The next round of World Cup qualifiers are here in CONCACAF on Friday, with games taking place all around the confederation. In addition to the U.S. Men's National Team heading to Central America to take on Guatemala Friday evening (not to mention the U.S. U-23s starting their 2016 Olympics qualifying playoff against Colombia's U-23s Friday afternoon), Canada hosts Mexico in World Cup qualifying at BC Place in Vancouver.
Canada is up for the game. They've been preparing for it for months, they've got a huge crowd (with undoubtedly a good number of Mexico fans in attendance) coming, and they know if they can get a result against Mexico, they'll be this much closer to reaching the Hexagonal round of qualifying, the next mountain in their progress back to the World Cup. They haven't actually been to a World Cup since 1986 (coincidentally held in Mexico!), which in American terms is the "pre-modern" era of soccer.
All that said, it's still Mexico's game to lose. On Goal.com, Jon Arnold had a fascinating comparison of Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio and his obvious preparation for El Tri's opponent, as opposed to Miguel Herrera and other predecessors, who sound like they mostly rolled the ball out and bellowed "Let's do this, boys!" If that attention to detail in scouting opponents means Mexico steps their game up collectively, and if the players really buy into Osorio's plan, look out CONCACAF. Seriously. It may be one game, but this could be a real hammering of Canada, even on the road, if Mexico play at 100 percent capacity.
How to Watch Canada vs. Mexico: Friday, 7 pm PT, UniMás, UDN in U.S.
Feel free to give predictions or discuss the game as it's happening in the comments section.
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