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U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Mexico (Matchday Commentary)

USA Crest    MexicoLogo

The time has finally arrived. The U.S. men's national team is in Estadio Azteca today to take on Mexico in a crucial World Cup qualifier in Mexico City.

The Americans have never beaten Mexico in Mexico, but come in riding the confidence of a strong showing in this summer's Confederation's Cup.

Mexico will be fielding a strong team that is missing just one starter, albeit an important one in Rafael Marquez. 'El Tri' stil lhas plenty of weapons that should make things difficult for the United States, such as Giovani Dos Santos and Andres Guardado.

I will be providing live commentary throughout the day and match (pre-game, in-game and post-game) so please feel free to make this your place for all the matchday action. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action: (WE ARE BACK AFTER SOME TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES SO FOLLOW ALONG AFTER THE JUMP).

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81st minute– Internet is about to go out here so I may have to leave soon. Enjoy the last nine minutes of this match.

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80th minute– Howard grabs a weak header and the Americans have ten minutes to go.

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79th minute– Feilhaber with a bad turnover. Mexico corner.

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77th minute– Can the Americans steal one? US team has playede much better since the subs.

Bocanegra avoids a second yellow at midfield.

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76th minute– Howard pounces on a dangerous ball in the area. Altidore is in for Davies.

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74th minute– Dos Santos hits a teammate, but a corner is given. Davies goes down and a shoving match ensues when Mexico ttries to force him up. Ref is losing control.

Jozy Altidore is set to come in.

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73rd minute– Dos Santos draws a dangerous free kick opportunity from about 24 yards out, just left of the arc. Not sure of the call but I'd need to see a replay.

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72nd minute– Bradley springs Davies on a beautiful chance but it's called offside. Was that really offside? Bob Bradley sure didn't think so.

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71st minute– WOW, Holden with a BEAUTIFUL cross but Davies can't get to it. What a cross.

Onyewu is playing out of his mind. If he keeps this up some big team is going to buy him (sarcasm).

Andres Guardado comes out, Nery Castillo is in.

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70th minute– Apologies for the minutes on the updates. My addition skills are rusty.

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69th minute– US team doing better now. Feilhaber has calmed things down in the midfield and Dempsey is more active up top

Dos Santos and Onyewu with a clash. Bad call by the linesman there.

Mexico free kick on the left flank. Another bad call.

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64th minute– Vela's inclusion hasn't provided the pop we thought it might. The U.S. subs are winning the battle of the subs so far.

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73rd minute– Holden's a good sub because he gives you the energy on the wing you need to deal with Guardado.

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62nd minute– Bocanegra with a great defensive play, but then a quick turnover leads to a Torrado shot well high. Bocanegra and Cherundolo have done better this half.

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60th minute– Torrado crunches Cherundolo and wins possession.

Vela dives in the area looking for a call. No dice.

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59th minute– Howard SAVES Dos Santos blast. Mexico corner.

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58th minute– Holden and Feilhaber for Ching and Clark. Dempsey moves up top.

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56th – Holden is about to come in. I'd say it's for Ching. Feilhaber is coming in too, perhaps for Clark.

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56th minute– Vela is in for Blanco. Mexico is now EVEN FASTER.

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55th minute– Carlos Vela is preparing to come in. Be afraid.

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54th minute– It might be time for

Benny Feilhaber if the midfield doesn't get its act together.

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52nd minute– U.S. needs more possession from the central midfield. Torrado and Castro have won that battle so far against Clark and Bradley.

Davies shows off his speed. He's dangerous and will punish Mexico if they make a mistake.

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51st minute– Bradley with a turnover, Onyewu clears the danger, Mexico corner.

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50th minute– Bocanegra with a clutch intervention to kick a dangerous ball away.

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48th minute– Clark with a pass that's too hard for Bocanegra. He's not been too sharp today.

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46th minute– Blanco just turned Bradley and put Bradley on his butt. Nice move.

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46th minute– Mexico is back. And we're underway. 

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HALFTIME– American team is out well before the Mexicans. No subs. 

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HALFTIME– You have to give Mexico credit for coming out and not only attacking in waves, but tackling with purpose and defending as a team.

My question is when will we see a Mexico yellow card? They've fouled pretty regularly, though not any really rash challenges. That said, at some point the referee needs to punish them for the persistent infringement. 

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HALFTIME– Subs for the USA? Jozy Altidore should come in for Ching at some point in the second half, say the 65th to 70th minute (a halftime sub might be a bit early). I wonder if we see Jonathan Spector in for Cherundolo at some point, though Cherundolo is the only defender without a yellow card. Benny Feilhaber is a good sub to bring in of the team is trailing, or if Bradley wants to move Dempsey up top and slide Feilhaber on the right. 

