March 16, 2008

Adios, Mexico! El Tri Crashes Out of Olympic Qualifying

Poor Mexico - they sustain yet another soccer disappointment after crashing out of the olympic qualifiers in a wild game against Haiti (they actually won this match 5-1, but didn't make it out of their group due to goal differential).

Mexican arrogance about soccer is almost entirely undeserved - and inexplicable. The fact is, they've always been on the wrong side of Brazil and Argentina and really have not fared better than your run of the mill South American contenders. Yet, from hearing them describe their love affair with futbol, you would think they deserved to be in the upper soccer echelon. They don't.

In many ways, and this will bring a tear to many a Mexican eye, their soccer history really isn't so much further along than the USA. Until very recently, many of their players were just as tactically naive as Americans - everyone knows the craftiest footballers come from the big 2 in South America. Everyone else is just fighting over the scraps. Other than better foot skills, which does count for something, Mexico really doesn't have any better coaching, better soccer IQ, or for the last 10 or so years, a better team.

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