Every few months, work-related activities in cities throughout Latin America abruptly stop before World Cup qualifiers. In Mexico, sick leaves spike, and in Bogotá, the already precarious transportation system finally collapses.
A general paralysis can be expected tonihgt, when seven World Cup qualifying games-- four from CONMEBOL, the South American soccer federation, and three from CONCACAF, the federation that encompasses Northern and Central America--will send throngs of people to their favorite bars and restaurants, not just in Latin America but around the world.
Here are the Games: What to Watch For and Where to Watch Them (home team is mentioned first)
México vs. USA (9:55 p.m. ET on Univision)
Arguably the main event of the night, this game will face off two of CONCACAF's best offensive teams. A hard-pressed Mexico has to win at home after coming away with ties in the first two games of the CONCACAF´s final group stage. Though the U.S. has a historical record of 23 losses, 1 tie and just one win in Mexico´s high altitude Estadio Azteca, there is some room for hope. The American team just won a big game against Costa Rica, in Colorado no less, a (much colder) high-altitude location. There will be no snow blizzard covering the field today, so both teams will be able to lay out their full attacking game. Watch out for Clint Dempsey on the U.S. team and for Mexico's "Chicharito" Hernández, who, as in most games, might score a goal, somehow.
Bolivia vs. Argentina (3:55 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT)
The last time this match was played, Argentina lost 6-1 to Bolivia in the breathless heights of La Paz in a humiliating game that nearly cost Diego Maradona his position as manager. Today, a strong Argentinian team plans to take revenge on a crippled squad that was recently thrashed by Colombia. As always with Argentina, watch out for Lionel Messi, the world's best soccer player, who could carry his team towards a new victory that would all but certify their presence in the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
Chile vs. Uruguay (7:25 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT Español)
Chile has lost its past four games in the extenuating South American qualifying competition, while Uruguay has lost two and drawn two. Both teams need to win in order to secure a better footing in the competition. Chile, however, won't be able to count on star Barcelona attacker Alexis Sánchez, who is suspended due to yellow cards. Sanchez will probably be replaced by Estebán Paredes, a forward who plays in Mexico. Meanwhile, "La Celeste" could see changes in the midfield, where manager Óscar Tabáres could replace Cristián Rodríguez in the starting squad with Gastón Ezequiel Ramírez, an attacking midfielder who plays for Southampton in the U.K.
Venezuela vs. Colombia (7:55 p.m. ET on beIN SPORT)