From Ground Zero

A reminder from AP:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtxPM4Ru1yo"]YouTube - Mexico Fans 'Stick It' to the U.S.[/ame]

That number for Blockbuster HQ in Dallas, once again: 214-214-854-3000. The PR Department has operators standing by. You might want to ask them when the little Mexico dolls go on sale.

Meanwhile, in Columbus, some of the players took to the streets (Ochoa and someone else, and I'm sure one of the dozens of guys with shiny new Blockbuster avatarswill be around shortly to tell us who):

This photo seems to have been taken just outside the Mexican team's hotel; the gentleman in the stylish white hat in the left background is a member of Columbus' finest, of which there is a substantial and very visible presence.

It's not exactly South Korean commando death squads surrounding the US team in Seoul, but then again they're most likely big Buckeye fans and think soccer fans deserve to die anyway.

The Mexico hotel has been confirmed as the Westin Columbus on South High Street:

Just in case you were, you know, planning a vacation in sunny CLB, that number is: (614) 228-3800.

Just as a side note, it would not be at all surprising if they changed hotels on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, across town, Bob and the Boys had some things to say:

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Sx7lH3Wnks"]YouTube - Feb. 8, 2009: MNT Practices in Columbus[/ame]

Speaking of America's Sun and Fun capital, the forecast for Wednesday, which had been for 58 degrees, was updated this morning.

The new prediction for the high on Wednesday is 62.

I need to correct something I posted in the comments yesterday regarding Mexico's practice venue.

SGE is indeed running the boys through their paces at somewhat obscure Spindler park, but contrary to what I posted, it is virtually impossible to gain access.

The park has been closed, there is security at the gates and the fields Mexico is using are way in the back, where they have erected a large barrier to prevent long range photography.

The US, sans several European based players, including both keepers, worked out at the Woody Hayes center on the campus of The Ohio State University, a huge football practice facility which is entirely under roof.

Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch REPORTS that the portion of US practice that the media was permitted to observe seems to indicate that the team's strategy centers around a lot of stretching.

Interestingly, Mitchell also says that despite the fairly balmy weather yesterday afternoon all of the Mexican media guys who came by to watch the US team diligently perfecting downward dog were bundled up in parkas.

(We're also indebted to Mitchell for the news that Onyewu showed up with a full beard.)

The balance of the US team will reportedly be in town for today's practice. Mexico will be back at Spindler while the US will likely be outside at Jesse Owens soccer stadium.

Both teams will conduct their final pregame practice tomorrow at Crew Stadium, which had the tarp removed yesterday afternoon for the first time in over a month.