World Cup Qualifying

USA vs. Mexico: The Day After

USABeatsMexico (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                                     Photo by ISIphotos.com

Dos a Cero.

The score almost seemed inevitable in the latest installment of USA-Mexico after the U.S. team's dominant performance against their arch-rivals.

It was ugly at times, and Mexico nearly found goals in the third minute and in the second half, but 'El Tri' never did finish and never really got a hold of the game after getting off to a good start in the first 10 minutes.

Michael Bradley enjoyed the best match of his young career on Wednesday night, not only scoring both goals, but commanding the middle of the field like a seasoned veteran. Here is my ESPN.com piece on the performance.

Here are some other tidbits from last night:

U.S. defender Frankie Hejduk was slapped by a Mexico national team assistant coach after the match in an incident near the locker rooms. Apparently some members of the Mexican continent thought Hejduk had made some disparaging remarks, which led assistant 'Paco' Ramirez to step to Hejduk and slap him. A small scuff ensued and was quickly broken up. Hejduk later called the incident nothing and called the slap a "Love Tap".

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard enjoyed another strong performance, but he will have to wait a while longer for his next one. Howard was issued a yellow card for time-wasting after the Rafael Marquez red card incident. Now Howard will have to sit a match (vs. El Salvador) after two yellows in qualifying.

Michael Bradley became just the fourth USA player to score two goals against Mexico, and the first since 1980.

Finally, here are some post-game interviews from last night's match:

That's all for now. Please feel free to share your thoughts about last night's match in the comments section below.

  • A.S.

    “We can’t play Boca at LB because in our current format our two wide midfielders (Beasley and Dempsey) pinch in too much and our fullbacks help provide width in the midfield by getting down the pitch. Boca isn’t fast enough to do that.”

    I think there is something to this. However, while Pearce can get up and down the field pretty well, he isn’t very good at doing anything with the ball when he gets into the attacking third. His crosses were really bad.

    I also worry about his lack of quickness indefending against wingers. Dos Santos ran right by him a couple of times. Unfortuantely for Mex, DS wasn’t much good at doing anything, but still. It worries me.


  • B lueWhiteLion

    One important feature noone has commented on yet: after the game was over, one Mexican player made his way from the corner of the field out to the US players celebrating in the middle, and shook several hands. Did anyone see that? I couldn’t catch who is was, but it was pure class–something woefully lacking of the El Tri for some years now. Had to read this blog about the asst. coach slap. And someone reports he is to take over from Sven? Geesh.

    I agree with Colin: Donovan had a very good game. I was very impressed with his vision and quick one touches. His passing seems to have improved immensely with Bayern’s influence. (not that it was ever bad)

    The Outlaw/Sam’s Army section I was in was absolutely the best soccer experience I have been in. I will definitely ONLY experience live games with them in the future. I am not into the cussing part, but it was unbelievably fun, and a lot of volunteers worked extremely hard to provide confetti, banners, flags, drum beats, flares, etc. Thanks, guys!

    Parking was atrocious.

    I was screaming at the ref for calling “advantage” at the end of the game after Jozy (?) was taken down from behind. I kept screaming about how it was no advantage and we need a foul, a card, and a free kick. And then Bradley scored, lol! I’ll take that!

    The US dominated most of the play but seemed to lose intensity after Mexico went down a man–and El Tri actually picked it up. We were lucky not to be scored on.

    We need to do better at through balls in the final third, and running off the ball. But our one touches and play in the middle are doing better. I agree with several however: we still serve too many stinky passes that either go way wide or have half the pace they need and never reach their target. Did the field conditions contribute to that?


  • Andy


    The kid in the red Chicago Fire shirt pumping his fist and screaming in the upper left corner of that pic is my brother! Hahahahaha!


  • mouthful

    Tom “As we head into WC ’10 I hope we wean ourselves off the dependence of this goon.”

    Are you stuck in 2006 Tom? Gooch is no goon. His game has matured, he’s lead his club to great results, and he’s our most accomplished CB. Oh, my bad, you’re right Beckenbauer would be better.

    Franklin “Ching is just in everyone else’s way on the team when he’s out there.”

    Take it easy on Ching. He’s not going to play like Messi, but that’s not his job. He plays his role well — get in good positions, control long entries, hold off defenders, wait for MFs to move forward, make good passes, mix it up in the box on crosses and set pieces. Until we have someone that is better, I am happy to see Ching do his job well like the last 2 games.

    JoeW “the reality these days is that Donovan (who is a SUB in the Bundesliga, not even a regular starter) is our best forward.”

    Joe, I agree with your take on Ching pretty much, but what are you trying to say here re: Donovan? He’s not just a sub in the Bundesliga, he’s a sub for B.Munich behind Toni, Klose, Ribery etc. How many NTs have a fwd who WOULDN’T be a sub on that team?

    kpugs “The entire Mexican team is a bunch of scumbags.”

    Sweeping generalizations are always fun.

    A.S. “We also need a new left back.”

    Who do you suggest? We all love the idea of Spector, so maybe he can shore up that spot when he’s ready. I’m still ok with Pearce for now, but I wonder if Bob would go all Arena on us and put Frankie at LB and Dolo at RB if Spector doesn’t work out.

    OwoodSC17: “Frankie played a great match and if he continues to play at the level last night I think it is going to be hard to move him out of that starting spot.”

