Gonzalez: I'm Not Rooting For Mexico

With the U.S. not in the World Cup, Americans need a team to root for. Anybody but our biggest rival, Gonzalez says

Ferrall On The Bench
June 15, 2018 - 4:00 pm

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With the U.S. out of the World Cup, many American soccer fans don't know who to root for in Russia. Some, though, are gravitating toward Mexico, saying Americans should root for El Tri since they’re in our region.

CBS Sports.com soccer writer Roger Gonzalez doesn’t understand that mindset.

“There are a lot of people that are saying, ‘Stick with the region. Cheer on the regional team,’” Gonzalez said on Ferrall on the Bench. “For college football, I went to Virginia Tech. I don’t care if Clemson is in the national championship. I don’t want them to win. We compete with them. I don’t want teams that are competitors of my favorite teams to win anything. But some people are on that Mexico bandwagon. I don’t quite understand it. I think it’s important to find a connection to a team. My wife being from Argentina, we’ve always kind of watched Argentina and supported them. You have to find some connection.”

If you want to root for traditional powers with the best odds of winning the World Cup, Brazil and Germany are solid options. If you want to root for the new kid on the world-power block, try Belgium. If you like one-man bands, Argentina with Lionel Messi and Portugal with Ronaldo are solid options. Gonzalez compared those two squads to the Cleveland Cavaliers: they have one great star but not a lot of talent around them.

And, then there’s Uruguay.

“I think Uruguay is a team that could really surprise,” Gonzalez said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if they won the tournament. I don’t think they will, but they’ve got so many good players: Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani up top, their defense is ridiculous, and they’ve got some young guys in the midfield – guys who have been really impressive. So I think they’re a team that can really do well.”