In the Box: U.S.-Mexico


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The headlines around the United States read loud and clear after its World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico this past weekend.

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U.S. SEES RED, WHITE, AND GREEN (Washington Post)

U.S. HUFFS, PUFFS, AND CAN'T SLAY THE GIANT,(New York Times)

MEXICO SERVES UP SOME SOCCER REVANCHA, (Houston Chronicle)

So the winless streak in Mexico continues for the United States. For the record, it is now 0-22-1 in Mexico.

Fans and this journalist for one felt this past Sunday the U.S. may have been ripe for their first ever historic win in Mexico.

It was not to be.

The 2-1 defeat inflicted on the U.S. will now elicit commentary from Mexican press and fans claiming that they are the number one team in the region .

Such is the rivalry that has blossomed since the early 90's from these two soccer playing nations.

The U.S. was beaten in nearly every facet of the game, and Mexico were deserved winners.

It's easy to question tactics and player selection after the fact yet it is necessary for the growth of our game.

Apart from the first 20 minutes of the first half and the first 15 to 20 minutes of the second half , this was all "tricolores."

As with any loss a lot can be questioned.

And questioned it was.

During my radio program "The Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" post-game calls flowed into the station like the Braes Bayou after a heavy rainfall.

E-mails rained in to my mailbox like snowflakes in Colorado.

There was so much for fans to sink their teeth into, and sink their teeth into they did.

"Why did Bruce Arena play Donovan wide in the first half and why was DaMarcus Beasley in a central role in midfield?" asked one caller.

"Why was Claudio Reyna sucking wind so visibly so early in the match?" asked another.

Another caller wondered why the U.S. has not developed more outside backs that can get forward?

After taking it all in today, sipping a latte, I smiled .

With all the questioning of tactics, player selection, and player performance I was reminded that soccer's growth is occurring steadily off the field as well.

This questioning of tactics, player selection, and player performance is vital for the growth of the sport (questions I always have).

Speculation, discussion, and debate can fuel the interest and awareness.

The more adults talking about soccer in the presence of young players the more invested they become in the game.

If youth realize soccer is important to adults and can comfortably discuss the game with the older generation so much can be gained.

I firmly believe we have to do a better job of making our young players realize the big picture of soccer and the big picture of soccer can be realized through discussion, education, and watching games on television.

Spoken words in good debate or discussion can motivate and educate as can visual images on television.

It can help people determine what they care about.

Despite a disappointing loss to Mexico there is a silver lining.

I found out more and more people continue to care about this great game called soccer.

Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches for the Fox Network as well.  He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" radio show on 90.1KPFT FM Radio every Sunday from 5-6 pm.  Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league all star selection and team captain.

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