World Cup Qualifying: Mexico vs. USA - When Last We Met... Jinxed no more at the Azteca

In which we look back at the last time CONCACAF's two powers squared off. It was the first - and so far only - time the U.S. had ever won in Mexico's Estadio Azteca, the scene of tomorrow's World Cup Qualifier.

All it took was some ridiculous saves from Tim Howard, impossibly bad finishing from Chichirito, an improbable performance from first-time defensive partners Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu and an unlikely goal from substitute defender Michael Orazco Fiscal, but on August 15, 2012, the United States Men's National Team went to Estadio Azteca and beat Mexico for the first time. Ever. As Ian Darke points out in the video, it took 75 years of trying for the U.S. to break through.

It was a bit of an experimental side that Jurgen Klinsmann ran out that day, and it might have to be tomorrow, too. We won't have the services of Tim Howard (injured), Jermaine Jones (injured), Brek Shea (injured), Fabian Johnson (injured), Michael Orazco (not called in) or Landon Donovan (walkabout), all of whom played their part in that win for the USMNT.

The goose egg is off the record, finally, but it was a friendly, and we still haven't won a "real" match in Mexico. As experimental as the USA side was, Mexico's included none of their gold medal-winning Olympians and only some of their first choice players. Tomorrow is going to be tough. But, in an important sense, the monkey is off our back, and some of the young players who are sure to take the field tomorrow know they can get a result in the altitude and smog of Mexico City. So, as much as the win in August doesn't really count for a lot of reasons, in some important ways, it really matters. We just have to hope that that psychological disadvantage to playing at the Azteca is well and truly gone come tomorrow.

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