Mexico has inevitably begun to talk the talk. But for the past 10 years, 20 really, it's the other half (the most important part) of the cliché they have had problems with against the US. Will the results be any different next week?
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Some players have been able to find a good equilibrium and are good at the innocuous sound byte:
Leandro Augusto -
"It's an important rivalry, compounded by the fact that in the last few years we have not won outside of Mexico. But we have to maintain our focus on what we are doing now, instead of worrying about the losses to the US."
"We have a lot of talent in Mexican football, those who are here and those who are coming from Europe, and I am sure that we'll play as well as we can. I am always motivated to take the pitch, even more so with the National team. I don't see it as pressure, but as a challenge, a responsibility. Whether I play or not, I'll lend my support however I can and enjoy myself."
Some pepper their confidence with a little more arrogance…
"There is no need to be obsessed; we can't fall in that trap. It's the three points that we're after, and we have to win by being calm, and collected, with a lot of mobility, and we cannot give away the ball. They are a dynamic team that is always disciplined on the pitch."
Not bad. A lot of fluff there. Surely someone can goad him into a good bulletin board byte…
“We can’t be afraid to play a team who, from my point of view, is not superior to Mexico. We just simply have to play football and leave everything else off the pitch. For me, Mexico is without a doubt the better team, and if we buckle down, do what we need to do and leave out the negativity, Mexico can win this and more.”
And then there is this guy. Chivas forward Carlos Ochoa has come out of no where to receive multiple call ups from SGE. Has he responded to the coach’s good will by lighting the field on fire? Not quite. The only thing that has been lit up is the big soccer servers, as Mexican footie fans questioned SGE’s sanity by continuing to call this guy up. To make matters worse, he gives us this morsel...
“We know that Mexico is much better. We have better players, a better league, and all we have to do is show it on the pitch. It’s time to close ranks. It’s time for Mexico to start playing better. Even though we play well at home, playing outside of Mexico is where it’s been very difficult for us, above all in the US, where we play as if we’re the home team. We can’t have anymore excuses, we have to play well and win vs. the US.”
I love rivalries. Living in Austin affords me the opportunity to watch a great one, Texas and Oklahoma, play out. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine Mack Brown would allow his players to continually underestimate their rival after losing so often to them.
Now the US is not Brasil70, and they by no means should be feared. But they should also not be underestimated. One would think that after 15+ years of bad results would be enough of a deterrent. But still, Mexican players continue to fall into that same trap, and they continue to see the US walk off the field with another victory. How is that working out for you?