World Cup qualifying odds: USA at Mexico
Off a crucial win in a blizzard over Costa Rica, the United States could take a big step toward qualifying for next year’s World Cup by winning where they almost never do: at Mexico, which opened as a -180 favorite on WagerWeb.com for Tuesday’s match. Check our current lines.
Mexico drew their first two matches, at home to Jamaica then away to Honduras, while the Americans lost their opening match in Honduras before battling to a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Denver. Clint Dempsey’s first-half goal was his 12th in World Cup qualifying, tying him with career scoring leader Landon Donovan atop the U.S. charts. Meanwhile, Mexico labored to a scoreless draw against Jamaica but then looked back to their best on Friday, at least for 70 minutes. Striker Javier Hernandez scored two superb goals before Honduras replied with two of their own in the last 15 minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw.
The Americans have the added weight of history against them, having never won a World Cup qualifier at the intimidating Azteca Stadium. But In the most recent meeting, the U.S. earned its first victory on Mexican soil, a 1-0 international friendly win on Aug. 15, 2012. Michael Orozco Fiscal scored his first international goal in the 80th minute and goalkeeper Tim Howard made three saves – including two late stops – en route to the historic victory. Howard remains out for now, however, due to injury.
“It won’t be like the friendly we had in August, when it was a half-full stadium,” said veteran DaMarcus Beasley, who plays his club soccer for Liga MX side Puebla. “This game will be 110,000, for sure. It’s our biggest rival; it’s a qualifying match; and they have to get a win. It’s going to be a dogfight.”
In addition, U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones has been ruled out. He sprained his ankle against Costa Rica. Jones did not travel with the team to Mexico. Jones received the injury in the first half, which required two stitches during the interval. He continued play until being subbed out in the 83rd minute.
In the 100-year history of the American program, El Tri has been the Yanks’ most frequent foe, holding a 32-16-12 record all time versus the Americans. The sides have become increasingly competitive over the past dozen years. Since 2000, the Yanks lead the series 11-5-3, and they also eliminated El Tri from the 2002 World Cup. But the pendulum has swung back recently — the U.S. has only one win in the adversaries’ past five meetings.
In a way, the Yanks will be playing with house money in this one. With that 0-12 all-time record in qualifying matches south of the border, it’s no secret that the U.S. is expected to lose. And after Mexico squandered a two-goal lead and had to settle for the tie in Honduras on Friday, suddenly all the stress is on the still-winless hosts.
Jenni Rivera Killed In Plane Crash
Singer Jenni Rivera was killed when the jet she was being shuttled in crashed just outside Monterrey, Mexico early Sunday.
The Mexican-American singer’s father confirmed her death in the fatal crash, along with her publicist, lawyer, makeup artist and two pilots. Pedro Rivera told Telemundo:
“Everyone was lost.”
The Learjet 25 had been due to arrive in Toluca, outside Mexico City, but aviation authorities lost contact with it around 10 minutes after takeoff. The wreckage was later found in Nuevo Leon.
It’s still unclear what caused the powerful crash, but civil aviation chief Alejandro Argudín says the jet was “totally destroyed” and “almost unrecognizable.” A mangled California driver’s licence with Rivera’s name and picture was found among the debris
Jenni, 43 and mother of five and grandmother of two, was a popular judge on Mexico’s version of The Voice and recently signed on for an ABC comedy pilot about the adventures of a middle-class Mexican-American mom.
She sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and just this year won two Billboard Mexican Music Awards — one for Female Artist of the Year and the other for Banda Album of the Year for Joyas Prestadas: Banda.
Mexico Looking To Change Its Name To… Mexico
The country’s formal name is “The United Mexican States,” but few people use it.
President Felipe Calderon wants to make it simply “Mexico.”
Calderon says the name was adopted in 1824 to imitate the country’s northern neighbor, The United States of America.
Calderon said Thursday Mexico doesn’t need to emulate anyone.
The constitutional reform would have to be approved by both houses of Congress and a majority of the country’s 31 state legislatures. However, Calderon leaves office on Dec. 1.
Calderon first proposed the name change as a congressman in 2003. The bill did not make it to a vote.
Mexico’s Election Authority Orders Vote Recount
Something’s rotten in Enrique Peña Nieto’s victory… Mexico’s presidential election is looking a lot murkier than it did over the weekend after the country’s election authority ordered 78,012 ballot boxes—54.5% of the total—to be reopened and recounted.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who came in second by a margin of around 7%, according to preliminary results, called for a recount after charging that the vote was plagued by irregularities. Election officials say the recount is “an exercise in openness and transparency.”
