The Mexican National team is in Columbus preparing for their qualifier against the US. The Mexican press is in the ready position, poised to jump all over SGE, demand his resignation, and chase his Scandinavian këster out of Mexico. Who needs him? The Tri can do better without him. He has been nothing but a failure, they have said. There is one variable, however, that the press hasn’t accounted for.
What if Mexico wins?
It can happen, and, frankly, it really wouldn’t be much of a surprise. I know Mexico has not beaten the US outside of Mexico in ten years. But the teams are evenly matched, and if (a very big if) Mexico can overcome the huge psychological advantage the US currently enjoys, their chances improve immensely.
What would the press say then? What is the world record for reversing positions?
The latest mountain created from the proverbial molehill was that SGE gave his players a day off last week. It just so happened to coincide with his birthday (and a Mexican national holiday). How dare he take the day off to celebrate his birthday? Doesn’t he understand what’s at stake next week? SGE could not understand what all the fuss was about. “It’s a question that I never thought I would get, but I’ll respond anyway. If any of you think that we took a break for my birthday, it would show a complete lack of professionalism. It just so happened that the day off coincided with my birthday. We decided on this last month, when the federation allowed for players to be released for national team duty a week early.”
The Mexican media has long made meals out of Mexico’s international misery. There is nothing more they enjoy than driving a pillar of salt into deep wounds sustained by a Tri mired in crisis. But they have no idea how to react when Mexico gets a decent result. Since the press never bothers to perform any kind of due diligence, they still believe that this is CONCACAF from 15 years ago. Any loss (and sometimes ties) to what they consider lesser teams is a complete catastrophe.
The US is favored to win Wednesday night. They should be. They had a great semi-final round, they are playing at home, and they have enjoyed great success against Mexico. But in the big picture, all the win does is allow the US to hold serve at home. It would be nice to steal a point or three in Columbus, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Tell that to the Mexican press.
But it would be the end of their world for if Mexico gets a result.
Until they concoct the next crisis.
PS - La guerra fria might not be so frio. Forecasts call for temps in the balmy 40s, with wind and rain.