MEXICO CITY -- The greatest international rivalry in North American sports resumes on Tuesday night when the U.S. meets Mexico in a World Cup qualifier (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Univision), and for 90 minutes the tension will be overwhelming, whether you're watching on TV or in the Thunderdome known as Estadio Azteca. It doesn't matter if you're a huge soccer fan; this is the best of what sports is about.
But in the bigger picture, the real story is the
And believe me, there are plenty of Mexican league games available on U.S. TV: 377 in 2012 alone, or more than MLS (327) and the English Premier League (374). That number figures to only increase now that ESPN has acquired the English-language broadcast rights for several Liga MX teams.
"When people move from one country to another, they bring their most trusted personal assets with them," says Juan Carlos Rodríguez, the president of Univision Deportes, which has the U.S. Spanish-language rights for 13 of the 18 Mexican league teams. "For people who come from Mexico, their team is a big part of it. Mexico as a national team becomes a matter of pride, and with the [club] teams it's part of your DNA when you come to the States."
What's more, the Mexican league style is highly watchable. "Even though it's a league that has a lot of tradition, it's pretty innovative," says Gómez, the U.S. forward who plays for Santos Laguna. "A lot of these teams like to play a possession style of attack. They have a lot of attacking flair, keeping the ball and having your possession be your defense."
The links between Mexico and the U.S. only figure to increase in upcoming years as Mexican club teams scout young players from the U.S. and the two countries' federations continue competing over landing players who are eligible to play for both countries.
So give Liga MX a watch. As a service to readers, I asked my friend Pedro Arellano, a Mexican-born Chivas de Guadalajara fan living in California, to put a list together. So here it is:
PEDRO ARELLANO'S FAVORITE U.S. SPANISH-LANGUAGE SOCCER BROADCASTERS
Some things are just better in Spanish. Professional wrestling, morning television shows, cursing, Sofía Vergara, the list goes on. Vibrant and colorful, the language of Cervantes can instantly make any event seem many times
Here's a list of my favorite Spanish-language soccer TV commentators in the United States: