Blog Archives

It’s 100% possible for Mexico to beat Brazil today

All they have to do is review their history. The last few match-ups between these two teams have been epic battles. Even before the Olympics, in an international friendly, Mexico put the smack down on this team. People argued it was a fluke until the *unthinkable happened — Mexico beat out Brazil for the gold medal last summer.

When: Today, June 19 at 12 p.m. PDT
Watch: ESPN, ESPN3 stream

And if we need a little inspiration to get behind the team, the player and the Chepo, just take a look at what happens when you leave it all out on the field.

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Olympics Day 15 - Men's Football Final - Brazil v Mexico

PHOTOS: All from 2012 Olympic medal game held at Wembley Stadium last August.

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US soccer missing that love spark

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I’ve wondered for some time now why there’s such resistance to a full-bodied embrace of soccer/football in the United States. I think I’m finally able to articulate my hypothesis.

Prostitutes.

A number of current events stories in recent weeks/months has led me to the conclusion that America will never be as enthusiastic about soccer; never deify their league-leading players; never bring communities/societies to standstills as the rest of the world does until it has the full support of its sex workers. And since prostitution is illegal in the U.S. (save Nevada), it makes logical sense that soccer enthusiasts will remain pocketed throughout the country.

My proof:

  • Nigeria’s women of the night/day/mid-afternoon provided extra incentive by offering a full week of free sex if the men’s national team won the African Cup of Nations. They did.
  • Brazil’s associated sex workers are business savvy women. They’re preparing themselves for Confederations Cup 2013 and World Cup 2014 with free language classes. Must diversify.
  • In Greece, a couple of bordellos have emerged as the main sponsors/saviors for some amateur teams. Never fear; pros to the rescue.

In this light, the Mexican contingent that was sent to the 2011 Copa América was only attempting to maintain positive soccer-prostitute international relations.

Disclaimer: This is neither pro- nor anti- advocacy, just well-observed facts.

PHOTO: Credit REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Por ser día de tu santo …

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I just want to give a huge shout-out to my TRI-ista-in-arms and occasional running buddy, who celebrates a birthday today. And she timed it well — right before the start of the CONCACAF hexagonal stage. There’ll hopefully be much to celebrate today and in the coming months on the road toward Brazil 2014.

Just 493 days left!!

Los pajarillos cantan qué?

 

el grito de Wembley

¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron oro! ¡Viva Peralta! ¡Viva Dos Santos! ¡Viva Corona! ¡Viva Fabián! ¡Vivan Chatón y Herrera! ¡Viva el orgullo nacional! ¡Viva el campeón olímpico! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

If it’s not perfectly obvious yet, Mexico won Olympic gold — hell, an Olympic medal — for the first time. Congratulations to the team, staff and fans who never stopped believing. This is my version of El Grito de Dolores, our independence proclamation.

 

On the edge of glory

Did anyone else catch the song playing in the stadium after Olympic soccer semi? What I heard from my web stream was Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”

A tense final minutes, followed by an intense few seconds. Goosebumps. Jumping. Yelling. Watery eyes.

Heart rate settles back down and I hear Gaga. Whoa! Who knew that a song about getting a guy would be the PERFECT thing for this Olympic occasion?

I don’t know who was considered the favorite coming in to today’s game. What was known was that Japan had not conceded a single goal in the competition. Those odds were definitely not in Mexico’s favor when it found itself on the wrong side of a 1-0 score in the early minutes of the game.

Those plucky Mexicans came back to tie. To lead. And to extend it in additional time.

Now, they’ll face Brazil, a team who is on its own windmill-chasing quest. Brazil hasn’t won a medal since 1988. They’ve never won gold. Everyone says it’s their time. They’ve put in the effort and they’ve waited through the years.

I say, Screw that! Mexico hasn’t won a medal, period. We need this more than Brazil. They’re already established in the upper-echelons of football. Mexico is one of those good-but-not-great teams that’s easily dismissed by Europe and South America.

¡No más!

Don’t push us cuz we’re close to the edge… of glory!

PHOTOS: Oribe Peralta (9) falls to his knees at the end of the match that will send Mexico to finals; Other teammates celebrate.

Rocky-style victory lap for Mexico

Play this to set the reading mood.

I’m imagining the Rocky soundtrack playing in the background as Hector Herrera starts running around the field, arms wide open, grin even wider. Mexico will — at least — equal their best appearance in an Olympic games. They’re going to the semifinals.

That victory lap is very well-deserved. Those quarterfinal games of Men’s Olympic Soccer over the weekend were a cardiac-arrest moment for fans all over the world. Honduras took an early lead on Brazil, only to see it stripped away. Team GB goes all the way to penalty kicks against Korea. Only one player — the last player — missed his PK, which unfortunately knocked out the host team.

And Mexico, yes mis tricolores, played 120 minutes to secure a spot in the semifinals. Tied 2-2 after regulation, Mexico scored in the first 15 minutes of extra time.

