Soccer is the most important thing, of those things that have no importance. – Mexican saying
Soccer is the sport of the future. And it always will be. – American saying
From across the only shared border of third and first world countries, two vastly different worlds collide on the soccer field. History has been kind to the financially rich, socially dominant and politically powerful Americans. Not so much for Mexico, with almost half the population living in poverty.
For over two centuries and one war, Mexico has been second best to its neighbor to the north. This was true everywhere except in one specific arena. The one place on the world stage that the Red, White and Green trumped the Red, White and Blue, fútbol, or as the yanqui’s call it, soccer. Now, in the 21st century, the balance of soccer power is beginning to shift in America’s favor and a true soccer rivalry, perhaps the most dynamic in the world, has been born.
How difficult has it been for Mexican fans to witness the rise of US Soccer? Can the success of the US National team transform the sport in this country, lifting it to the level of popularity and passion shared by the rest of the soccer-mad world? How does the US Mexico soccer rivalry affect the evolving cultural identities and team loyalties of the growing Mexican-American population?
To answer these questions we travel to both US v Mexico 2010 World Cup Qualifiers, the 2011 Gold Cup Final and crisscross the two countries interviewing fans, players, coaches, commentators and average people on the street to discover the power and influence a 90-minute soccer game can have on so many lives.