As Kasey Keller notes in this video, for a long period of time, the U.S. seemed to have Mexico’s number. The results paint a slightly different picture, one that saw each team dominate on home soil, but between the Round of 16 win at the 2002 World Cup and the number of other matches that would take place in the States, you can see why Team USA developed a confidence when it came to Mexico. Particularly given where the States were coming from — the wilderness that was pre-1990 U.S. Soccer — you can understand why the generation of players that led the U.S. to some relative halcyon days takes enormous pride in what they accomplished.
And if you’re around an old national teamer and the topic comes up, the pride still burns. The rivalry is still there. It isn’t something that they file away only to bring out when the cameras turn on. As former captain Claudio Reyna said to me once, “[Mexico] still act like we weren’t beating them.”
Here, in U.S. Soccer’s 100 Moments series on YouTube, Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Eddie Lewis, Kasey Keller and Alexi Lalas talk about the rivalry they helped build … Just part of your primer before tonight’s match at Azteca.