Road Warriors They're Not

Name the last time a Mexican national team at any level that was able to make a FIFA world cup (or Olympics) by getting through a qualifying tourney outside of Mexico? It has been a while.

A good while.

The U17, U20, U23 and even the senior squad have all failed miserably when a qualifying tourney is outside of Mexico. It is the norm rather than the exception. The latest to add to this futile record is the U20 squad, who were defeated by both Costa Rica and Canada all while not scoring a single goal. As always, there is plenty of blame to go around. Some fingers are pointing to Jesus Ramirez, the former youth squads coach who “abandoned” the youngsters to try and steady an increasingly pathetic Club America. The ones doing the finger pointing, the FMF suits, obviously weren’t to broken up about Chucho leaving in the first place because if they were really that serious in keeping him, they could have offered him a “pay raise”.

I am completely flummoxed by Mexico’s road woes. I’ll admit, living in Austin has me completely spoiled when it comes to a team’s performance on the road. Ever since Mack Brown arrived at Texas in 1998, the Longhorns have lost a total of 9 true road games. I read recently that the new Clemson coach was in town to observe how Mack operates and was blown away. I believe the term he used was “walking cliffs notes” on coaching. Perhaps Mack can give the FMF some pointers. At the very least he can advise them on how to win in Columbus!! I’ll start just in case they lose his number. Texas absolutely loves to play on the road. There is nothing they like more than quieting a rowdy stadium. Every time Texas comes to town, it is that team’s “game of the year.” When Mexico is on the road, they play timid, like a pimply faced boy dialing six numbers on his phone without ever any intention of hitting the seventh number to ask the hot girl in class out.

Mexico is a lot like Texas in a way. When they travel, they will get the absolute best effort form the home team and their fans. Texas knows this, and it motivates them to win. Mexico knows this, and lately it scares them into lying in the fetal position and sucking their thumb. Mexico struggles on the road even when they have the home crowd advantage. It’s had to be the Gigantes de CONCACAF if you can’t win on the road.

And to answer the question from above: 2003. The last 4 pre qualifying tournaments outside of Mexico (and Mexico didn’t qualify) include 2 U20s, 1 U17, and last year’s Hugo-flushing Olympic tourney.