    FH was great, but he starting spot belongs to Dolo. No question.

    timmy “mexico had a lot of the run of play”

    Huh? If by ‘a lot’ you mean ‘not very much,’ then I agree. Otherwise, whaaa?


  • Nicole

    Donovan did not have his explosive speed we’re used to seeing – 15 hours of travel over 6 time zones will do that to you – but his MENTAL game was top-notch. And since his mental game has been his weakness…I thought he was superb. His one touch passing what great – though his teammates at times weren’t where he thought they’d be. He was in every scoring opportunity we had and he managed the game very well – very professional job by Donovan. He made us win that game.

    Bradley was MOTM. I’m very, very happy for him. He didn’t tire at the end of the game and get his usual yellow or red card with a late slide tackle from behind. Simply superb.


  • Steve

    BlueWhiteLion – That was Omar Bravo who stuck around to shake hands. I thought it was A) very classy to do it on his own and B) hysterical because you could tell teh US players were all shocked he was out there doing it.

    As for the comment on the next generation fo US forwards? Who is this generation of which you speak and where are you hiding them?


  • TCompton

    What’s with US fans throwing bottles at the Mexican players when they taking corner kicks or throw-ins near the corner.

    I get the whole rivalry and excitement around the game, but that’s just plain stupid. I wonder what those fans would do if they actually hit the player and injured him.



  • Ko'd


    Sweeping generalizations are only problematic when they are not true…I try not to paint with too broad a brush, but I am pretty sure that they are all scumbags.

    My favorite part of every game is watching Oswaldo Sanchez pick the ball out of the net. I am not sure whether I would get more joy out of the U.S. qualifying or Mexico failing to qualify. Maybe the latter…


  • BlueWhiteLion

    Steve–thanks for the Omar thing.

    Nicole–you succinctly expanded my sense about Donovan last night. His mental game is very good, but either the 1) understanding, or 2) soccer sense of many of his teammates is not on that level. He did seem to develop some understanding with Dempsey and Beas at times. I think/hope that will only improve.

    Did anyone notice how much of a beast (and slightly dirty) #2 for Mexico was?

    I haven’t been a Ching supporter, but the last two games, I have seen his worth, for now. His body positioning (with defenders on his back) and flick ons were pretty good.

    US defense: I STILL see guy marking/watching the ball rather than their man, one in particular was Boca. Not hating on him, but marking your man is a fundamental defensive activity. You watch the ball only and you lose your man. He did. But we got lucky.


  • Clye McPhat

    I still think Coach Bradley got away with murder last night. His late use of subs in a 11 v 10 match was uncalled for, and allowed the Mexicans to stay in the match. Fresh legs were needed from around 72 mins on, and how he needed Ching Cahng walla walla out of there earlier was evident in what the Green guys did to Jozy the first two times he had the ball…hack city. Anyway, US got away with a penalty too, in the build up to the red card. A defender at the far post (can’t rememebr who) dragged the Mexican attacker down by his shoulder and that’s why he was ont he ground and out of it by the end of that play.


  • Jacob A.

    I was wondering why the Altidore/Ching sub didn’t come earlier, along with everyone else.

    The “Over There” song is from WWI, and I’m for singing it in Nashville.


  • Christian


    While I agree that Marquez deserved the red, the reason the Mexicans were complaining was because Heath Pearce pulled dos Santos down in the box right before the red card incident.

    Funny how you choose to ignore the fact that Howard and Marquez shook hands before he walked off the field and there were no yellow cards handed out all game and no hateful challenges.

    After the game, players shook hands and saluted each other. Paco Ramirez should get fired for his behavior against Hejduk.

    Some of you guys just always need something to bitch about.


  • aristotle


    Thanks for the correction. Obviously that was just a slip of the tongue. Everyone knows Sven is Swedish. I think I was just thinking of his recent experiences in England in the back of my mind when I made that mistake. (Manchester City, England.)
    As you said though, same principle applies.


  • Isaac

    I was actually not totally surprised when Bradley scored that one from distance. We all saw that volley he had not too long ago and he actually hit a few from distance back in the Eredivisie. He’s turning into an American version of Steven Gerrard with hits like that. I’m not saying exactly im just saying there are similarities.


  • BlueWhiteLion

    No, Isaac, I am sorry, you meant he is EXACTLY like Gerrard, and i for one, will hold you to that.


  • patrick marshall

    Hejduk played his heart out as he always does, I am always ok with him in the lineup! Howard was outstanding aside from one scary clearance. Onyewu has some good qualities but still scares me at times with his decision making on the ball. Pearce has never impressed me, to tentative and slow on the ball, fairly predictable. Beasley=dangerous he puts teams on their heels. Donovan “ditto” but only better. Dempsey should always be in the lineup imho. Bradley played great, he is winning me over! Ching did his job, as usual. Sasha K – (only OK last night) has good qualities, not sure he is there quite yet. Altidore needs to gain more experience ,has all the tools to be great. My biggest question, why does Pearce get so many call-ups?? What has he done to deserve them?

    The team is lacking 1. left back 2. a really creative central midfielder 3. a really prolific goal scorer up top

    I think we may have 1. already (somewhere)— not far from developing 3. —–but 2. is nowhere on the horizon.

    Still yet, we have a very good team that can compete with and occassionally tie/beat the top teams in the world.


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