USA vs. Mexico: Matchday Commentary

USA Crest    MexicoLogo

Today is the day folks. The day circled on your calender. The day that only comes once every four years.

That day is when the U.S. national team plays host to Mexico in World Cup qualifying.

Tonight's USA-Mexico match (7pm, ESPN2HD/ESPN2/Univision) has a special feeling around it and even more electricity and anticipation than the 2005 version. That's probably because in 2005 the Hexagonal round of qualifying was pretty much decided by the time the United States faced Mexico in Columbus in September of that year.

This time around the teams meet in the first of the ten Hexagonal Round games. Tonight's match will set the tone for the entire round, and it also comes as Mexico enters the match in a considerable slump. It is also the first of these qualifying meetings where the United States comes in as a clear-cut favorite.

Since I will be running around Columbus today dealing with a variety of things I will be doing a running match-day commentary. I will post all MLS and U.S. national team news, along with any developments from here in Columbus, throughout the day. It obviously won't be minute-by-minute, but I will try to post throughout the day, leading up to tonight's match (where a separate live commentary will run during tonight's match).

Buckle up folks, let's have some fun today:

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4:43pm- Okay folks, I am in the stadium and I can tell you that the rain is coming down pretty heavy. No lighting or thunder (or tornadoes, thank goodness). At least not yet. I will be signing out for now and starting up a live commentary post in a half hour. For now, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on the day's events in the comments section below. Thanks for following along today.

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3:53pm- A tornado watch in the area. Lovely. And yes, the rain is coming down now. Not really heavy, but enough to drench people.

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3:45pm- Remember those loud fans i was hearing? Yes, they're Mexican. Don't worry American fans, there were plenty of Americans at the Claddagh's Irish Pub getting ready for the game.

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3:24pm- I will be surveying the stadium scene. There's a pretty loud group of fans here. I don't know where from yet, but I am going to find out.

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3:14pm- I'm at the stadium and there are quite a few Mexico fans in the area. It will be interesting to see the percentage.

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2:34pm- On the MLS front, I've been told that an unidentified team approached Jeff Parke's representatives about Jeff Parke's rights. No word on what team that is. Parke is currently in Belgium where he is still pursuing options in Europe.Any team interested in Parke would have to swing a deal with Parke.

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2:32pm- Looks like there are quite a few earlier arrivers at the stadium. No rain downtown yet but there are some dark clouds looming. Also, there is some wind, but nothing too extreme.

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2:23pm- No rain at the stadium yet. I just drove by, but I did see what looked like some heavy rain on the horizon.

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2:05pm- The SBI contest banner has been picked up and it looks pretty nice. It's a bit smaller than I thought it would be (for some reason I thought four feet by eight feet would look bigger) but it should still look good at the game. Now I just need to find somebody to hang this thing.

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1:39pm- The quest for the banner is taking longer than I expected. In other news, SBI correspondent GianFranco Panizo has arrived in Columbus. He's not covering the game for SBI, but attending as a fan.

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1:08pm- I'm leaving the post-press conference lunch (free meal alert) and am heading out with Jeff Carlisle, who is giving me a ride to pick up the winning SBI banner (You'll need more than voodoo). I'm excited to see how it turned out.

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1:04pm- Electrical storms are set to hit the area this afternoon so fans planning to get to the stadium early for tailgating might want to keep that in mind.

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12:52pm- Regarding expansion, Garber said that all five candidates are still in the running. He also revealed that the Miami/Barcelona bid will, in fact, start in 2010 if Miami is chosen as an expansion city.

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12:37pm- Garber poured some cold water on the buzz out of Ottawa that its bid is now a front-runner in the expansion race. He clarified that the Ottawa bid will have a "good chance" of being chosen if a good stadium project is approved.

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12:31pm- Don Garber just dropped a bombshell, stating rather emphatically that MLS has given AC Milan a Friday deadline to complete a David Beckham transfer. Look for a separate story on that one.

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12:05pm- "FIFA knows what we can do. They know we don't have to build any stadiums," Gulati said about the U.S. World Cup bid hopes.

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12pm- Still waiting for word on what Seattle is getting from New York in the Khano Smith trade. I'll stick by allocation money. I know some Red Bulls fans aren't big on Smith, but he's inexpensive and Juan Carlos Osorio is a coach who always thinks he can make players better. It shouldn't be assumed that Smith will be a starter for the Red Bulls. I actually see Dom Oduro and Dane Richards working the wings this year for New York.

