‘That’s not Gatorade. It’s blood.’: Why the US has never won a World Cup qualifier in Mexico

Israel Castro, in a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup, delivered one of the United States’ many painful moments Estadio Azteca. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)

MEXICO CITY — If the only issues playing soccer at Estadio Azteca were the heat, altitude and air quality, the U.S. national team surely would have won a World Cup qualifying match there by now.

Or if the stream of insults — as well as objects — hurled by the some 90,000 fanatics were all that stood in the way, the Americans probably would have escaped the historic cauldron with something better than two scoreless draws in official competition since 1972.

And if the Mexican team, the famed El Tri, weren’t so darn good at this game, the eternal hand-wringing by U.S. soccer ahead of the periodic visits would’ve ceased ages ago.

Individually, each of those influences is manageable. Collectively, they have conspired to inflict defeat and, at times, embarrassment in what has become one of soccer’s fiercest rivalries.

Emboldened by their new coach (Bruce Arena) and sensational teenager (Christian Pulisic), the Americans will try again Sunday evening.

The latest showdown is, by no means, a must-win in the trek to Russia

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soccer-insider/wp/2017/06/10/thats-not-gatorade-its-blood-why-the-u-s-has-never-won-a-world-cup-qualifier-in-mexico/

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