[Looking for Mexico vs Canada at Azteca? Info on that is here.]
Canada has yet to concede a goal in this phase of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. It is that defensive record which has allowed the team to convert one goal scored into four points gained from its opening two games of this round. That record is good for second place in the group, and a foothold in the forthcoming Hexagonal tournament that will determine CONCACAF's representatives in Russia.
But that success is built on games against Honduras and El Salvador - two teams so lackluster last November, they collectively managed just one point and no goals in four World Cup qualifiers. This match against Mexico - and the game in Mexico that follows it on March 29 - will decide whether Canada's reputation takes another step forward: a win, or even a draw, against El Tri would establish the Canadians as truly capable of turning over CONCACAF's best.
For New York Red Bulls' fans, it is perhaps more important that Karl Ouimette emerges from this international break unscathed. RBNY is currently wrestling with an injury crisis, and a knock to Ouimette would deepen that crisis. So there should be not great complaint from RBNY fans if Canada head coach Benito Floro decides the Red Bulls' man is not to be trusted with a start.
On the other side of the ball, RBNY fans should brace for a sighting of Rafa Marquez; still, improbably, holding down a place in El Tri's plans. And, of course, Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio is a familiar sight to those RBNY fans able to keep their eyes open during the year-long catastrophe that was the Red Bulls' 2009 season.