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11:55am- Gulati just stated that he wasn't too worried about tonight's match being cancelled because of electrical storms. A delay could be possible, but Gulati doesn't believe a cancellation is a real possibility. 

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11:53am- Word out of Ottawa today is that the Ottawa MLS expansion bid has been told it is a front-runner and very likely to be chosen for 2012 expansion if a stadium deal gets done. Don Garber is here so I will be asking him about that one. Is this development shocking? Not so much, not given the current financial landscape in the United States. Disappointing? I would say so because I really thought either St. Louis or Portland and Miami would be the cities.

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11:50am- I'm at the USSF World Cup bid press conference. Sunil Gulati is speaking. Nothing too dramatic yet. When asked about a potential USA-Mexico joint bid, Gulati pointed out that under new FIFA mandates, a joint bid isn't a realistic possibility. He also wouldn't agree with the notion that the USSF has to focus on bidding on 2022 sine Europe appears to be pushing hard for 2018. 

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11:06 am- Kansas City fans, your team may have its playmaker. Word out of KC is the club is set to sign former San Lorenzo midfielder Santiago Hirsig. I have just gotten word that a deal isn't done yet, but it is close and likely to get done. If the Wizards can land Hirsig at a bargain rate it will continue a pretty strong off-season for the club. They were able to sign Claudio Lopez for less than DP money, Josh Wolff is looking great in pre-season and rookie Graham Zusi is showing some flashes. The Wizards might be a top team to watch in '09.

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10:52am- Sunil Gulati and U.S. World Cup bid director David Downs will be holding a press conference today to discuss World cup bids (among other things I would imagine). Don Garber is supposed to be there as well.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to USA vs. Mexico: Matchday Commentary

  1. jtd says:

    studying for a test now in order to go nuts at the sweetwater in st paul later.

    i’m amped!

  2. Alex G says:

    We have a lot of confidence in the US Nats, let´s give Mexico a day they wont forget… Go US..

  3. Dave says:

    I hope th U.S. doesn’t take that favorite status to heart, they need to come out on fire. I’ve seen too many favorites get smoked. I’ll be watching for sure!

    http://www.sawker.com

  4. milkshake of despair says:

    Check out Ives and Landon in this photo during the press conference:

    link to isiphotos.com

    The voodoo doll is in the reporters hand below Ives….

  5. Luis Mex says:

    wtf !!! …. you have a lot of confidence but you will get a very nice surprise !!!

  6. Matt says:

    I am so excited about this game that I am having a hard time focusing on work. I hope Ives keeps a running commentary of ongoing events. Adds to the buzz and specialness of the day.

  7. SR says:

    Yeah, the US must take a humble approach or the Mexicans will catch us on our heals. I see LD putting in a goal and 2 more from Sacha and Jozy late in the 2nd.

  8. Karl says:

    Anyone know. If they will re-air tonites match on ESPN Classic or something. I cant see the match tonite. I have to go class and no DVR.

  9. Peen Us says:

    Call ‘em “El Try” – because they can’t!!!

    U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!

  10. Chris says:

    Can’t wait. Tonight will be epic.

  11. nate says:

    Why do have a slight “morning of the Czech Republic match” feeling in my stomach.

    For some reason I think the fans are waaayyy too overconfident. Let’s hope the players are not.

  12. Monkey Boy says:

    Got a group of both Mexican and US fans getting together tonight for the game. Should be fun, but I hope we’re the ones celebrating :)

  13. J says:

    i guess if we push hard for 2018, fifa might feel more obligated to give us 2022. i have to believe that’s the only real reason for not bowing out of the race for 2018.

    however, i would’ve liked it if gulati had been more forceful in shooting down us ever having a joint bid with mexico. WTF? not only should that never, ever happen, but we don’t need to compromise our bid that way, and give up the money/spotlight that comes with it.

  14. RK says:

    Ottawa? That’s depressing.

  15. fubar says:

    Joint Bid!? – We don’t need no stinkin’ joint bid!!

  16. tmc says:

    Does the Ottawa bid come with a new stadium? A quick look at worldstadiums.com doesn’t show anything promising in that part of Ontario …

  17. Tim F. says:

    This is great Ives.

    Go USA go!!!

  18. Anthony says:

    I’m itching for tonight’s game.

    Ottawa? Interesting, if disappointing that it isn’t St. Louis or Portland. (I’m lukewarm on Miami.)

  19. Speedball says:

    Joint bid? Must have been a Mexican reporter asking that question!

