Gracias Usa? Why Some Mexican Soccer Fans Are Thanking Their Northern Neighbor

USA TODAY Sports basketball Coaches Poll set for Thursday release

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Why some Mexican soccer fans are thanking their northern neighbor (+video) Mexico is still in the running to qualify for the World Cup thanks to a last-minute goal made by the US against Panama. But did Mexico want US saving? By David Agren,Correspondent / October 16, 2013 Mexican newspaper front pages carry messages of thanks to the US in Mexico City, Oct. 16. Thanks to the last minute victory of the US team over Panama, Mexico has advanced to the intercontinental playoff series against New Zealand for a spot in next year’s World Cup. Dario Lopez-Mills/AP The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition The cheers erupted in restaurants and bars across the city after the US soccer team scored in extra time eliminating Panama and saving Mexicoshopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The irony of Uncle Sams squad saving Mexico from missing the World Cup wasnt lost on many Mexicans, some of who said their team didnt even deserve to advance and had hoped staying on the sidelines next year would bring about changes in the sport and its national governing body . A deep distrust of the United States dating back to the Mexican-American War, when Mexico lost half its territory could previously rally the country in ways only matched by perhaps the soccer squad and the national patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe. It doesnt speak well of Mexico that it needed help from the United States, says Alejandra Apreza, a young deli employee in a neighborhood near the presidents residence, Los Pinos. She says the performance reinforced the old stereotype that Mexicans dont work well in teams. RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about Mexico? Take our quiz. But a potential sign of a changing Mexican attitude toward its big, bad northern neighbor, many today prefer to look at the problems at home instead of scapegoating the United States, which has long been a popular pastime in political, cultural, and academic circles here. The national soccer side used to be a unifying force beverage commercials even employed the slogan “Soccer unites us” but has since become a source of contention, Ms.

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Post to Facebook USA TODAY Sports basketball Coaches Poll set for Thursday release on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1gmafJL Incorrect please try again A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Sent! A link has been sent to your friend’s email address. Join the Nation’s Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs USA TODAY Sports basketball Coaches Poll set for Thursday release Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports 2:27 a.m. EDT October 17, 2013 Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo (left) greets Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski (right) after the semifinals of the Midwest regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament. (Photo: Brian Spurlock, USA TODAY Sports) Story Highlights Kentucky brings in perhaps the greatest recruiting class of all-time with six McDonald’s All-Americans Defending champion Louisville will look to become the first team since Florida to repeat as national champions Perennial top 10 teams Kansas and Duke bring in the top overall freshmen in Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker SHARECONNECT 10 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE Kentucky coach John Calipari found it absurd when his team was projected No. 3 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll last year. Calipari’s instincts weren’t far off. The youthful Wildcats struggled to click in the same fashion Kentucky had the season before on the way to winning the 2012 national championship, and a season-ending injury to top player Nerlens Noel derailed any chance of repeating. STARTING FIVE: Top story lines in 2013-14 Ultimately, Kentucky missed the NCAA tournament field of 68 and bowed out in the NIT first round. Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ in-state nemesis, Louisville, finished as the top team in the country. Heading into the 2013-14 season, with tip-off a mere three weeks away, fans will get a taste of the best teams in the country today at noon ET when the preseason top 25 teams are unveiled in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. How will this preseason’s top 25 shake out? Once again, the spotlight shines brightly over the state of Kentucky.