Peña Nieto expressed confidence that the recount will keep his victory intact, although he now faces a long legal process before he can be declared president-elect.
On related news, the candidate’s promise to break with the PRI’s dirty past didn’t get a good start after reports that the PRI handed out supermarket debit cards in return for votes. “It was perhaps the biggest operation of vote-buying and coercion in the country’s history,” a former election authority official tells the Washington Post.
22-Year-Old AP Intern Found Dead In Mexico
Armando Montano, a 22-year-old aspiring journalist who was working this summer as a news intern for AP in the Mexican capital, was found dead early Saturday
Montano’s body was found in the elevator shaft of an apartment building near where he was living in the capital’s Condesa neighborhood. The circumstances of his death were being investigated by Mexican authorities.
The Colorado resident arrived in Mexico City in early June after graduating from Grinnell College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a concentration in Latin American studies.
During his time in the bureau, Montano covered stories including the saga of nine young elephants from Namibia who wound up on an animal reserve in Mexico’s Puebla state, and the shooting of three federal policemen at the Mexico City airport.
“Armando was a smart, joyful, hardworking and talented young man,” said Marjorie Miller, AP’s Latin America editor based in Mexico City.
“He absolutely loved journalism and was soaking up everything he could,” said Miller. “In his short time with the AP, he won his way into everyone’s hearts with his hard work, his effervescence and his love of the profession.”
He is survived by his parents, Diane Alters and Mario Montano, of Colorado Springs, who both teach at Colorado College.
Mexicans Elect PRI Party Back To Power
It looks like Mexicans have really bad short tem memory: The party that ruled their country with an iron grip for most of the last century has sailed back into power, promising a government that will be modern, responsible and open to criticism.
Though Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Pena Nieto’s margin of victory was clear in the preliminary count from Sunday’s election, it was not the mandate the party had anticipated from pre-election polls that had at times shown the youthful, 45-year-old with support of more than half of Mexico’s voters.
Instead, he won 38 percent support, about 7 points more than his nearest rival, according to a representative count of the ballots, and he went to work immediately to win over the two-thirds who didn’t vote for him, many of whom rejected his claim that he represented a reformed and repentant party.
“We’re a new generation. There is no return to the past,” he said in his victory speech. “It’s time to move on from the country we are to the Mexico we deserve and that we can be … where every Mexican writes his own success story.”
The PRI for 71 years ruled as a single party known for coercion and corruption, but also for building Mexico’s institutions and social services. It was often accused of stealing elections, most infamously the 1988 presidential vote. But PRI governments were also known for keeping a lid on organized crime, whose battles with government and each other under Calderon have taken more than 50,000 lives and traumatized the country.
Repeating a popular belief of many Pena Nieto supporters, Martha Trejo, 37, of Tampico said, “He’ll stabilize the cartels. He’ll negotiate so they don’t hurt innocents.”
Good luck with that lady…
Carlos Fuentes Dead At 83
Author Carlos Fuentes, who played a dominant role in Latin America’s novel-writing boom by delving into the failed ideals of the Mexican revolution, died Tuesday in a Mexico City hospital. He was 83.
The cause was not immediately known, said a Mexican culture official, who was not authorized to speak to the media.
Mexican media reported Fuentes died at the Angeles del Pedregal hospital, where he was being treated for heart problems. The loss was immediately mourned worldwide via Twitter and across Mexican airwaves.
A message on President Felipe Calderon’s Twitter account said “I deeply lament the death of our beloved and admired Carlos Fuentes, a universal Mexican writer.”
Many American readers know him for The Old Gringo, a novel about San Francisco journalist Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared at the height of the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution. That book was later made into a film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.
Migration Down to ‘Net Zero’: Mexicans return home
Rising standards of living in Mexico are causing emigration to drop, and increasing the number of Mexican immigrants returning home, reversing the massive exodus of the 1980s and ’90s, reports the Christian Science Monitor. In fact, with one million Mexicans returning from the US between 2005 and 2010—three times more than in the previous five years—some experts believe migration to America is now at a “net zero” for the first time since the 1960s.
The number of undocumented Mexicans in America fell from 12 million to 11 million during the 2008 recession, and that number has not rebounded. Of course, a weaker US economy and stronger border enforcement have also contributed to the change. However, better education and infrastructure, plunging fertility rates, and rising salaries in Mexico are also changing the balance. For example, the high school enrollment rate has climbed from 54% in 1991 to 87% in 2009, and university enrollment rose from 15% to 27% in Mexico. “The calculation is finally making people come back and decide to stay in Mexico,” said one demographic expert.