On Oct. 10th, 2015, the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, California will host a football game of huge significance. This is exactly the sort of affair that the Rose Bowl was designed for, but this isn’t just any football game. This is a CONCACAF Cup “futbol” clash between historic rivals the United States and Mexico.
Any occasion that these two teams square off provides plenty of entertainment for both sets of fans, but whoever wins this particular game qualifies for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. The way things currently stand, this game is set to be a cagey affair.
The stars and stripes recently had a disappointing fourth place finish in the Gold Cup, while “El Tri” is in a period of transition after firing head coach Miguel Herrera. Personally, I’m going to predict a 2-1 victory for the United States partially due to my American bias, and partially due to the fact that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has yet to lose to Mexico.
Vanguard University forward Ivan Azpeita believes that “Mexico will win because they have Chicharito and because Donovan is now retired, #NoEraPenal”. For those that aren’t familiar with “Chicharito” and Donovan, Azpeita is referring to Mexico’s star striker Javier Hernandez and former American star striker Landon Donovan.
Regardless of who wins the match, the sold-out 90,000 seat stadium should have a rapturous atmosphere powered by both sides of the border.
In fact, Mexico may have an especially bitter edge to their play thanks in large part to Donald Trump and his recently voiced opinions on immigration. In one of his numerous controversial statements, Trump claimed that “the Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” All things considered, this is just another controversy to reignite a rivalry that has spanned 70 games and 81 years.
In those 70 contests, The United States Men’s National team sports a 21-14-35 record. However, as I alluded to in my prediction, the U.S. has won 3 and drawn 3 since Klinsmann took the reigns back in July 2011. As well as being an immensely important qualifying game, this game could also have a significant bearing on Klinsmann’s future. Retired LA Galaxy and United States legend Landon Donovan believes that Klinsmann should be fired if the US fails to win this game. Referring to the team’s recent results, Donavan stated that “the reality is that now, anywhere else in the world, if this coach had those results, and they lose this game against Mexico, they’d be fired. I think if Jurgen wants to hold all the players to that standard, then he has to be held to that standard too.”
The relationship between Donovan and Klinsmann has been an adversarial one ever since Klinsmann decided to omit Donovan from the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster.
Is it possible that an icon of American Soccer in Landon Donovan may secretly yearn for a defeat to our country’s greatest rival? Be sure to tune in to the game on Saturday night at 6 pm.