Here it is. The match every one wanted. Another chapter in the historiography of the fiercest rivalry in the Concacaf region.
It has sharpened so much because of the US domination of Mexico in recent years. So there are stakes a plenty for both teams. But at this stage, a Gold Cup win means much more to El Tri than it means to the US.
There is a lot of angst amongst the Mexican punditry about a league system that seems to be ineffectual in corralling talent necessary for national success. Managers have come and gone with Ricardo La Volpe, Hugo Sanchez, Sven Goran Eriksson and now Javier Aguirre but the results of all these coaching changes have remained unclear. Mexico has looked very vulnerable in its World Cup qualifying run and a Gold Cup title will provide it the momentum it needs for the rest of the South African campaign. El Tri have struggled mightily on the road and a win would end speculations that the Mexicans need the Estadio Azteca to boost their campaign.
The Mexican midfield have Giovanni Dos Santos, easily their most outstanding player with the Spurs man seemingly a step or two ahead of his compatriots creating moments of individual brilliance at the cost of team coherence. It seems that the Mexicans need to hit the reset button for this encounter to get every one back as a team. But Javier Aguirre is not ready to talk about his team's deficiencies choosing instead on focusing on his opponents playing style.
"What do I think about the United States? I think they live off opponents' errors, and stack eight in the back and use the clock in their favor. It's going to be a good test for us. It's a final we wanted and I'm assuming the fans wanted the same thing."
He has plenty to worry about including a defensive unit that looks vulnerable against stronger opposition. In a big blow, captain Gerrardo Torrado will not play against the US because of suspension which puts immense pressure on centerbacks Johny Magallon and Israel Castro to stop the US from counterattacking through Suart Holden and Kyle Beckerman.
Whatever happens today, it sets up a backdrop to a crucial meeting for both countries on August 12th at Mexico City when the two teams clash full strength in a World Cup qualifier. Giants Stadium will be rocking with Mexican fans outnumbering the US almost 2:1.