Doom and gloom in Mexico: Media sounding "alarms" and "alerts" for El Tri's slump
MEXICO CITY – The alarms are sounding in the Mexican press after Mexico's worst-ever start to a CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying round with just two points after two matches.
El Universal's sports headline read "Alerta Al Tricolor" (Tricolor Alert) with a large photo of former New York Red Bulls designated player Rafa Márquez in a León jersey as he helped preview Tuesday's Mexico vs. USA match-up at the Estadio Azteca (10:30 pm ET, ESPN and Univision).
"It's not going to be an easy game," Márquez said. "We saw against Jamaica how the game got real complicated and now with a stronger rival it's going to be even more complicated."
The Azteca crowd did not take too well to Mexico's Hex-opening 0-0 draw against Jamaica on February 6. And they let El Tri have it, mocking Javier "Chicharito" Hernández & Co. while serenading the Jamaicans with "ole" chants.
"It's not ideal to go against the national team," Márquez told El Universal. "In the end, the fans will make their decisions and their points of view and you have to respect them."
The Mexican press is never at a loss for words when it comes to sensationalizing the demise of their national team. After "alert" was splashed on one headline, Excelsior says it's time for the "Alarma Tricolor."
Reforma's sports section leads with news that Estadio Azteca officially sold out for the match on Saturday with an estimated 105,000 fans expected on hand, including about 400 USMNT supporters.
Former Chivas USA defender Claudio Suárez tells the newspaper his story of how the 0-0 draw against the USA in the 1997 World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Azteca may have ultimately cost then-manager Bora Milutinovic his job.
Suárez's memory of the match? The familiar tune of the Estadio Azteca turning against the Mexicans and chanting "olé" for the USMNT.
Milenio's spread is titled "En Un Bajón" (In a Funk) with wide-eyed manager José Manuel "El Chepo" de la Torre "living through his toughest time at the helm of the national team."
On a positive note, the Mexican outlet also highlight Chicharito's goal-scoring prowess for Mexico after another two strikes against Honduras put him in sixth place all-time with 30 goals. And that's after only three years as a regular starter for El Tri.
Retired Jared Borgetti stands at No. 1 with 46 goals, which seem well the 24-year-old Chicharito's reach.