And so, that went about as expected (US-MEX)

You mean, this isn’t the US team that was going to go down to Azteca and defeat the mightly Mexicans?

They hadn’t suddenly flipped a switch from the Confederations Cup and were hyped to do what no other US team had done before?


The US scored first on a nice goal by Charlie Davies, then held the lead for all of 10 minutes, and finally gave in for good in the final 10, as Mexico won the CONCACAF World Cup 2010 qualifier between the nations, 2-1.

It was everything US-Mexico games at Azteca have always been:

* The US had some bright moments, and give credit for getting a goal – that was better than usual; and it was a great goal.
* People will whine and moan about the ref. But how was it different than any other game down there? You know what it’s going to be before the game even starts.
* There were the typical antics from a few Mexican players, lashing out at opponents, ganging up on a US player while fallen, etc., mostly unpunished – and that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
* There were the typical antics from a few Mexican fans, throwing whatever they could find at American players.

It was, in a nutshell, everything we’ve always seen. The US played well in spurts, but the spurts were way too short. They responded to the challenge at times, but those times were way too brief. They defended as valiantly as they could deep in their own third of the field, but couldn’t do it for the time required.

Blame the ref, blame the stadium, blame the fans, blame global warming, blame Paula Abdul … the loss comes down to the fact that the US couldn’t defend adequately enough to win a road match against what is still a challenging and formidable opponent. When under pressure, the US often were able to clear the ball, but rarely were they ever to do so in a controlled fashion, finding teammates to start a counter attack.

And it’s a shame, because the Mexican back could be had with speedy breaks. The run Davies made and the pass he got for the goal were great, and the defense had no answer. He found open space later and barely missed heading home a cross.

But the US couldn’t set up those situations often enough because their defending wouldn’t allow them the ball. Then late on, it was even Donovan, slowed by fatigue, altitude, reading the Beckham book, whatever, who got wasted on the right flank in the buildup to Mexico’s winning goal.

I don’t blame coach Bob Bradley or any individual player. I don’t think there are other players in the pool who could have done better. Just about the best lineup went out there, and they got beat – pretty much rightfully so based on gameplay.

All the rest of it – the ref, the projectiles, the gamesmanship … that’s for people to argue about here on BigSoccer.

The US just wasn’t good enough today to succeed in this situation. They never have been – and they’re not there yet.


14 thoughts on “And so, that went about as expected (US-MEX)

  1. There was a lot of the usual crap against us, as mentioned, but we got outplayed. We could not possess out of the back. I would guess that Mexico probably had 70% of the possession. You don’t win games without the ball.

  2. Now come on, calling that “about the usual” and then putting down the US for not winning is more than just a LITTLE unfair. That’s like saying Barry Bonds is the REAL victim.

    That game was a travesty. It may have been more of the same, but to shrug and blame it on the US is going too far.

    Victors get to write history. But that doesn’t mean the losers have to bow down and write it for them.

    Call this what it was: another Mexico/CONCACAF/FIFA railroad.

  3. At least the U.S. lasted 80 minutes. It used to be what, 60, 70 minutes tops? Small steps. Oh who am I kidding? This last minute arrival to the area did not help as much as expected. Going in early probably wouldn’t have either.

  4. Gee, its too bad US player development is stifled by the NCAA system.

    What’s that you say?

    The best player on the field from the US is two years out of Boston College?


  5. We are the United States of America. Sports fans expect, at a minimum, that officials will be impartial during all sporting events. Soccer incuded. Just b/c history demonstrates that Azteca is unfriendly for our MNT, we should not EXPECT officials to favor a home team, reward crying/diving/whining/whimpering/slaps to keeper’s head, etc. This is precisely why soccer remains a minor league sport in the USA.

    Get the officials to ref a fair game, be consistent, and we provide a launching pad for sports fans worldwide to expect the USA to support soccer. Well, eliminate the gay offsides rule too… Tonight’s game made me embarassed to sell this game to my non-soccer friends, regardless of what “writered21” postulates above.

  6. If your “non-soccer friends” weren’t sold on a WC cup qualifier in front of 100,000 rabid fans (non US fans, but fans nonetheless) you need to find new friends.

  7. And if USSF goes by this rationale, then the other poster will be proved right – it will never change.

    The US got outplayed and in some ways, the 2-1 score almost flattered them. This garbage about the refs and what not – yeah, it sucked. It always sucks when you go on the road in CONCACAF, both at the national team and club levels. Deal with it. It’s not like everyone involved doesn’t know it’s coming.

    The US isn’t the victim of some grand conspiracy here. They didn’t play well enough to win and got the result they deserved.

    Sucks to say it, but it’s the truth.

  8. I’m just bolding that one part to make sure everyone here sees what they are dealing with when reading your comment.

    So college basketball is suffering because everyone knows going in what kind of game you can expect to be called when you play at Duke? Especially with regard to block/charge calls?

    Yeah, lotta pain there.

    Or, maybe you haven’t tried to sell your friends on college basketball yet.

    Hell, they don’t even have an offside rule.

  9. Americans have always been change agents. If anyone can change the referee problem in CONCACAF, its us. But first, we need to inform the 74% of our population that is unaware that the US fields a national soccer team.

  10. Score a goal and bunker. Collapse your midfield 10 yards from the 18. Keep the 22 year old kid who plays in the Prem and performed at the Confed Cup on the bench. Insert Brian “” Ching at forward.
    If not for poor Mexican finishing and a huge performance from our center backs and TH this game could’ve been an embarrassment.
    Zero US possession after the first goal leading up to the equalizer. No midfield. No tactical presence at all. No accountability. Same old story.

  11. Your right, lets drop the offside rule, make the nets larger, and allow players to use their hands.

    Here’s a news flash….the rest of the world does not care whether Footbal becomes huge in the U.S! It is huge everywhere else is the world even with the “gay offsides rule”.

    It is a shame that U.S footy fans have to deal with individuals like yourself….

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