Just like the United States, regional rival Mexico is warming up an upcoming trio of World Cup qualifiers.
El Tri played out an entertaining 2-2 draw Friday night in Houston against Nigeria. With the exception of Gio Dos Santos, this was Mexico’s full squad.
Three quick points on Friday night at a full Reliant Stadium:
Turning them into MLS fans
A crowd of more than 62,000 watched the match – a perfect example of something that continues to flummox MLS officials. The Dynamo do quite well at BBVA Compass Stadium, but in terms of ticket demand and getting the place consistently sold out, the club could always do better, of course.
So, how to make all those fans – and there are clearly many soccer fans in the city, just as there are all across the United States – become MLS fans? It’s a long road, clearly.
Chepo under pressure
You think U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann is under pressure?
Mexico manager José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre won’t survive June in his position if things don’t take a quick upward turn. El Tri, the overwhelming favorite coming into final round CONCACAF qualifying for World Cup 2014, has three points from its first three matches. Mexico is fifth of six teams in the current standings.
They will face Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica over the coming days, and a big move up the table will be expected, or else …
Inattention from mainstream media
I used to get frustrated as these high-profile international friendlies would sometimes come and go in the United States with almost no mention from English language mainstream media. Now I am just amused by the irony as the legacy media companies struggle and, in many cases, hemorrhage money.
I always say, “Show me an event that can draw 60,000 or 70,000 but doesn’t warrant a mention in the local newspaper or TV stations (the English language properties, that is) and I will show you an international soccer game going on!”