It’s been a slow process, but I am finally coming to terms with the events that will unfold next Wednesday. This has nothing to do with what will happen at the Azteca, mind you.
The problem is that I won’t see it. Not one minute. I’ll be on plane heading out to Oakland to work the Cowboys’ first pre-season game.
I won’t know the answers to so many questions.
Will Gio weave his way through the American defenders enough times to set the table for his forwards? And more importantly, will they reward him for his efforts?
Will the Mexican defenders get a quick handle on the American counter attack that always seems to burn them alive? What about set pieces?
Cuauhtémoc Blanco’s best days were long ago, but the MLS fitness program has breathed new life into his legs. He doesn’t need much to make a difference; will he get a chance?
How much will Mexico miss Rafa Marquez? It depends. He usually saves his worst for the US matches. He can’t keep a lid on his temper. His defending skills are not necessarily unmatched by the other Tri defenders, but his passing skills are. Outlet passing cannot be careless against a team like the US. That’s where Rafa’s absence will be felt most.
Has Mexico gotten over the psychological hump? I have always maintained that these two teams are very evenly matched, but it’s always been between the ears where the US has enjoyed a huge advantage. Did last month’s win in the Meadowlands finally wake Mexico up from its hypnosis?
What about Carlos Vela? Would he be best used as a sub? A bolt of lightning against tired legs and overworked lungs? As a 30 year observer of Mexico, it is not often that I have seen Mexico have such a quality ace to play.
But I won’t see any of these play out at all. I won’t know until we touch down in California, fire up the cell phone and then….