As kick-off approaches for Russia 2018, only one team is the logical choice for Americans to cheer
As the World Cup kicks off this week without the US men’s national team, American fans are choosing who to put their support behind. Will it be the world champions Germany, the jogo bonito of Brazil, Lionel Messi’s Argentina or rank outsiders like Panama, Saudi Arabia and England?
Here at Guardian US we have decided to back Mexico. El Tri have already made the US a second home: just over half of their international matches since 2007 have been played in the US, across 22 metropolitan areas. Then there’s the shared football history between the two countries, from thrilling World Cup qualifiers to Mexicans who have lit up Major League Soccer and Americans who have made the journey to star in Liga MX. And, of course, Mexico and the US, along with Canada, will co-host the 2026 World Cup.
And then there’s the political climate we are living in. As presidential policy creates rifts between the US and Mexico now is an excellent time, to use an old cliche, for sport to bring the countries closer together.
In the next few weeks, we’ll have a reporter at each of Mexico’s games, starting from their opener against the reigning champions Germany on Sunday. We’ll also liveblog every El Tri game – in English and Spanish – and provide news and analysis throughout the tournament.
Our coverage won’t be limited to the pitch though. To launch our coverage we have Mexican-American boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya explaining why the US should support Mexico while Raul Vilchis will explain why, at a time of division and walls, the World Cup can be a time to celebrate both countries’ shared history and culture. He will also explore the importance of football and the national team to the country’s identity.
Later in the tournament, we’ll hear from Tom Dart, who travelled to Laredo, Texas to talk to Mexican-Americans fans on the border about how they handle their split loyalties in soccer while Nick Ames profiles looks at the career of one of Mexico’s biggest stars, Javier Hernández, on the eve of the tournament.
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