Graham Zusi changed the entire dynamic of the U.S./Mexico soccer rivalry in the blink of an eye Tuesday night. His stoppage time goal vs. Panama ensured El Tri would have one final chance to qualify for next summer’s World Cup. It eliminated Panama and sent Mexico to a playoff in November with New Zealand.
Zusi did more to help Mexico’s cause than El Tri itself, which lost 2-1 at Costa Rica, leaving its World Cup hopes in the hands of its biggest enemy.
In turn Zusi appears well on his way to earning sainthood in Mexico. At least that’s one one Kansas City Spanish-language station, La Gran D, did on Thursday offering the former Maryland midfielder this “San Zusi” plaque on behalf of all Mexican soccer fans.
How much this goal changes the dynamics of the U.S./Mexico rivalry remains to be seen. Some have suggestion it might get Mexican fans to stop booing the National Anthem during games at the Azteca in Mexico City. Perhaps it’ll stop some of the animosity on both sides. Maybe fans from both sides with join together to sing and cheer in unison with one voice.
Who are we kidding, this goodwill will fade away quickly enough.
For the time being we know one thing for certain that historic goal has provided, this funny picture of Zusi in a sombrero.
[Photos via MLS]