How important is the U.S. game now? 

March, 23, 2013

Friday's cavalcade of World Cup qualifiers featured two of the world's most TV-friendly moments right here in CONCACAF. In Denver, the U.S. and Costa Rica played on despite a raging blizzard that left some of us wondering aloud how the game was played while an ocean away UEFA officials postponed Northern Ireland's qualifier against Russia for the same reason. Nevertheless, the Americans wound up with a 1-0 win that launched them into second place in the Hex.

Honduras' weather also proved a massive talking point. Several people in the Estadio Olimpico stands -- many of whom had been there since 10 a.m. when the doors opened -- fainted amid the intense heat that reached nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. On the pitch, Mexico opened up a 2-0 lead, but El Tri let their first win in San Pedro Sula since 1965 slip away in exactly three minutes.

The 2-2 draw left Mexico with only two points in the Hexagonal and sets up a must-win match Tuesday night against their biggest rivals, the United States. With such a massive game on the horizon, will the proverbial panic button be pushed in Mexico City should El Tri come away with anything other than a win?

Eric Gomez