It’s way more stressful to watch as a team hangs to the slimmest of leads. It’s in those situations when you realize that time really is a fickle bitch  — if you want to savor a moment, it flies; if you want it to hurry up and be done; it feels like it goes backwards.

Herrera brought the collective sigh of relief when he scored the definitive 4-2 goal against Senegal.

The semifinal round starts tomorrow. Mexico will face off against Japan at 9 a.m. PST. Then, Brazil and Korea play at 11:45 a.m. PST.  

As I settle in for another excruciating 90 minutes, I’ll blast up the Rocky theme song and let the boys in green relish in a little more running… and jumping.

PHOTOS (from top): Mexico’s four goal-scorers celebrate during the game. Hector Herrera runs like mad in the final goal of the match. Gio Dos Santos, Jorge Enriquez and  Javier Aquino celebrate. Aquino keeps the piggy-back party alive. Herrera, Dos Santos, Aquino and Enriquez each scored a goal.

Jesus saves


By now, you should gather I have a slight crush on one Jota Jota Corona (here too and here). And if you don’t know, now you know:  José de Jesús CORONA has been Mexico’s go-to goalie for some of their last international games, including Sunday’s friendly against Brazil and today’s first World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Guyana.

He’s done a bang-up job of keeping the riff-raff out of the net — punching, diving, deflecting, saving. Yes, Jesus saves!

(PS, I used to have a really cute cartoon t-shirt of Jesus as a goalie in my ol’ AYSO days. Not the above, but you get the picture… and no, it didn’t give me any special skills when I had to play goalie. Man, I sucked.)

Back to present-day Jesus. Yes, he saves!! …Unless, it’s an auto goal.

Oops.

Look, not everyone’s perfect. I’m just happy he had enough sense not to head-butt his teammate for that deflection. I’ve waited a long time to see him with the main selection, and I’ll be the first to hunt him down and kick him if he effs it up for me.

Damned if I see Ochoa against El Salvador on Tuesday.

PHOTOS: “Jesus saves” t-shirt design from here and Jota Jota Corona celebrating during Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Guyana.

Pre-game pep talk: Borrowing from a Lannister

Don’t be scared, boys. It’s only Brazil… and Neymar’s hair.

I’ll give it to you straight. This is not really a “friendly.” It’s  a big effing “frenemy-ly.” Brazil is a great team on a wicked winning streak. But, come on! You’re no bunch of slouches either!!! And listen to that crowd… they scream PUUUUTO for you, not at you. Sure, this isn’t our field, but who’s kidding whom? Dallas?! This is no neutral field?? The people are on your side. Hear them. Feed off them.

So… Man up, uncover yourselves and let Chicharito lead the attack.

Those are brave men knocking on our door. Let’s go kill them!!!

Mexico v. Brazil
Sunday, June 3
3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT

The return of the TRI-colores

It felt like a long time ago that I was going crazy, practicing my zen approach and biding my time between the sporadic Mexico National Team appearances. Now, I have the opposite problem. It’s raining games left and right between the main team, Olympic team and others. How do you keep up with everything? With UNIVISION and an expanded cable sports package, that’s how.

Let’s start with a recap of the junior team, Los Chamaquitos. The kids went to France and represented! Just today the plucky crop of futboleros took the final at the Toulon Tournament by beating Turkey 3-0.

The Chamacos (main selection) have also been pretty busy. Last weekend, they played against Wales in New Jersey (and won). On Thursday, they played a more formidable team in Bosnia & Herzegovina (and won). And on Sunday, they play a friendly against Brazil (and will win). Wishful, I know. But who’s going to root against their team? Que tonterías.

Then, next week the Road to World Cup 2014 starts with a game against El Salvador on June 8.

And a shoutout to all my family in Torreon and the Santos victory.

And the start of Euro Cup 2012!!!!

See why it’s a good time to be a fan.

A complete schedule of upcoming games for all teams is available on el TRI’s facebook page. Just click here.

PHOTO: Carlos Salcido celebrating 100th appearance for TRI, before Thursday’s friendly against Bosnia-Herz.

Soccer boots as art

As the U-20 World Cup continues in Colombia, FIFA gave us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the teams and players. The 80-photo gallery has some great shots of players stretching in tunnels, holding hands with little children, praying/reflecting on the game at hand. There are a handful of photos of impromptu shrines set up in each locker room, such as Mexico’s to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

For me, though, the most visually appealing of these photos focused on shoes. I felt as if I’d walked into a pop art exhibit with all the bright, neon colors on display. Here are a few I liked, but you should check out the full gallery.

Oh, and shout-out to el tri who play Brazil in the semis this Wednesday night 6 p.m. PST.

PHOTOS courtesy of FIFA (from top): The Mexican team’s boots are laid out prior to the round-of-16 game against Cameroon; a nice trio in Ecuador’s locker room; a different day, a different set up of Ecuador’s kits and cleats; close-up of Mexican player’s boots.