United States-Mexico: For Country and Glory

David ArreolaSenior Analyst IFebruary 11, 2009

Today is unlike any other day.

Today is different...it carries a certain feel to it.

Today carries excitement, anticipation, and even dread.

Today, the United States and Mexico duel on the football pitch again. Only this time, it is for real.

The United States and Mexico kick off the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers in a renewal of an ever-so bitter rivalry. The last time these two teams met, it was in a friendly match that ended in a 2-2 draw.

This match will be played in Columbus, OH.

Both teams are young and talented. But both teams are going in very different directions.

Since finishing third in the Copa America, Mexico has been in a complete tailspin from their throne in North American football. They even failed to qualify for the Olympics.

Since embarrassingly crashing out of the Copa America, the United States has dominated qualification and has won big friendlies in Europe.

However, none of that matters when these two teams take the pitch.

This rivalry is unlike anything we have a chance to see. Not only do the fans hate each other, but the players hate each other. The coaches hate each other and the guys on the stretchers hate each other.

There is nothing but hate on the pitch when these two play. Both teams play dirty; both teams play hard.

In recent years the United States has caught Mexico in terms of skill, something the Mexican fanbase is not happy about.

However, it is the American media that has really heated this rivalry up again by making claims that the United States is ready to take the next step in international football, despite an awful record in international tournaments.

Before, it was merely Mexican domination over an inferior team. Now, it is a hard-nosed battle between two good squads.

Claims have come out of the United States that Mexico is not on the same level and that days of Mexican dominance are "long over."

I don't think this rivalry will ever be dominated by one team ever again. I only know that each matchup will be one of pride and pain.

Each match will be for country and for glory.

Mexico vs. the United States, the rivalry.