Thursday, February 7, 2008

When next they meet

The United States and Mexico might not play again this year. With World Cup qualifying taking up a chunk of the fall, and other friendlies against other opponents slated for the spring and early summer, it's doubtful the U.S. and Mexico would line up another friendly in 2008. Of course, I can't rule anything out because they seem eager to meet these days, and by "they" I mean the respective federations.

But there will be two U.S.-Mexico games in 2009. Barring an unforeseen and improbable collapse in the semifinal World Cup qualifying phase, the U.S. and Mexico will meet twice in the CONCACAF hexagonal. One game will probably be in Estadio Azteca and the other game will probably be at Columbus Crew Stadium. History would suggest as much.

Now, the draw for the final phase won't be held until the end of this year or early next year, but we already know the dates for all the hexagonal matches. I'm calling my shot right now and expect for the U.S. and Mexico to meet again in March and September, much like they did in 2005. The first matchday is on Feb. 11, but that seems way too soon to have them meet. Plus, it's in the middle of the week and it seems more likely that the first game would be on a weekend. Now, in 2001 the first US-Mexico game was in the middle of the week, but I can't see that happening again.

Much could change between last night's game and the next match. Some players will develop, others will fall off the picture and still others will cement their status as starters. Regardless, the match should have more anticipation and buildup than yesterday's did, as it will be a World Cup qualifier.

For now, CONCACAF's two best sides will be busy with other regional rivals, but 2009 will hold a pair of these rivalry matches so start saving your dollars now if you want to go.

1 comment:

CACuzcatlan said...

With all the new SSS being built, I would think they might change it up a bit. Salt Lake's stadium is scheduled to be finished by the second half of the season. It would be good for the national team to play in that new stadium and have more of a home field advantage in Utah.