Rafa Marquez, in his 13th appearance against the United States, Rafa Marquez, the scorn of American soccer dating back to to his mid-air head butt on Cobi Jones at the 2002 World Cup, Rafa Marquez, the captain on his international swan song, Rafa Marquez. That's all you need to know: Rafa Marquez.
FIFA Men's World Cup
Mexico took the lead against the United States in the first half, but Jozy Alitdore and Bobby Wood simply weren’t having it. A clear goal scoring chance was crafted out of nothing, Jozy Altidore turning his marker with all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop and sending Wood through on goal.
Wood did much of the same, simply disregarding the attentions of the Mexican defense to fire past Alfredo Talavera and equalize for the United States.
Kick off in Columbus, Ohio was greeted with resounding chants of “Dos a Cero!” from the pro-American crowd. However, the jinx has been resoundingly ended by Miguel Layun, and Mexico are desperately unlucky not to have a couple more.
Only 10 minutes into the United States versus Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, and it looked as though El Tri would break their scoreless jinx at the ground. Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona somehow made his way through three American defenders before sending a curling effort on frame.
The wicked shot rebounded off the frame of goal, and replays show that American goalkeeper Tim Howard played a massive role in that Mexican misfortune. A finger-tip save from the Colorado Rapids keeper pushed it onto the post, narrowly avoiding a fantastic opener for the visiting team.
Mexico have announced their starting lineup for tonight’s World Cup qualifier against the USA, and it’s terrifying. While many predicted that Rafa Marquez would start in midfield for El Tri, the veteran player has been put in defense alongside Hector Moreno and Diego Reyes.
In midfield, Miguel Layun, Andres Guardado and Hector Herrera will be charged with protecting the defense and shuttling the ball forward into attack. Above them, Carlos Vela, Tecatito Corona and Giovani dos Santos will look to stretch the American defense.
Jurgen Klinsmann has named a vastly experienced starting eleven for Friday night’s World Cup qualifying match against Mexico in Columbus, Ohio. The only real deviance from that formula is the inclusion of 18-year-old Christian Pulisic, but the Borussia Dortmund starlet was widely tipped to start tonight.
In the absence of Geoff Cameron, John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez will anchor the center of defense for the Americans. Fabian Johnson has been pushed into midfield, and DeAndre Yedlin will have to accept a place on the bench as Timmy Chandler will start on the outside of defense.
Goals from Liverpool duo Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill lifted England to a 3-0 victory over Scotland in World Cup qualifying at Wembley Stadium.
England’s impeccable qualifying record continues, the Three Lions firmly in control of UEFA’s Group F following three wins and a draw from four matches. With Liverpool in tremendous Premier League form, it was no surprise to see Sturridge and Lallana get on the scoresheet while Jordan Henderson pulled the strings from midfield.
“We need to change this s---ty situation. We didn't expect this result. It could have even been worse. We weren't able to react,” Lionel Messi said after Thursday’s match, summing up their loss to Brazil as well as anyone could.
Judging by their recent form and the fact that Brazil never lost a World Cup Qualifiers match at home, it would be no stretch to predict a draw or a win against Argentina.
The United States of America
Jermaine Jones has provided the largest source of “bulletin board material” for Mexico’s locker room by launching a scathing assessment of Mexico’s Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez. While Jones says he wouldn’t label Chicharito a “dirty player”, he does believe that the Mexican striker's fondness for playing directly on the offside line makes him something of an annoyance to come up against.