Tuesday, September 10, 2013

EXTRA: E.E.U.U., 2 – Mexico, 0

It wasn’t a surprise by any means to see the U.S. national soccer team defeat Equipo Mexico.

A political statement alongside the pitch?
 
And with the battle taking place on the pitch at Columbus Crew Stadium, it wasn’t a shock to see a crowd overwhelmingly clad in red, white and blue.

IT WAS A pro-U.S. atmosphere that saw the U.S. team qualify, for all practical purposes, for one of the 32 slots in the World Cup tourney taking place next year in Brazil.

As for Mexico, they’re not completely out of it. But this is a team that hasn’t been able to win much of anything this year. Most of their matches have resulted in ties – although they’re now with a two-game losing streak (to Honduras on Friday, along with the U.S. on Tuesday).

Something is going to have to snap into shape quickly if they’re to also make the trip to Brazil next year.

As for the crowd atmosphere, the one thing that bothered me more than anything were some of the flags that were waved about by fans of the U.S. team. Not the U.S. flag – there’s nothing wrong with stars and stripes.

BUT IT WAS those yellow flags with the snake and the “Don’t Tread on Me.” The Gadsden Flag was a patriotic symbol some two-and-a-third centuries ago. But now, it has become the label of the Tea Party-types.
GALINDO: Kept her cool

It makes me wonder how many of the people who made the trip to Columbus want to view Tuesday as a political statement – rather than a sporting event between the two top teams of the North American region of the international soccer world.

There were some Mexican fans, although I couldn’t help but notice the attempts to overwhelm their presence in Columbus.

Watching the Univision pre-game show, I noticed that crowd-and-atmosphere reporter Alba Galindo first had a loud-mouthed fan trying to shout what I think were anti-Mexican slurs while she was live on television.

FORTUNATELY, HIS AUDIO didn’t make it out clearly. I couldn’t tell exactly what that fan tried to say.

Less than pleased people
Although I also noticed the other fans who tried to hold up U.S. flags behind her – which caused green-clad fans of Los Tri-colores to quickly rush in and try to cover up U.S. flags with Mexico flags.

The resulting scuffle taking place while Galindo tried to report on the light-hearted atmosphere was almost humorous to watch. More humorous were the string of Twitter comments that Univision put on the television screen during the match -- particularly the kid who said he was enjoying his father getting all outraged at the moment the U.S. scored its second goal.

To my knowledge, that was the big outburst. Which may be the real victory for all of us fanaticos de futbol. We managed to behave ourselves! For the most part.

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