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.
PHOTOS: All from 2012 Olympic medal game held at Wembley Stadium last August.
Today is the official start to the CONCACAF Hexagonal — the Road to Brazil 2014. The six regional teams are all facing each other over the course of the year in their qualifying run toward the World Cup.
February 6 Matches
Honduras – United States
Panama – Costa Rica
Mexico – Jamaica
Unless you’ve been following every single move the Mexican teams have been making these last few months, today’s game will offer some familiar and newbie faces. Well-known players include CHICHARITO, Giovani DOS SANTOS, Andrés GUARDADO, Maza RODRIGUEZ, Aldo DE NIGRIS, and Carlos SALCIDO. Of course, my boy Chuy CORONA will also be keeping riff raff out of Azteca’s nets.
But the squad that’s playing Jamaica also includes a ton of young blood that has been called up to the main team. There are handful of U23 players who debuted during 2011 Copa America (and some who were suspended during the prostitution robbery mess). Plus, some members were part of the winning squad during the 2011 Pan American Games, and 2012 Toulon Tournament. And, by my count, there are nine Olympic gold medalists. I’m surprised they found room on this roster for Chicharito. What am I saying? There’s always room for Chicharito.
So here are my trading cards for four players. A few I know you’ve seen before and will likely see play today. Some may be brand new information. I’d do more, but who has that kind of time. Perhaps over the course of the games …
Plays for CF Monterrey, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2011 Pan American Games, 2011 Copa America
Plays for Guadalajara, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2012 Toulon Tournament, 2011 Copa America*
Plays for Tijuana Xoloitzcuincles de Caliente, Liga MX, Apertura champions
Mexico: Played 45 minutes during Jan. 30 friendly against Denmark
- Mexico: What to Watch in El Tri’s Hexagonal Stage Opener (bleacherreport.com)
- The Hexagonal Is Here! US Takes On Honduras (wvhooligan.com)
- McCarthy’s Musings: CONCACAF Hexagonal Preview – Mexico, United States once again top the heap (goal.com)
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.
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.
The Olympics 2012 opening ceremony is this Friday night, but any
soccer football fan worth their salt knows that the road to the medal podium started today. The women’s teams got the ball rolling, and men follow suit tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Thursday, Mexico plays its first group game. Mexico hasn’t been to the Olympics since Athens, and they’ve never medaled. But they’re peaking at a great time — steam-rolling their way to London with key victories in international tournaments (CONCACAF, Toulon, WC U17).
Since NBC realized you can’t “Spoiler Alert” the Internet, it smartly decided to air The Games live, regardless of your position in relation to the Prime Meridian. So for a California girl, like me, that’s an eight hour difference. According to my calculations, that’s 6:30 a.m. I’d normally be pissed at such ludicrous timing. This time around, I’m looking forward to it.
I can get up. Go for an early-morning run. (Who isn’t inspired to get off their fat asses watching Olympians?) Watch the game. Get ready during halftime. And be at work by 9:30 a.m.
Barring any North Korean-style protests, that could be my most productive morning in months.
PHOTOS: Players training in London, and dressed in their Olympic uniforms.
- Olympic Preview: Men’s Soccer (Fox News Latino)
- Mexico Olympic Soccer Team: 5 Reasons They Can Stun Brazil & Team GB to Win Gold (bleacher report)
- Stars assemble on opening day (FIFA)
Mexico is a land of great traditions, customs and, yes, a little superstitions. What?! Don’t look at me that way. Evil Eye!
After last night, I’m ready to add a new item to the list — never play international fut (friendly or otherwise) on a Leap Day. You know what? Don’t even play domestic. Take the day off. Pretend it’s not even there, like most other years. There’s nothing special about Feb. 29.
Last night, two Mexican teams played. In two games, both teams lost — by two. In February (2). Let’s go ahead and add the number 2 to the list of bad juju. And maybe our goalies shouldn’t wear all blue either. (See Memo above against Colombia and Liborio Sanchez below flopping around the floor.)
Mex 0 – Col 2
Memo failed to get a good hold on the ball, which led to a tap-in goal by Radamel Falcao in the 37th minute. Juan Cuadrado made it 2-0 in the second half. Mexico played hard, but lost steam. They had control of the ball often, but couldn’t convert.
Mex 0 – USA 2
USA went up in the 35th minute with a goal by Juan Agudelo. And the second goal came about a minute later by Mix Diskerud, who set up Agudelo’s goal. This was a friendly between the u-23 teams, leading up to Olympic qualifying play that starts later this month.
PHOTOS: Unlucky blue-clad Mexican goalies Memo Ochoa and Liborio Sanchez.