World Cup 2018: Former USMNT scout Thomas Rongen explains why Americans should cheer for Mexico
A stronger Mexican team means a stronger United States team in the future, according to Rongen
of the World Cup, it's easy for Americans to wonder "why watch?" Beyond the World Cup being incredibly exciting on its own, there's something exhilarating about latching onto a bandwagon and holding on for dear life. CBS Sports but former CBS Sports soccer analyst Thomas Rongen, who served as chief international scout for the U.S. men's national team, suggests that if you're looking for a team to root for, Mexico is the way to go.
"I mean who should we root for in the United States after this epic failure not to get to Russia," Rongen said. "Maybe a team that could win it? Germany? The fun team, Argentina and Messi? The hip choice: Iceland? Or the underdogs, Nigeria. No people, alright? Go with continental camaraderie. Our downstairs neighbors. Swap our red, white and blue for the green. Vaya con dios, El Tri. Let's support Mexico."
More than proximity, however, there's another key reason to want Mexico to do well. One that college football fans should understand if they've ever rooted for a conference rival in a bowl game.
"With the U.S. out, El Tri are the only team that should matter to anyone who bleeds red, white and blue," Rongen continued to explain. "So, Americans, be turncoats and repeat after me: Viva Mexico! With those easy words, you took the first step toward the most patriotic thing we all do all year.
"A successful Mexico means CONCACAF could finally boast its own World Cup champ, which would improve U.S. soccer culture and create a better squad."
A CONCACAF team has never been in a World Cup final, so if Mexico can do the unthinkable and pull it off, it would be a tremendous boost for the confederation. Mexico has a long road to do it, but it has a very good team this year. Rooting for Mexico may seem counter-intuitive, but going beyond the rivalry it makes a lot of sense for fans that want to see the USA improve moving forward.
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