I guess I should just come out and say it.
I'm a fan of the Mexican National Team.
No, I haven't switched loyalties. Yes, I still want the U.S. to beat Mexico every time they play.
How did this happen? Probably a combination of common cause, familiarity, and a changing of the guard.
Carlos Salcido, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Claudio Suarez, Gerardo Torrado - these guys were so easy to hate. Rafa Marquez? Oh yeah. He's possibly the worst, but he's the last of his era.
The new breed? The ones that started out by winning the U-17 World Cup in 2005? Gio, Chicharito, Oribe, even Vela; these players are a joy to watch. Even the tweeners like Ochoa and Guardado play the game with skill and flair when they're allowed to. And Herrera is allowing them to play in an attractive engaging, fun way.
I've always been a one-team per sport kinda guy. Sports has always been easy for me. Pick your team, hate the rest. As a Big XII transplant living in ACC territory I've always mocked the locals for their rooting for other ACC teams in NCAA play or Bowl games. I may owe some friends of mine an apology or three.
To torture an analogy, I guess I see Mexico as our older brother. They picked on us terribly when we were small, but we've finally grown up. What keeps us together is that long as CONCACAF is a thing, our fates will always be intertwined. Whether it's LigaMX and MLS or El Tri and the USMNT (we really need a nickname, I've always liked Gringos) we've become joined at the hip. Mexico and the United States need each other to get better.
Tomorrow afternoon, like so many other televisions in the United States, mine will be tuned to Univision to watch Mexico take on Holland, and like so many others, I'll be thanking San Zusi and pulling for Mexico to win.
Don't worry, come Canada Day, I'll be all about the Red, White & Blue and cheering for Clint Dempsey to go all NAFTA up Belgium's backside. And when the CONCACAF Clasico is rejoined in the World Cup semifinals next week, I'll be chanting "Dos A Cero" with the rest of you.