Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grant Wahl: The rise of Mexican soccer is a positive for the United States

I'm going to say something that may bother you: The rise of Mexican soccer is only a good thing for the United States. That's not to say it's easy right now if you're a fan of the U.S. men's soccer team. In fact, it's probably painful, a sharp and enduring ache that feels like a punch to the gut. The U.S. meets its greatest rival, Mexico, in an exhibition here on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2/3, Univision) -- I'm sure as hell not calling it a "friendly" -- and the gap between the two countries is bigger than it has been in more than 20 years. Just last Saturday, Mexico won the Olympic gold medal, outplaying a star-studded Brazil team that will provide much of that nation's 2014 World Cup squad. The U.S., by contrast, failed to even qualify for the Games.

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