Canada's task in this round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying has always been to finish this group stage ahead of Honduras and El Salvador, a position the Canadians still enjoy, despite last week's 3-0 home loss to Mexico.
Now, Canada heads to Mexico for what seems likely to be another resounding defeat. And it will matter just as little as the last loss to Mexico: Canada's job is to be better than Honduras and El Salvador; taking points off El Tri would be an encouraging bonus, but the team is not relying on its performances against the best team in CONCACAF to take it through to the next round of qualifying.
The result of El Salvador's trip to Honduras will therefore be significant to Canadian confidence levels heading out of the March round of qualifying. Of course, a heavy loss to Mexico will be a blow to morale, but Canada can play without pressure in Azteca. El Tri is expected to win, and the Canadians will retain control over their World Cup qualifying destiny regardless of the result in Mexico City. (Albeit a destiny that will likely depend on getting something out of a trip to Honduras - itself no easy feat.)
The New York Red Bulls' Karl Ouimette didn't make it off the bench in last week's match. He might not make the field this time around. This should suit RBNY fans just fine: as one of the Red Bulls few fit center backs, the less opportunity for Ouimette to get injured, the better. Like his national team, Ouimette's task is simply to get out of this game with minimal damage to his prospects and plans for the rest of the season.
Mexico vs Canada
When: 10:30 pm, Eastern; Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
TV: FS1, Univision Deportes, UniMas