Despite the 5-0 final score the last time these two teams met in a CONCACAF Gold Cup Final, and despite El Tri being the favorites to win the 2011 Gold Cup, the USA vs. Mexico rivalry is just as strong as its ever been.
As explained in detail by RSL Soapbox earlier today, there are plenty of reasons for that rivalry to exist, and it goes a lot farther than just "They took 'r jobs!" Its about two teams that have dominated the region for so long, and are showing no signs of giving up that dominance.
The USA and Mexico have traded back and forth between best and second-best for many years now. Mexico won the Gold Cup in 2009, but they'd happily trade that trophy for the success that the United States had in the Confederation's Cup in South Africa that same summer. Right now the Mexicans look like the better team. But that could all change in an instant. Just like it did four years ago.
That goal by Benny Feilhaber, the winning goal in the 2007 Gold Cup Final, was a big reason why I got into soccer again. I'd never stopped being a DC United fan, but they had certainly fallen down my priorities list in college and the two or so years. But my casual viewership of the Gold Cup quickly changed into rabid fanhood. And it hasn't changed back since.
The game tomorrow could do the same to thousands of casual viewers across the country.
The U.S. will have its work cut out tomorrow night, but whether its Dos A Cero or a penalty kick win, I'd love to see our boys lift a trophy again.