There’s a lot to like about Mexico, but thanks to Mexico’s standing as the United States’ most hated soccer rival, I will choose to ignore all of those good things for the next two paragraphs and be as ignorant as possible. I also carry an additional grudge against our spicy, southern neighbors because last year I saw the U.S. play Mexico last year at Giants Stadium and it was undoubtedly the worst sporting event of my life (Mexico won 5-0). Afterwards, I spent the next 48 hours fire-bombing every Chipotle in the Tri-State area (but not before I stole all their delicious salad dressing…which I would make love to…were it not a condiment). But the Mexican team showed that day that the 23 men they’ll bring to South Africa (presumably in an 8-passenger jet) have the talent to make a deep run in the World Cup. But enough about soccer for now, there’s something I need to get off my chest:
HEY HOMBRES, what are you doing to stop the oil spill? Last time I checked it didn’t happen in the Gulf of the UNITED STATES, DICKS. Put down the Carlos Santana CD and start brainstorming, Chico. Christ, Enrique at Qdoba can put 18 different salsas on my burrito without a drop leaking out, IT’S THE SAME CONCEPT. TAKE A GIANT BURRITO BOWL AND TURN IT UPSIDE DOWN- PRETEND IT’S A FUCKING QUESTION MARK. Now, get to work on my petroleum tamales before we resurrect Davy Crockett to come down there and skull fuck The Most Interesting Man in the World, comprende?
Nickname: El Tri, short for El Tricolor or the “three-colored”. Because their jerseys are three different colors! GET IT?
Best Player: Tough call here, but in terms of consistency and reputation, gotta go with Rafael Marquez, CB, Barcelona
Outlook: Despite a lackluster start to their qualifying campaign, El Tri seems to have collected itself enough over the past year to look like a team that could make a significant run in South Africa. They are loaded with playmakers, especially their young dynamic trio of 23-year-old Gio Dos Santos (Tottenham), 21-year-old Carlos Vela (Arsenal) and 22-year old Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Manchester United) who I will now refer to only as Los Jonas Brothers. Joining the pop heart throbs on the attack will be midfielder Andres Guardado, ageless MLS star Cuauhtemoc (yep, that’s a name) Blanco and Alberto “Funky Cold” Medina. However, the problem with Mexico has never been a dearth of talent, rather, it’s a Balkanized offense that relies on individual effort over teamwork. But if the Mexicans can find a way to work together on offense, look out, cause they have the talent to score in bunches.
Defensively, it starts with Marquez, who has long been the rock in the center of their defense. Additionally, Guillermo Ochoa is a stud in goal, even if his long, curly locks give him a Justin Guarini/Sideshow Bob kind of feel. The defense has shown, though, that they are highly susceptible in the air, and could exposed against the right team (England in the quarterfinals). If you’re looking for an intangible advantage, El Tri will benefit enormously from their history of playing at high altitudes in Mexico City since many of the matches in South Africa will take place thousands of feet above sea level, which can have a draining effect on unaccustomed athletes.
Most Famous Citizen: Carlos Mencia. Like Mencia, this team makes a lot of noise leading up to every World Cup, is just good enough to get out of their group (or get a Comedy Central show), then inevitably blows it and embarrasses themselves. Also, my life would be much better if both drowned in a pool of salsa con queso.
Prediction: I like the Mexicans to win Group A and advance to the quarterfinals. If both the U.S. and Mexico finish first in their groups and win their next match, they’d meet in the quarterfinal round, just like in 2002 when WE KICKED THEIR ASSES. However, given the inexperience and inconsistency of this team, it wouldn’t be a shock for Mexico to get ousted in the group stage. It WOULD be a shock, however, if I didn’t get arrested for shooting guns in the air and screaming ARRRIBBBAAAA if that happened.