Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Brazil the model

The U.S. and Mexico didn't get to play each other during this international fixture date as was originally planned, but they ended up facing a common opponent in Brazil.

I wrote about the possible ramifications for each side in my PE column for today.

Actually, this same scenario played out six years ago. The U.S. lost to Brazil 2-1 in what was a decent match at the Rose Bowl. A few days later, Mexico and Brazil tied 3-3 in Estadio Jalisco in an absolutely pulsating match. The game was tied 2-2 and Jesus Arellano scored in the 90th minute. As the crowd cheered loudly, Andres Cantor said "Lo va ganar Mexico" or "Mexico is going to win it" when Brazil, like only Brazil can do, moved the ball down the left flank and Romario, like only Romario used to do, somehow managed to put a shot from an impossible angle past Oswaldo Sanchez for the stoppage-time leveler. I have the game on VHS somewhere still. Yes, VHS. I should put it on a DVD.

Anyway, the quote I read from Hugo Sanchez and I used in my story kind of struck me. He said that most of the teams from Copa America had at least 80 percent of their players competing abroad while only 20 percent of Mexico's was in Europe. He said they needed to reach that level as well. Is this possible? In time I believe it can be but can 80 percent of the Mexican national team's current pool play in Europe?

What about the U.S.? I haven't crunched the numbers but surely it seems like the U.S. is close to that figure already, no? If so, then should the U.S. expect a similar output?


1 comment:

JT (Chicago) said...

That 3-3 match was a classic. Mexico has fared well in recent matches with Brazil. Over the last nine, they have 6 victories 2 draws and a loss. Not sure what to expect Wednesday with so many youngsters likely to play.

As to Mexicans playing in Europe, it's possible but will they want to leave Mexico to play in Holland, Germany, and Ukraine. Oh wait, some already do.

It may be that this young generation Hugo is bringing into the selection now will be the ones who travel en masse across the pond. If Guardado and Dos Santos shine this season in Spain, that could really open the floodgate.