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HALFTIME– USA 1, Mexico 1. The Mexico came out firing and zooming around as expected, and the US backline has held up well for the most part. The fact that three of the US team's four defenders have yellow cards doesn't bode well for trying to defend such a quick team.

Who's done well so far? Onyewu is the man of the half-match. Charlie Davies deserves kudos for a great goal, and Donovan set up that goal with a wonderful pass.

Who's struggling? Cherund
olo, Bocanegra have had issues with Mexico's speed while Ching and Dempsey have been largely invisible in the attack.

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45th minute– Bocanegra with a yellow to give three of the USA's four defenders yellow.

Onyewu with an ill-advised back-pass that Howard does well to catch up to.

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42nd minute– Onyewu is a wall. It might be 3-1 already if not for him.

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41st minute– Great long free kick from Donovan into the area, but it's headed out by Mexico for a USA corner.

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40th minute– Credit to Guardado because he is running up and down the flank. Some serious work rate from the little guy.

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40th minute– Bocanegra and Cherundolo are struggling badly with Mexico's speed.

Mexico corner.

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39th minute– Blanco has looked very sharp today. Not bad for a player his age after coming off short rest.

Interesting to see Blanco and Clark battling for the second time in four days.

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35th minute– Donovan's free kick is too high for anyone to head it.

That was the American team's best spell of possession in some time, and it wasn't really that long.

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34th minute– Cherundolo draws a foul 35 yards out. Donovan to take.

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32nd minute– The Americans just can't keep any possession. DeMerit with an awful long ball out of the back.

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29th minute- DeMerit with a yellow and the free kick forces Howard into action. Mexico is definitely feeling the momentum of that Castro goal. The crowd is back into it at full speed.

It should be noted that Mexico is buzzing around all over the field. They're playing in another gear.

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27th minute- Onyewu with a yellow card on a pretty clumsy handball. Looked like a volleyball player on that one. Dangerous card for him to get.

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25th minute- Okay folks. I'm back. Some serious computer issues had me down, but we're back and ready to roll.

It's 1-1 on some great goals. It's been Mexico with more chances, but the United States has held its own, with Onyewu looking like a beast.

Dos Santos is so dangerous though that it's tough to picture Mexico being kept to one goal.

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PRE-GAME– So why Ching? He's fit, in mid-season form, and most importantly he sets up his teammates. Jozy Altidore was most likely the least fit of the three potential starting fowards, having only joined Hull last week for a few training sessions. That doesn't mean we won't see him in the second half. You can rest assured that all three USA subs will be used.

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PRE-GAME– As I navigate through the internet disaster here I'm back online for now. The stadium has filled in nicely and the cheer when Mexico came out for warm-ups was deafening.

Mexico came out last and went in last during warm-ups. They certainly look focused.

I don't see the American fans, but they're here somewhere. I heard numbers upwards of 500 or more being here. I'll let you know when I spot them.

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PRE-GAME– The boos for the U.S. team as it comes out for warm-ups is deafening. Absolutely deafening. Impressive.

Cut to the cheers for Guillermo Ochoa as he comes out. The roar will be loud when the full team comes out.

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PRE-GAME– As you may have guessed, It's Clark in central midfield and not Dempsey. I know some folks would love if there were two Clint Dempsey's but there aren't.

Also, Johnny Magallon is starting in central defense, NOT Aaron Galindo. And yes, Mexico is playing with a goalkeeper. It's Guillermo Ochoa.

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PRE-GAME– Here are the starting lineups:

USA

—————Ching———-Davies—————–

Donovan———————————-Dempsey

—————–Bradley—–Clark————————

Bocanegra—–Onyewu—–DeMerit—–Cherundolo

————————-Howard————————–

MEXICO

—————–Franco———Blanco——————–

Guardado—————————————Dos Santos

——————Torrado——Castro———————

Juarez———Magallon——-Salcido———-Osorio

————————–Ochoa——————————

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PRE-GAME- We’re about an hour before kickoff and the weather is co-operating. Nice sunny day but not that hot. There was actually a nice cool breeze on the way into the stadium.

There are some vuvuzela-sounding horns around the stadium that are getting just a bit annoying.

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PRE-GAME- After a long ordeal involving internet connections, I have been able to get on (for now). The thick concrete of this massive building doesn’t work well with wireless internet cards. That and the in-house internet is slow as can be.

The fans are pouring in. The upper bowl is actually close to full already. The folks with the good seats are the ones who haven’t come in yet.

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PRE-GAME– We're at the stadium. Team has arrived. We're about 100 minutes from the game. I'll be back once I get settled into my seat in the stadium. Keep the pre-game conversation going.

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PRE-GAME– We're in view of the stadium. It really is a massive building.

