On the other hand, rooting for Mexico — and other Latin American teams like Panama or Peru or Colombia — is a deeply American act. This is true for several reasons, most obviously because the United States is a nation of immigrants. But from a purely statistic standpoint, Mexico’s team is already incredibly popular in the U.S., as is Mexico’s Liga MX. The numbers speak a plain truth. More than two million people tuned in to watch this spring’s Liga MX final between Toluca and Santos; around 1.8 million watched Mexico play Wales in a friendly on May 28. Only the Champions’ League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid drew a bigger television audience…

The support for Mexico is so strong in the U.S. that the American national men’s team prefers to play Mexico in a place like my old hometown of Columbus, Ohio — Ohio is one of the few places where the U.S. men can enjoy some semblance of home-field advantage. For Mexico, a stadium like the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California — as hallowed an American football stadium as you’ll find — is practically a second home. They’ve beaten the United States in every game played there since 1994.