PASADENA, Calif. – If the road to the World Cup starts in St. Louis in November, then the path to succeeding on Russian soil in 2018 splays out before the United States men's national team here on Saturday, amid the 92,542 seats packed tightly into the steep banks of the old Rose Bowl.
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Next month, the U.S. will take the first step on a two-year trajectory towards Russia when it faces Saint Vincent and the Grenadines at Busch Stadium, seeking a once-unimaginable eighth straight World Cup berth. But on Saturday, the Americans will enter a one-game playoff with arch-rivals Mexico for a spot at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
And this matters a great deal more than you might think.
Certainly, there are the bragging rights on offer to the winner of this old rivalry – buttressed by perpetual geopolitical tensions and, before that, the violent jostling for territory.Read More »from What's at stake in United States vs. Mexico at the Rose Bowl