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PRE-GAME– Okay, so maybe a few Mexico fans didn't get the memo about being nice to the visiting Americans. A rock or two has been thrown. No journalists were hurt so you can rest easy.

If Cherundolo is the starter today then the lone real question is which two forwards start. I said it would be Ching-Davies since last week and am sticking to that one. We should know in less than an hour.

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PRE-GAME– Few things beat a police escort. Too bad you can't rent a police escort. I'd never be late to the airport again.

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PRE-GAME– LA Times' Grahame Jones on our caravan's slowdown: "That's probably Brian Ching holding us up up front."

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PRE-GAME– Mexico fans waive 5-0 to the USA bus as it leaves the hotel. We're heading to the stadium.

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PRE-GAME– Chad Marshall and Casey are not in uniform today. Thought Marshall might dress, but it looks like Stuart Holden will be in uniform and have a chance for some revenge for the Gold Cup final.

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PRE-GAME– Landon Donovan just got mobbed by Mexico fans. As much as Mexicans hate him for how good he is, He's really a rock star down here.

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PRE-GAME– I've been told that Conor Casey is not dressing today so all the anti-Casey folks can relax.

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PRE-GAME– For those who are fiending for some U.S. lineup news, I've gotten the first tidbit on that front. A source has told me that Steve Cherundolo will be starting today and Jonathan Spector will be on the bench. Makes sense given Cherundolo's experience a
nd superior speed. He has also played matches more recently than Spector.

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PRE-GAME– The U.S. national team is boarding the bus at its team hotel and the faces are stern as you can tell how important this match is.

The American media is also boarding its bus and we don't nearly as serious.

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759 comments
  • Blokhin

    I disagree with people who think that US is in with 2 more wins. We actually need 3 of 4 wins to book a place If you assume that the top 4 teams win home games vs each other and beat the bottom two teams both at home and on the road, Costa Rica will have 21 pts, US will have 19, Mexico 18 and Honduras 19. So there’s not much room for error. We must beat either CR here or Honduras on the road and both games in September are must wins…

    this is not done by any means…

    Like

  • FCB

    On the whole, these guys haven’t taken a step forward at all. The individual players have improved. Some more than others of course, but the coaching is as piss poor as ever. None of these guys really wants to play in the Bradley system. Not surprising, because it doesn’t work. I bet the players put forth the same kind of display against ES on the 5th and then on the 9th at T&T. If we don’t get maximum points from both games, be worried because after those two we have to play away at HON and then home to CR. Both tough games when we’re playing well.
    After today, I don’t believe we will. Sad.

    Like

  • Vman

    the lack of possession by the US midfield was astonishing. There was no way they were going to hold up under those circumstances. Poor clearances and bad distribution out of the back certainly didn’t help. I thought Bocanegra had one of his worst games in a while. Didn’t close down on the first goal and was out of position on the 2nd. Landon shouldn’t be defending 1 v 1 18 yds from goal. No way that was going to end well. Is Davies hurt or was it just cramping? He looked damn good, though he should have finished off that ridiculous cross from Holden.

    Things are a bit dicey for the US right now. One slip up at home and this whole campaign may very well be kaput.

    Like

  • chg

    Aside from our games, the most significant game is the Honduran visit to Azteca on the the 9th. If they can find away to get a point where we could not, it should make things a lot easier for us. Of course, that is assuming Costa Rica defends Saprissa on the 5th.

    Like

  • GO USA

    With the way Honduras looked tonight, Mexico could be in for a surprise at Azteca. Honduras manhandled Mexico at home so I would not be shocked to see them pull one out at Azteca. I believe Honduras has the best attack in CONCACAF and if they play an attacking style they could come out with a W. Mexico has no one to cover the likes of Suazo, Costly, or Pavon in the air for that matter. That could definitely be a game to watch.

    Like

  • DingDong

    You people worked up about the soldiers need to get a life.

    As for soccer: were the last three games in Confederations Cup a fluke? Didn’t seem like it then.

    Like

  • jpc

    chg,

    Your post sounded serious. But if it was just a joke, I apologize for this post

    When people come on this site and say about those soldiers in Iraq rooting for Mexico that, “they are disgraces to the country” and it made them “really angry”, it is NOT a “delicate situation”. completely classless.

    Do you understand this is just a game? How can you seriously questioned whether these guys would be “loyal” to the US if we ever went to war w/ Mexico. All they did was take a position in a soccer game.

    You’ve got a great imagination, but this isn’t a movie. Those guys are literally putting their lives on the line every second, and you are raising what seems like a serious question of whether they would be loyal to the US b/c they root for Mexico during a Soccer Game?

    You need a new role model, preferably someone that doesn’t equate soccer w/ patriotism

    Like

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