A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Friday, Sept. 12, 2013

New national team coach says there is no margin for error for team to qualify for next year's World Cup

King Midas says he hopes hot potato he inherits can turn into gold potato

     New national soccer team coach Víctor Manuel "King Midas" Vucetich said Thursday that there is no margin for error for Mexico to make it to next year's World Cup and said he hopes that he can turn the hot potato he has inherited into a gold potato. To get to the World Cup, Mexico must beat Panama Oct. 11 and ideally at least tie Costa Rica Oct. 15 and then likely have to beat New Zealand in a two-team playoff in November. Vecetich has coached 11 different teams in Mexican professional soccer and five league championships, in addition to other championships. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

Mexico loses to U.S. by 2-0 score for fourth straight time in Columbus, Ohio; Mexico faces tough road to get into next year's World Cup in Brazil, but controls own destiny

      Mmexico national soccer team sealexico lost to the United States on Tuesday — its fourth straight loss by a 2-0 score in Columbus, Ohio — and faces a difficult path to qualify for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil. But Mexico at least controls its own destiny. Tijuana's sports section-front headline, however, was "Rope around its neck"; not getting into the World Cup could be a terrific blow to the Mexican psyche.

      With two games left in regional qualifying, Mexico is essentially tied for fourth place with Panama, which Mexico hosts Oct. 11. The top three regional finishers go to Brazil, while the fourth-place team will have to win a two-game playoff with New Zealand to qualify for the World Cup.

       If Mexico beats Panama, it has an excellent chance of qualifying for the play-in spot in the World Cup; on Oct. 15, Panama will host the regional leader United States, while Mexico will travel to second-place Costa Rica. Honduras, 3 points ahead of both Mexico and Panama (a win is 3 points, a tie 1 point and a loss zero points), is in third place. Honduras hosts Costa Rica on Oct. 11 and then travels to last-place Jamaica on Oct. 15.

       On Monday, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann told Reforma newspaper that he thought that Mexico, by hook or by crook, would wind up qualifying for the World Cup. Story in Frontera (PDF).

North, Central America and the Caribbean standings, next games

Points Rank Team Points Oct 11 game Oct 15 game Comments
1 U.S. 16 Jamaica @Panama Going to 7th straight World Cup
2 Costa Rica 15 @Honduras Mexico Back after missing 2010 tourney
3 Honduras 11 Costa Rica @Jamaica If Honduras wins one game and ties another, it is guaranteed a trip to Brazil
4 Panama 8 @Mexico U.S. If Panama beats Mexico Oct. 11, Mexico is likely done
4* Mexico 8 Panama @Costa Rica If Mexico beats Panama and ties or beats Costa Rica, it qualifies at least for the play-in playoff v. New Zealand #
6 Jamaica 4 @ U.S. Honduras Jamaica played U.S. tough in 2-1 home loss June 7 and tied Costa Rica 1-1 at home on Tuesday

* Mexico trails Panama on goals scored/goal differential; in eight games, Mexico has scored four goals while giving up six, while Panama has seven goals and has given up nine. Both teams have won one game, lost two, and tied five; the teams tied 0-0 in Panama June 7.

Points: Win=3, Tie=1, Loss=0.

North, Central America and the Caribbean standings (FIFA).

     The United States dominated Tuesday's game after withstanding an initial attack from Mexico, which lost under its new coach, Luis Fernando Tena. Game story, U-T San Diego.
Frontera's sports section front (PDF): "Rope around its neck."

      Mexico has qualified for five straight world cups and has appeared in 14. It was disqualified from the 1990 World Cup for using overage players in the runup to the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.