Mexico is a country of many different cultures, breathtaking landscapes and an eclectic history. Mexico’s rich cultural heritage has been home to some fascinating traditions including the Day of the Dead, which celebrates deceased relatives through traditional dancing and community events. In addition to their variety in architecture, cuisine and culture – Mexicans are known for being sanguine people who enjoy life!
Mexico is a country in North America. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. The capital of Mexico is Mexico City, and the official language is Spanish.
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO — The Estadio Azteca looms in the horizon as you travel along the Avenida del Iman. From afar, it seems like a huge birthday cake has been dumped in Mexico City’s Santa Ursula neighborhood. The concrete supports, as you come closer, resemble the collective arms of Mexico fans, pressing up on the venue’s rim and out of the earth. Even without any spectators present, the stands give off a cramped feeling while inside, despite their enormous size.
The Azteca will host the newest edition of the Clasico between Mexico and the United States men’s national teams in a 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday. The Azteca has held two World Cup finals, in 1970 and 1986. It seems like the end of an era in many respects.
Until recently, when the fixtures were posted, the World Cup qualifiers between the two neighbors were the first thing supporters waited for. However, change is on the way. There will be no qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, since both nations, together with Canada, will be hosting the event. By the time the 2030 qualifiers roll around, the World Cup will have grown to 48 nations, potentially doubling the number of automatic qualifying berths available from CONCACAF to six.
Games between the two CONCACAF giants, of course, will always be significant. There will always be a yearning for bragging rights. However, the stakes will be lower — at least in terms of World Cup qualifying — and the consequences of a loss will be less severe, so some of the anxiety will diminish.
– CONCACAF rankings for World Cup qualifying – How the USMNT and Mexico may qualify for the 2022 World Cup – Stream on ESPN+: Ftbol Americas – FC Daily If you don’t have ESPN, you’re out of luck. Get immediate access
While such ideas are focused on the future, the United States is concerned with the present, and the stakes surrounding Thursday’s match are quite high. In the standings, the two teams are tied, with the United States moving ahead on goal differential.
Both sides’ neuroses are in full bloom as well. Mexico is most likely the more desperate team, and the United States’ home match against Panama on Sunday is more crucial in the overall qualifying picture. However, a win for any team would be a significant step ahead in the race to Qatar. It would be priceless if they could do so at the cost of their competitor.
Yet, for El Tri, pessimism reigns supreme, owing in no little part to the team’s current three-game losing skid against the United States. Christian Pulisic and Ricardo Pepi were front and center (and above Mexico players) in the sports daily CANCHA the day before the game, with the tagline “They Have An Advantage On Us.” Fox Sports is a cable television network. Fernando Schwartz of Mexico went on a one-minute diatribe on why “Mexico is no longer the CONCACAF behemoth.” The headline on Universal Deportes says “Make it Weigh,” urging El Tri to take advantage of its historic home-field advantage.
This hostility has also infiltrated ordinary life. Luis, a local driver who flew with ESPN colleague Cesar Hernandez, expressed his dissatisfaction with the current Mexico national team in great detail. He spoke on the absence of lideres (leaders) in El Tri’s team while weaving in and out of Mexico City traffic, and wished for the days when previous greats like Rafael Marquez and Jorge Campos were still around. The crowd violence that erupted during a league game between Queretaro and Atlas has only contributed to the melancholy.
El Tri is also concerned about other issues. The ugly and anti-gay slogan might repeat at the Estadio Azteca on Thursday, depending on how the game goes. Twitter has lately been trending with hashtags like #MexicoSinMundial (basically “#MexicoWithoutAWorldCup”). But what exactly are they? In summary: Due to a number of grievances about how Mexican soccer is organized and handled, supporters have threatened to boycott the game against the United States if the anti-gay song is used, which might harm the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).
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The Azteca’s location is another factor to consider. Its suffocating altitude has weighed heavily on the United States for many years, however this has reduced in recent years. With a 0-3-3 record in World Cup qualifying, the US has only won once at the site. The United States’ manager, Gregg Berhalter, even went so far as to call the team’s record at the Azteca “horrible.”
The fact that the United States will have to play without Weston McKennie, Sergino Dest, Matt Turner, and Brenden Aaronson, who are all sidelined, makes it a monumental assignment. In a different light, the US is undefeated in its last three games here: two draws in World Cup qualification followed by a friendly victory in 2012.
Max Croes, a 37-year-old political strategist from Helena, Montana, is concentrating on this issue. He’s gone to all three of the United States’ matches against Mexico in the Azteca, and Thursday will be his fourth. He joked, “I’m a good luck charm.” “That is acceptable to me. With one point, I’ll be happy. With three points, I’d be completely insane.”
The 50,000-seat capacity, the 8 p.m. local time start, and the reality that certain Mexico players now play overseas all contribute to the home-field advantage being diminished. For some American fans, this is really a letdown.
“It’s a fortress going into Azteca,” Heather Borjon, a middle school teacher from Orange County, California, remarked. “I’ve been wanting to come here for a long time. It’s taken me this long to get here, and at this reduced capacity, it won’t even be the entire experience. But I’ve arrived. So, it was the nicest spring break ever.”
– USMNT World Cup qualification questions: Who will replace McKennie, and more (E+) – What’s it like to score in a USMNT-Mexico encounter at the Azteca?
The United States is under further strain. The United States’ failure to qualify four years ago in Couva, Trinidad — essentially The-Game-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named — still looms large in the minds of the team, despite the fact that only four players on current squad were there at the time. “Fear isn’t perceived inside the squad,” one of those players, Paul Arriola, said of Thursday’s encounter.
That isn’t the case during the “Night Before Party” thrown by the American Outlaws, a U.S. supporters organization. Even after several drinks, the anxieties are obvious, particularly when it comes to the United States’ prospects of qualifying.
“I’m terrified,” Michael Dovellos, a 29-year-old salesman from the suburbs of Chicago, said. “The load of the previous qualifying cycle, in my opinion, is too great. I don’t want to reawaken my hopes. However, I don’t want to be too depressed about it. I believe we have a decent chance of qualifying, but I’m not getting ahead of myself.”
Stephanie Casiano, a San Antonio-based health care practitioner, said, “I’ll probably not eat or drink after 11 a.m. tomorrow.” “It’ll be nerve-wracking, but this is my 48th game, so I’m involved in this squad.”
A first-place finish in the Azteca would be a huge payday.
Cesar Hernandez contributed additional reporting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mexico safe to travel?
A: Mexico is a very safe country to travel. You will find that the people are friendly and helpful, crimes are not as high as they would be in other countries and you can expect nothing but good experiences while visiting.
Do I need to get vaccinated to go to Mexico?
A: This is a question for your doctor to answer.
Is Mexico spelled with an accent?
A: Yes, the letter e is used without an accent.
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