For nearly the last two decades, the USA vs. Mexico rivalry in men’s soccer has been the hottest and most passionate rivalry in North America and some say in the world. The rivalry as we know it could soon change if certain plans come to fruition.
Any time the USA and Mexico meet in a competitive match, the home team usually has a massive advantage. Whether it be the U.S. hosting at their traditional venue in Columbus or El Tri hosting at the intimidating Estadio Azteca. However, both federations could soon be forced to answer some tough questions regarding both of their traditional venues.
On Monday, it was reported by MLSSoccer.com contributor, Andrew King, that Columbus Crew SC have begun “strategic planning” of a new stadium.
While that doesn’t necessarily mean that shovels will meet gravel in Columbus anytime soon, it does mean they’re at least entertaining the idea of not playing their home matches at MAPFRE Stadium anymore in the future.
“Fort Columbus” as it’s affectionately known as, has been a fortress for the U.S. men’s national team, especially against their biggest foes, Mexico. What would happen to any future USMNT matches against Mexico if MAPRE Stadium is no more? Would they try to play their matches at the new Columbus stadium in hopes the mystique carries over? Would they have to pick a new venue to try and have the best home field advantage possible?
U.S. Soccer aren’t the only ones facing questions. It was reported last month that the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) were looking into the possibility of hosting World Cup qualifiers in other venues than Estadio Azteca as soon as November even.
According to FMF executive, Decio de Maria, the altitude that has benefited El Tri against opposition so much in the past is now plaguing their own team due to the amount of players who aren’t used to those conditions.
Would they possibly sacrifice such a huge home field advantage against the USA in the future? Odds are that they won’t anytime soon, but the possibility isn’t completely off the table if reports are to be believed.
All things come to an end sooner or later. The era of home dominance in the USMNT vs. Mexico rivalry could become a thing of the past in the not-so-distant future if these two situations evolve any further. For now, we’ll just have to appreciate these two traditions for as long as they last.