* Above, coach 'El Vasco,' via SPD.
Mexico and the United States face off on the futbol field on Sunday, in New York, and the tensions of a long-suffering and maybe somewhat lopsided rivalry are pitched high. From a recent post I wrote at The Faster Times:
And why should you care, noble follower of baseball, basketball or U.S. football? Because soccer is the world’s sport, and because anytime the United States and Mexico — the “So far from God, so close to the United States” Mexico — confront one another on a field of play, it’s always about much, much more than the final score.
On Friday a scandalized El Universal carried a story highlighting a jab at Mexican national coach Javier Aguirre that a U.S. player posted on Twitter. "Apparently we're sharing a plane with the Mexican national team," Jimmy Conrad wrote. "I hope the Mexican coach doesn't kick me when I walk past him in the aisle."
Conrad's account is now down, but you might say Aguirre deserved it. Frustrated with his team's performance in a Gold Cup match against Panama earlier this month, Aguirre kicked an opposing player who got near him in the middle of play. The coach was subsequently suspended for three games, and Mexico was fined $25,000.
We'll see how, uh, animated things get between U.S. and Mexico tomorrow, when Aguirre returns to the field.