MEXICO CITY – Twenty delegates from the US Soccer Federation’s travel company contracted the stomach bug after Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico – and so did I.

Covering my first road US qualifier in-person, I watched the US men’s national team carve out an exhausting scoreless draw played at immense altitude at Estadio Azteca. However, I spent the night hurling visible scraps of lettuce into my hotel toilet at the Sheraton Maria Isabel. It was reported Sunday on the FS1 broadcast that eight USMNT players endured a similar experience, including midfielder Gio Reyna.

Despite the 7,200 feet in elevation at the venerable Azteca, which took my breath away as I walked up to the open-air press box on the 600 level (there was no elevator), the matchday forecast coupled comfort and clear skies for what was likely the last World Cup qualifier between the two archrivals. The night to come was a stark contrast. I sweated through two T-shirts and soaked my bed sheets on that nauseous night.

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