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There's a lot at stake today for Mexico in the first leg of its World Cup qualifying series with New Zealand. A spot in the World Cup, sure, but also pride, the jobs of the coaching staff, and potentially up to $600 million in revenue from TV rights, ticket sales and the like. Mexico needed a U.S. win over Panama in stoppage time to get this far, but despite their struggles, El Tri will likely be well-motivated against a vulnerable New Zealand side. A World Cup without Mexico might be easier for the U.S., but there'd be a deficit in excitement if the two sides had no chance of meeting in Brazil.

Here's a sampling of what readers had to say in our Facebook conversation on the story:


Winners at home?

Mexico is on its fourth coach in six weeks, a situation that doesn't lend itself well to stability or tactical coherence.

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Which team will win this World Cup qualifying playoff in Mexico? (Wed., 3:15 p.m., ESPN)

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USA's win benefits Mexico

The United States and Mexico are fierce rivals on the pitch, but El Tri found itself in debt to its longtime enemy Tuesday night. Mexico's World Cup hopes are still alive after a 3-2 Team USA win over Panama. It'll have to play New Zealand in a winner-take-all match if it wants to attempt a World Cup run in 2014, but for now, it has Team USA's backups to thank for taking their match against Panama seriously.

  • Which team will make the World Cup?

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  • Which team will perform better if both make the 2014 World Cup?

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  • If you were a Team USA fan, would you have wanted the U.S. to lose if it meant that Mexico's national team wouldn't have made the World Cup?

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  • What are you expecting from the U.S. at the 2014 World Cup?

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  • How have Mexico's recent struggles affected the USA-Mexico soccer rivalry?

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  • Jurgen Klinsmann says Clint Dempsey must earn his place on the U.S. roster for the 2014 World Cup. What do you make of this?

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U.S. into Gold Cup final

Team USA's unprecedented run of victories continued Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over Honduras. Landon Donovan scored twice, Eddie Johnson added a third goal, and the whole team in general looked unbeatable. The only downside: coach Jurgen Klinsmann being sent off late in the game for arguing, potentially leading to his absence from the final against Panama on Sunday.

  • Which team will win Sunday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final?

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  • The United States beat Honduras 3-1 to reach the CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Has this tournament affected how you feel about Team USA's chances in the 2014 World Cup?

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  • How much will Team USA miss Jurgen Klinsmann (suspended) in the Gold Cup final against Panama?

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  • How surprised are you at Mexico not making the Gold Cup final?

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Team USA might have benefited from the snow in their win against Costa Rica, but unless there's a blizzard coming that everyone missed, they won't have that luxury in Mexico. Tonight's World Cup qualifier in Estadio Azteca is a daunting one for Team USA, which is 0-5-1 in qualifiers when visiting Mexico. Can the U.S. pull off a win this time?

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Team USA women's soccer may be the world's best, but its male counterpart lags far behind. Can the U.S. men manage a victory against rival Mexico in tonight's friendly?

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