  20. ryan says:

    what idiot of a reporter suggested a joint bid. That is the most ridiculous question i ever heard

  21. RK says:

    tmc: read the article

  22. joel says:

    The Mexican’ts will lose 1-2. Go USA!!!!

  23. Brian says:

    The game will be replayed in the middle of the night on ESPN2 – forget the time, but I think 2 a.m. Eastern.

    Ives – what will happen regarding live coverage if there is a delay? There is a Big 12 hoops game afterwards.

  24. chris says:

    Melnyk wants public funding to build his stadium. A conditional Canadian Football League franchise has been awarded to a group in Ottawa pending a new stadium. It says here that any public funding towards a new outdoor stadium will be built for the bigger Canadian football field. Advantage: CFL.

  25. brentmcd says:

    Ives, can you give us a local weather report? From here, looks like rain and strong winds….
    Tonight: Windy…scattered thunderstorms, locally strong early, then variably cloudy overnight with still a chance of showers. Storms could contain damaging winds. Low 39F. Winds WSW at 25 to 40 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

  26. Actually, the weather is pretty nasty and I don’t think it is going to be an attractive game tonight.

    The field is going to be soggy. Who does this favor? Technical players, or non-technical players?

    It’s one of those days where one bad bounce can ruin a fans night. The question is which fans?

  27. Aaron says:

    I honestly don’t remember, but did anyone ever officially say that only 2 teams would be selected out for expansion? Could it be possible that several of them get selected and MLS just becomes a 22 (or 24) team league?

  28. Goalscorer24 says:

    Lets go USA! I hope we unload a rain of goals on Mexico tonight!!

  29. Dave says:

    I hate soccer games with wind, rain is not a big deal. Wind will make it seem colder, advantage USA, I would think.

    http://www.sawker.com

  30. fer says:

    Ives, you look mexican….are u wearing your green jersey today?

  31. Travis in Miami says:

    Great stuff Ives. Keep it coming!

  32. Travis in Miami says:

    Sweeeeeeeeet! Vamos Miami 2010!!!!

  33. Front Row says:

    I know its posted that the game starts at 7pm, but what time are they actually dropping the ball? I don’t want to watch hours of pregaame.

  34. KCB says:

    Great Stuff Ives.

    “He also revealed that the Miami/Barcelona bid will, in fact, start in 2010 if Miami is chosen as an expansion city.”

    Sounds like we know one of the expansion cities already, why else would a “start year” statement like this have been made? I’m just saying.

  35. Travis in Miami says:

    karl – not sure how soon after the game is over it will be posted for replay but if you have access to ESPN360.com you can watch the game whenever you want once it’s posted.

  36. Matt says:

    Post some pictures of you guys holding up the banner. I want to see how it turned out so I can watch for it on TV.

  37. Northzax says:

    Sounds to me that we’re getting Miami next year and either Portland or st louis and Ottawa in 2011-12. Or do we do Miami in 2010, stl and Ottawa in 2011 and Portland and Vancouver in 2012? Three straight years of double expansion drafts would seriously test the depths of our player pool, but it would be a nice financial boost for the league, would complete the geographical rivalry map (everyone except Miami would have two rivals within a six hour drive or a reasonable trip on transit. Ok except for Denver and salt lake, but nothing except easy other are anywhere close to salt lake or Denver, they’re used to it. And Dallas and Houston will just have to keep on making do.) interestingly, this could be a collective bargaining move, as well. Saying to the union: hey look, we can’t do much on salaries yet, but here are an extra 40 jobs.

  38. Northzax says:

    Paul: a soggy pitch and wind favors brute force over speed and technical ability. It also helps nullify size advantages, since there will be fewer balls in the air. Advantage, I am afraid, to Mexico.

  39. andrewdiceway says:

    More HexaCrack. Youthaman, Ives.

  40. Geoff says:

    I’m skipping out of work as a consultant in Detroit, driving down to Columbus, and then back either tonight or very early in the morning. That’s how much I love our team. USA!

  41. Jason says:

    Re: Ottawa.

    I’m so pleased that Garber seems so interested in growing the sport of soccer in the state of Canada.

    Wait, wasn’t he supposed to grow it in the United States? How the hell is he going to do that if he keeps putting all the teams in Canada?

    Oh, I get, he really doesn’t care about growing the sport in the United States.

    Dear Canada: TFC fans are very enthusiastic, and I think that is great for you and for soccer in Canada and for soccer in general.

