USA Soccer Returns to "Field of Nightmares"

By RJ Marquez
|  Tuesday, Aug 11, 2009  |  Updated 9:30 AM CDT
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USA Soccer Returns to "Field of Nightmares"

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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 26: Gerrardo Torrado #6 of Mexico collides with Brian Ching #11 of the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Championship match at Giants Stadium on July 26, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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So how big is Wednesday's USA-Mexico World Cup Qualifier in Mexico City? So BIG that the Mexican Soccer Federation made whatever move possible beforehand to give its squad the best possible chance at winning this crucial match.

I don't blame them, but a day game, (3 p.m. central) during the middle of the week is rather odd.

Add in the fact that you can only watch this game on Telemundo and Mun2, and you have the smell of desperation, not smog, coming out of The Estadio Azteca.

But desperation isn't only coming from the Mexican side, the US is feeling the heat as well.

El Tri destroyed The Americans in last months Gold Cup Final. It was Mexico's first win against the States on US soil in nearly a dozen tries, and it wasn't pretty, 5-0.

The level of competition will be much different this time around because the US will have its A-Team on the pitch, but it will be no walk in the park.

The US is winless at The Estadio Azteca, a staggering 0-22-1

The Cathedral of Mexican soccer is unlike any home field advantage in the World, especially when it comes to Mexico's rivals up north.

Needless to say, a US win would be huge and unprecedented, but a loss doesn't deflate its World Cup chances.

On the other hand, Mexico needs this one bad. El Tri is currently in 4th Place in World Cup Qualifying, and a loss against the Americans, on home soil would be devastating to the morale of a team and nation that has missed the World Cup only once since 1970.

So the stage is set: Mexico vs. USA in front of 100,000-plus rabid fans, in the sweltering August heat, humidity and altitude at the famed Azteca Stadium.

Welcome to the US Soccer Team's Field Of Nightmares.

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