11 Nov 2016

Trump looms large over World Cup qualifier

10:45 am on 11 November 2016

The United States will renew its rivalry with Mexico in a World Cup qualifier tomorrow after the US presidential election brought the relationship between the two nations to the forefront in a bitterly divisive campaign.

During the campaign, president-elect Donald Trump said many Mexican immigrants to the US were "bringing drugs, bringing crime, they're rapists" before adding that some, he assumed, were good people.

He also promised to build a wall along the border between the two countries.

The match will be played in a swing state, Ohio, that helped vault the Trump to the White House and US captain Michael Bradley admitted there was an added spice to the game.

The USA Mexico football world cup qualifier has "nothing to do with politics."

The USA Mexico football world cup qualifier has "nothing to do with politics." Photo: Photosport

"Given the way everything has gone the last few months, I think there is an added layer to this game," he said.

The US goalkeeper Tim Howard had a different take though, and sought to downplay the significance of the election of Trump.

"That's politics, and this is football," Howard told reporters when asked whether the election result would ratchet up the rivalry.

"Mexico is going to try to kick our (backsides) and we're going to try and kick theirs. It's got nothing to do with politics."

"I would hope that our fans do what they always do, which is support our team in the best, most passionate way possible," Bradley said.

"I would hope that they give every person in that stadium the respect that they deserve, whether they're American, Mexican, neutral, men, women, children."