    But once the # of Canadian MLS teams gets to say, 4, its time for you to get your own league.

    This should be the goal anyway. A pro league in Canada (so they don’t get hosed on international rules vs. the US clubs) and another in the USA.

    Canada possible cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Edmonton.

  42. The US should bid for 2018– there’s a good chance for some Euro countries getting upset once their eliminated and voting for the US to make sure they would have a shot in 22 or 26 (because they’re not going to have 2 out of 3 in a row in Europe).

  43. PCFC says:

    I said it from the beginning….Ottawa’s bid is no joke. Financial power and beautiful downtown stadium. STL, Portland and Vancouver…take notes. If you aren’t getting a team, there are reasons why that go beyond soccer.

    Not that I agree…

    Also: “Canada possible cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Edmonton. ”

    Rather two in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, two in Montreal, Quebec and one of Winnipeg or Edmonton. Let’s be serious. Besides the big cities, there’s no chance for the other Canadian cities.

  44. Kevin says:

    Ives you kick ass. It seems like you don’t do this for money, it seems like you do it for us! Going out of your way to get the banner, posting something every ten minutes! I love it! Keep up the good work.

  45. Mikemike says:

    Ives, post a picture of the banner!

  46. Hopper says:

    The broadcast starts at 4 p.m. on the west coast! Horrible time for me, but I’ll be leaving work early to watch. No way I’m missing this game. GO USA!

  47. Sam with the Army says:

    I found some links for the match if anyone is stuck at work here:
    link to fantasysportsmatrix.com

  48. green says:

    Ives, the radar shows some fierce activity — weather that is — moving your way. Stay dry.

  49. Adam says:

    From a meteorologist:

    It’s going to be disgusting in Columbus tonight. Guaranteed thunderstorms at times, heavy rain for sure, 20mph winds, 30-35mph gusts that could be much more serious. It was expected earlier today that this system would move out quicker, but it has since slowed, and the heaviest hitting is going to come in the 4-10pm timeframe. Sorry to break the bad news…

  50. jim b says:

    3:14 … could they just be looking for work?

  51. mitchell says:

    i have class from 6:30-8:30 tonight. law school, can’t miss it. it’s going to be tough focusing and avoiding the internet until i make it home to watch it on tivo.

  52. arena futbol says:

    Ives-

    Any commentary on Convey to SJ being finalized or Argie S. Hersig to KC? (Both are reported on mlsnet.com)

  53. inkedAG says:

    Yes, Juan Carlos Osorio can certainly make players better! Like Oscar Echeverry, Juan Pietravallo, Andrew Boyens, Juan Rojas, Gabriel Cichero, Gordon Kleijstan…

    Oh wait…. :(

  54. mitchell says:

    tornado watch until 9 tonight… awesome.

  55. Dustin says:

    Any word on the parking situation? Are the grass lots open?

  56. Travis in Miami says:

    The forecast I just looked at from the local NBC station shows t-storms from 7-9pm. uh-oh..

  57. anon says:

    Radar loop looks like the heaviest rain will be in about an hour or two, but looks like it will settle down a bit after that

  58. TheJester525 says:

    It seems like conditions will be so bad no team will really get an advantage from them. Hope we still get to see some pretty football, and by “pretty” I mean a US win.

  59. Josh in the SLC says:

    Has anybody else seen the boots that Clint will be wearing for tonight? Those are freaking soooooo sick!!!!!!!!!!
    link to mnt-ussoccer.blogspot.com

  60. The storm that’s hitting columbus rolled through Western Ky earlier–no real rain to mention and the winds got worse about 6 hours after it started… it will be windy

  61. mitchell says:

    messi’s goal was sick for anyone not watching the argentina vs. france friendly.

  62. RK says:

    Shoes? Yawn.

  63. arena futbol says:

    Goff reporting that Rogers and Davies are not on the 18-man roster. No big shock. Guess BB is comfortable with the Beez. That leaves:

    Donovan Ching Altidore
    Beez Bradley Kljestan Torres Clark Dempsey
    Pearce Bornstein Boca Gooch Califf Hejduk Wynne
    Howard Guzan

  64. green says:

    Looks like the shear line is about a half an hour out from town. Batten down the hatches!

  65. Weaver83 says:

    Just outside of CBus! Go USA!!

  66. joel says:

    thats so wrong Jim B.

  67. Matt says:

    Its sunny and cold in Salt Lake City today. just so you know.

  68. julio says:

    so is the game being cancelled yes or not my brother just told me that he heard it might