El Tri In Meltdown
Suspended Hotshot Rafael Marquez
It's entirely for selfish reasons that I bring this up. When World Cup 2010 is played in South Africa, my plan is to be in Mexico and to watch games from the many cafes in Tulum. And that won't be anywhere near as much fun as it was in 2006 (which was a tremendous amount of fun) if Mexico somehow doesn't make the cup. This should be unthinkable. But it isn't. Right now the team is in meltdown.
According to the LA Times Rafael Marquez, who is out of the next to qualifiers because of a foul on the US keeper, had this to say:
"It's unfair that people are trying to pin the blame on me for the bad results we've been having," Marquez said. "If you ask me, Mexican football has a deep-rooted problem. . . . Our football is stagnating, and with everything that's happened it's time to come right out and say it. If we carry on like this, we're all going to pay for it."
Well, that's really great, isn't it. And far from optimistic. And then there's this remark from Nery Castillo, who is also angry because he couldn't make the grade at Manchester City and had to return to his Ukraine club, lashing out at Mexican journalists:
"Do you know what your problem is?" Castillo said. "It's that I'm in Europe and you're in Mexico. And you're always going to be in Mexico."
Well, that's really great, too, isn't it. He could as well have been speaking about many of his teammates. That builds warmth, support, comeraderie, and victories on the field.
Today Mexico plays Costa Rica in qualifying in Mexico City. If that goes badly, and it might without Marquez, you'll probably see Mexico fire its current coach, Sven-Goren Eriksson, about whom there have been enormous complaints. But by then, it might be too late. Mexico may have played itself out of the cup.
Mexico lost to the US in Ohio last month 2-0. That was its third loss in the past four qualifiers. And, lest we forget for a second, they played terribly against the US.
This is really sad, and some kind of national disgrace. Let's hope El Tri finds a way to get its act together. Their schedule after Costa Rica is not that tough, so maybe, just maybe they can pull it together.