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Monday Morning Center Back: Mexico’s Olympic dreams shattered


Mexico was supposed to be an Olympic medal contender, led by a golden generation of young stars including Giovanni Dos Santos, Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado. Hugo Sanchez’s team was supposed to walk through Olympic Qualifying. The Mexicans were supposed to do a lot, but are now heading home having accomplished nothing.

Mexico thrashed Haiti, 5-1, in one of the must absurd soccer games ever played, but it was one goal short of what the Mexicans needed to reach the Olympic qualifying second round. Canada’s 5-0 win against Guatemala earlier on Sunday set the bar too high for the Mexicans, which put on a clinic on how to squander easy scoring chances. Mexico won big, but lost bigger and now Dos Santos, Vela, Guardado and Hugo Sanchez will be watching the Olympics on TV.

Haitian goalkeeper Johnny Placide gave up five goals but stole the show with a plethora of clutch saves, inluding a penalty kick stop. Even as his defense abandoned him, Placide kept making saves and earned folk hero status in Canada, the USA and Guatemala.

There will be no sympathy for Mexico, an underachieving squad of floppers and whiners who spent more time begging for yellow cards for its opponents than playing quality soccer. It is sad that the likes of Dos Santos, Vela and Guardado won’t get to shine at the Olympics, but they have only their countrymen to blame.


Most of the blame, at least in Mexico, will fall at the feet of Hugo Sanchez, who wore all black on Sunday, perhaps getting a head start on the mourning of his time as Mexico head coach. Does he really deserve to be fired? I don’t think he does but failing to reach the Olympics is going to be tough for Sanchez to survive.

What do you think of Mexico’s failed Olympic bid? Does Sanchez deserve to be fired? Was the team just not good enough? Was Group B (with Guatemala, Canada and Haiti) tougher than we realized? Share your thoughts below.


  1. Im loving this.excellent comments.Im impressed with the level of play the concacaf teams are showing.they are a better confederation than a lot of people give them credit for.

  2. Alex,

    Look through the comments in the US under-23 running commentaries. You will see literally dozens of complaints about Davies flopping on contact. Also look at the criticism Manu and a few other basketball players have taken from MSM and fans for flopping in the NBA. Generally speaking, American sports fans don’t like to see semi-contact sports like basketball and soccer ruined by players reacting to the slightest contact as if they’ve been shot, regardless of the player’s team affiliation.

    Mexico is one of the worst perpetrators of this tactic. Also, whether you were presnt of not has nothing to do with the fact that the “Osama” chant was loud and protracted enough to be mentioned in news reports.

    Along with their dismissive attitude towards the US team, many American fans have good reasons to delight in Mexico’s misfortune.

  3. oh please. all of you stop whining! the usa does it, portugal does it, mexicans do it. I know the USA gets plenty of penalties as well so don’t be mad because mexicans players call fouls. its not like they won anyway. also, I know the whole osama thing was messed up. I didn’t see it so I can’t say it didn’t happen but can we please stop whinning on that as well. I know everyone does messed up stuff wether its mexican, american, or whatever. I’ve been called a beaner, a wetback, and every racial slur one can think of at these games ( being a US citizen and serving in iraq). I know that doesn’t excuse all the bad stuff but my point is if we’re gonna b criticizing countries for what they’ve done can we all just criticize our first

  4. Soy, did you watch the tournament? I’m sure you you did, so you’re telling me you didn’t see Mexican players flopping and begging for yellow cards to be issued against opponents every chance they got? Landin was one of the worst offenders, but there were others. Vilaluz just plays and doesn’t bother with that mess, which is admirable, but his teammates were doing it all three games.

    My comment was not based on any bias toward the Mexican team, it was based on my own observations of their behavior during the tournament.

  5. oh no, i agree with most of yall. mex’s u-23s were horrible during qualifiers – no chemistry whatsoever and they didnt deserve to go to beijing. its just that im not to fond with the flopping and whining label when there’s nothing to base it off of.

    i mean, go watch cesar villaluz’s post game conference. dude stands up to defeat. no one whined.

  6. Remembering the “Osama” game in Guadalajara four years ago, I have a hard time mustering sympathy for the Green Mice and their fans. El karma es una puta.

    As for Hugo Sanchez, it doesn’t seem he is liking his turn at Livin’ La Vida LaVolpe. At least he admitted failure here and did not whine as much as after the Gold Cup and the other so-called friendly games versus the USA. Stick a fork in him, he’s as done as a leg of cabrito asado in Monterrey.


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