteca, the only stadium to host two World Cup finals, remains on firm ground, having been built in 1966 atop solid lava that spilled out of the volcano Xitle around 400 A.D.

Azteca hosted the 1970 World Cup final, when a Pele-led Brazil beat Italy, 4-1. A 1985 earthquake destroyed 400 Mexico City buildings and severely damaged another 3,000, but Azteca Stadium survived unscathed and Mexico managed to host the 1986 World Cup, which culminated in Diego Maradona and Co.’s 3-2 win over West Germany. The stadium is so well designed, a capacity crowd of 104,000 can stream out within 18 minutes.

A 100,000-plus crowd is expected for the USA’s game against Mexico on Tuesday. Only 1,300 tickets -- the cheapest of which sell for $11 -- were still on sale by Sunday. For its Hexagonal opener Feb. 6 against Jamaica, only 43,000 showed up for the Wednesday night game. The game was considered so easy a win it wasn’t worth staying out late on a work night. (Tuesday’s game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. -- but it’s vacation time, Semana Santa -- and the foe is Mexico’s archrival).

Those who came to Azteca for the Jamaica game loudly jeered the El Tri as it struggled against the Reggae Boyz in a 0-0 tie, which ended a 24-game World Cup qualifying home win streak dating back to 2001, when Mexico fell, 2-1 to Costa Rica. Captain Francisco Javier “Maza” Rodriguez flipped off a TV camera after the game.

In Honduras, federation president Justino Compean -- who is running against his U.S. counterpart, Sunil Gulati, for Concacaf’s spot on the FIFA Executive Committee -- showed his middle finger to Honduran fans. Like Rodriguez, Compean offered the laughable excuse that he was simply holding up an injured finger.

Rodriguez, responsible for both Honduran goals in Friday's 2-2 tie in San Pedro Sula, won’t be around to insult anyone on Tuesday as the center back will be serving a yellow-card suspension. Also suspended is left back Jorge Torres Nilo.

While the USA played in a snow blizzard, the Mexicans had to cope with 100-plus degree weather in Honduras. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who had given El Tri a 2-0 lead, and attacker Giovani dos Santos both left the game with cramps and watched from the sidelines as Honduras recovered for the 2-2 tie.

The Mexican media took it pretty easy on El Tri after the tie in Honduras -- generally blaming the referee for the penalty call that set up the equalizer and celebrating Hernandez’s achievement of moving into sixth place among all-time Mexican leading scorers with 30 goals in 45 games. Chicharito’s strike rate of a goal every 104.6 minutes exceeds leader Jared Borgetti, whose 46 goals in 89 games represent a rate of one goal per 143 minutes.

Coach Jose Manuel “El Chepo” de la Torre, who took over in 2011 and guided Mexico to the Gold Cup title that year, will definitely find his job on the line if El Tri doesn’t beat the USA. “On a Downslide?” is question posed by La Aficion’s Sunday front page about de la Torre, under whom Mexico has yet to lose a official game. But having opened 2013 with a 1-1 friendly tie with Denmark, de la Torre is desperate for his first win of the year. Luis Tena, who guided Mexico to the 2012 Olympic gold medal, is available and a likely replacement.

De la Torre will have a huge crowd urging his squad on, but Mexican fans are quick to turn on their own team -- which is what the USA will be hoping for in Azteca on Tuesday.



8 comments
  1. tom brown
    commented on: March 24, 2013 at 8:13 p.m.
    Maybe if Haarp can make it snow in Mexico City, USA might sneak thru.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
    Everyone keep an eye out for Luis wearing two jerseys in the stands Tuesday night! Like most mexico lovers, he starts with the El Tri on top, and sneeks out to uncover the US shirt when his "hombres" go down!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 5:20 p.m.
    No senor, I am a fan for both but for this W.C. run I will go for Mexico all the way. Now with the U20's that will be hard to decide which one. Dual citizenship is agreat thing to have !!!

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.
    You should get one of those gay dual jerseys down the middle and wear that then....or maybe one in the front, opposite in the back....

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 6:26 p.m.
    Are you against gays as well?? Figures.You should where a " I wish I was white jersey" or " I'm a Red Necksican" jersey, then.

  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 6:33 p.m.
    Again, your english as a second language is showing.....but whatever.....buy a bigger Webster's my friend......

  1. Edgar Soudek
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.
    Luis, por que no descanses un poco...cada vez que se me ocurre leer algo positivo encuentro tus estupideces!

  1. Luis Arreola
    commented on: March 25, 2013 at 9:52 p.m.
    Que bueno que hablas español, pendejo. Eso quiere decir que deberias de llevar el futbol en la sangre y no celebrar porquerias de juegos. Eso va en contra del fútbol. Que no se te olvide lo que eres buey.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Revs' locals ready to make history    
The New England Revolution enters MLS Cup with the worst record in league history. It's lost ...
Charlie Davies' comeback reaches a milestone    
On the field, in the locker room, on the podium during a press conference, Charlie Davies ...
Previewing Saturday's Women's World Cup draw     
Students of the World Cup draw know all about the intricacies of the process and history ...
Specter of Alonso looms over Sounders-Galaxy showdown    
The best two MLS teams in the regular season meet to decide which of them will ...
The German connection, college edition    
Just as the U.S. national team has taken on a German influence with a German, Jurgen ...
Cahill in the crosshairs for crucial second leg    
Bradley Wright-Phillips out, Tim Cahill in starts just about every discussion of the Revs-Red Bulls showdown ...
Three takeaways from LA Galaxy-Seattle    
The Western Conference finalists are separated by just one goal heading into the second leg in ...
Three takeaways from New York-New England    
The New England Revolution made it three wins in three playoff games with a 2-1 win ...
My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann    
I'll begin by saying Project Klinsmann is too big to fail, so Jurgen Klinsmann is going ...
Three keys that could decide New England-New York series    
New York hosts the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals against New England Sunday, more ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives