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TGIF: The USA-Mexico hangover

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Admit it. If you are a U.S. national team fan then are probably still recovering from the emotional roller coaster and post-victory celebration following the U.S. team's 2-0 victory against Mexico.

As memorable as Wednesday night was, the soccer world continues to spin and the shift in focus reverts back to club soccer, with European leagues resuming play and MLS teams continuing to prepare for the upcoming MLS season.

The big news today will be whether or not David Beckham is sold to AC Milan, something we should hear about soon (although the word that Milan reps are only just today making their way to LA makes you wonder when this will get done by the deadline). Another news story we are still waiting for is whether or not Sven Goran Eriksson will be fired as Mexico head coach.

While we wait for those stories to emerge, and for other stories to develop today, here are is a look back at some tidbits from the USA-Mexico match, and from SBI's trip to Columbus:

Most of you have seen the slap Mexico assistant coach Paco Ramirez put on Frankie Hejduk following the match. While the popular explanation for the incident was a misunderstanding of something Hejduk said that night, Mexican media suggested that the slap was actually the result of past transgressions by Hejduk toward the Mexican national. Apparently, Ramirez had been carrying some lingering resentment toward Hejduk for things he has said after past Mexico games and decided to confront him. Someone probably should have told Ramirez that Crew Stadium was probably not the place to do that. Here's the video for those of you who hadn't seen the incident:

Rafael Marquez apologized to Mexico's fans after Wednesday's match for losing his head and kicking Tim Howard, an incident that resulted in a red card. Howard wasn't holding a grudge, as evidenced by the scene of the two players giving interviews practically side-by-side after the match.

One of the funnier moments in the aftermath of the match took place the next day at the Columbus Airport, when a PA announcement told "Dos a Chero to meet their party at Gate A-4." The announcement was greeted with laughter from the scores of U.S. fans in the terminal, even if the announcer pronounced 'Cero' 'Chero'.

Another good moment came in the post-game press conference when a Mexican journalist asked Bob Bradley if things would have been differently if Giovani Dos Santos had scored on the play where he brought new meaning to the term 'Sitter'. Bradley smiled coyly and said "We'll never know." He also took the chance to remind the journalist that the U.S. national team had come back against Mexico before in the 2007 Gold Cup final.

Michael Bradley, the USA-Mexico man of the match, credited his move to Germany with helping him reach the form that led to Wednesday's masterful performance. While most observers believe that him joining last-place Borussia Moenchengladbach was a mistake, Bradley credits the weekly battle for survival with the relegation strugglers with helping him improve as a player.

SBI Mafia members had to be happy to see the SBI Banner Contest winner shown on the ESPN2 broadcast for a good five seconds. Congrats and thanks again to Anton Jusufi for designing the banner and special thanks to SBI correspondent GianFranco Panizo for placing the banner. For those wondering where the banner is now, it is residing at SBI headquarters in New Jersey and we plan on bringing it to Mexico City in August (and Nashville if any folks from Trinidad & Tobago resort to using voodoo dolls). If anybody can put together a YouTube clip of the ESPN2 airtime for the banner, let us know.


Lastly, a special thank you to all the SBI Mafia members (and if you haven't figured it out by now, every regular reader of SBI is a member) who we met on this trip. You help make running SBI worthwhile and keep us motivated to keep bringing you the news and analysis you are looking for.

That's all for now. Feel free to share any final thoughts on Wednesday's match, the Beckham and Sven situations, or on the upcoming weekend's soccer action, in the comments section below.


  1. Christian,

    Here is where you defended Ramirez:”THE INCIDENT WAS A MISUNDERSTANDING, Hejduk…”

    You did not state that Ramirez should be fired, but that the FMF was investigating.

    And Spanish radio/TV is not discussing this incident, it barely gets a mention. Marquez was 50% of the topics and SEG was the other 50%. The Paco incident barely receives a mention. This all starts at the top, if an assistant coach, which I’ve not verified that is what he is, acts in that manner, his players will follow.

    BTW, Kudos to Paco Torres for jumping into the fray and defending his colors!

  2. Players diving gets done by both teams so I don’t know that much could be done about that. We have a similar problem when Onyewu goes up for a ball against a smaller forward they dive and they get a foul out of it. It went both ways my friend.

  3. Christian:

    Yes one of the first thing you said, was congratulate the US National Team and it fans for the victory. It seems the way that you keep bringing incidents one after the other that you are looking to find something to pick at. You have found things time and time again, what I’m trying to tell you is that we can do the same. We both have admitted that there have been “classless” actions on both sides, but they have happened before and though unnecessary sadly enough it has become part of the sport. If we keep going off generalizations we are screwing over the avid fans that watch the game and appreciate it the way that it should be appreciated.

    As mentioned before my question to you is why are you pointing this out now? This is not the first game, not the first offense, not the first anything. It has happened before people dive, launch bottles, and so forth what do you recommend we do?

    I am all about the addressing the issue more in depth, but I wonder now what fans are going to do to our players at Azteca because we all see this as normal stuff. Its been a part of the game whenever Mexico steps onto the field against the USA. I’ve been to Superliga and CONCACAF games where the same thing happens. Moral of the story is that for every jack*** that considers that to be funny, there is a majority that hates that being a part of the game. Again, this happens from both sides so unless the Federations do something about it both parties will continue to do it.

  4. Bubba:

    How could I be a sore loser when the first thing I did was congratulate the US for a well played game and deserving the three points.

    I’m just pointing out that some US fans carry a very self-righteous attitude and think their players are immune to the bad side of the sport (diving, fans who throw sh*t, etc)

    I know most US fans are good people but I hate the generalization that all Mexicans (fans and players) are “classless.”

    It’s just a moronic way of thinking. That is all.

  5. Christian you are getting ridiculous trying prove your point. Hey go to you tube and see the video when Bobby Convey took a corner and Mexican fans launched a beer at him. Its the same thing man… You have brought up some good points but the more you keep pushing the issue the more you sound like a sore loser.

    I agree with you that this rivalry stuff is getting out of hand, the only thing is why are you doing this now? It was funny and acceptable before, so what changed?

    I don’t think it was right that a bottle was thrown at Pardo either but you keep nit picking at it like the US fans are the only ones that have done it before. Take a look back and some of the stuff that has happened was done by your fans first, so deal with it. It surprises me too that some of theses things are happening but is been done before and I don’t see why it should be pointing directly at US fans without pointing the finger at your fans as well.

    A caution was given to Salcido for his tackle on Jozy. Salcido will miss the next game due to yellow card accumulation as well as Marquez for his red. Ref actually played the advantage and carded Salcido after goal was recorded!

  7. An aspect to point out is, Mexico was missing 5 players. But even with those players, we did come from 1-0 and beat them 2-1 in 2007 Gold Cup. Also, we drew with them 2-2 in Texas when they had full team and we had a mixed team. But most SBI fans know this. It is their fans that seem to forget this!

  8. Wasn’t anybody else disappointed in our inability to control the ball from minutes 65 to 85 after Mexico went a man down? I was pleased with our overall play but am a little scared that Mexico was still able to apply so much pressure while a man down.

  9. Is Ives gonna do a piece on US fans throwing bottles at Pavel Pardo while taking corner kicks?

    Or is he going to help keep up the facade that US players are goody-too-shoes boyscouts that would never kill a fly?

  10. Hey frank, teaching frankie a lesson… What the hell does that mean?… I know you didn’t exactly mean what you said, but it definitely came out wrong… You somehow made it sound like the coach had a reason to slap him

  11. I have been on blogs for several years. Today I believe I heard the most outlandish statement ever. That the Us team does not move the ball as well as Barcelon a and we do not have a player with the moves that Robinho exhibited against Italy. Next someone will say the earth is okay but it is still not as hot as the sun. We are 20th in the world folks. Please put that on you monitor before you blog. I am very pleased and satisfied with the coach and the players of our national team.

  12. We US fans and our players arent as innocent either. I remember seeing a US fan at the Chicago Gold Cup final yelling out Spics lose again…..I remember seeing Eddie Pope spit at Luis Hernandez….Imagine if Guardado would piss on the bushes in Soldier Field…..both sides have idiots and both sides have good guys

    Face it, Soccer bring out passion…and sometimes we fans generalize things. Would we be so high on Torres playing this game if he wasnt Mexican American???

  13. I completely agree that Ramirez should be fired and if the FMF has any integrity then they should give him the boot.

    I have a problem with people taking the actions of Marquez and Ramirez and generalizing (and assuming) that all Mexican players are “classless.” It’s easy to ignore plays like the one where Hejduk and Salcido battled for the ball and both smashed into the ad signs and Salcido helped Hejduk up to his feet and both gave each other a high five/hug or Omar Bravo being consoled by Donovan and other players shaking hands after the game.

    It’s especially bothersome after the fact that all the Mexican players that took part in post game interviews gave props to their American counterparts and even before the game you could see how much respect both teams have each other.

    It’s hard to argue against some of the things the Mexican players have done (Oswaldo trying to kick Johnson and Marquez repeatedly losing his cool against the US) but you guys look even more stupid trying to paint the whole team with a broad brush.

    Again, where are the people who will call out Dempsey for diving all over the place? Quite the double standard around here, eh?

  14. Christian,

    The last tne minutes were getting chippy. Look at the second goal. Jozy was hacked after the ball was released and a Mexican player nailed Donavan after he laid the ball off to Bradley. Frankly, I am suprised the foul on Jozy didn’t earn that player a caution.

  15. Christian,

    If you’re agreeing that Paco should be fired, then I’m not sure why you’re arguing with the “classless” comment. Mr. Ramirez’ act was clearly classless and you would seem to be agreeing if you’re calling for his dismissal. If you’re upset by blanket statements of Mexicans being classless, I can understand that, but I can’t recall seeing any of that on these boards. If so, I think you should address those comments specifically.

  16. I remember seeing Ramirez walk right past us after halftime (we were in the front row in section 129, NW side at the top of the box). We didn’t know who he was, but someone said he looked like a bodyguard for a drug cartel. That mullet was hideous!!

  17. I get confused with the claim that Bradley plays with one up front. I count two. Ching/Altidore and Donovan. Remeber Donovan generally plays up front with the Galaxy and plays up front in Germany. While at times he has played in the midfield, that is no longer the case. Ching and Donovan up front. Beasley on the left. Dempsey on the right. Sasha and Mike in the middle. Two up front!

  18. When did I defend Paco Ramirez?

    The guy is a fool for what he did and I think he should be fired.

    I’m not complaining or making excuses for the score because the US won fair and square.

    I’m just hoping some US fans are able to think for themselves and don’t get caught up in the “classless” bullsh*t that is thrown around by people who don’t have a clue about the rivalry and spew it because Ives posts it on his blog.

    If any of you speak spanish you would notice that the Mexican press is ripping Ramirez and Marquez apart for their antics and are calling for Marquez to be dropped from the team.

    All I’m saying is that if you watched the game there was no chippiness that is usually associated with US-Mexico game and some of you are trying real hard to jump on the “classless Mexicans” bandwagon.

    Watch the game and come up with your own conclusion without being swayed by the masses. That’s all I’m asking for.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, congrats on the win, it was well deserved.

  19. Marquez and the rest of the Mexican players are apologizing, not for the losing result, but for fear of their families being threaten and/or kidnapped.

  20. josh –

    i’m going to have to revise that statement about the clause to a rumor, i thought i had seen that reported and i had read the same thing on bigsoccer a few days ago, but after searching for it, i can’t verify that he has that clause in his contract. here’s the link to the bigsoccer discussion from a couple of days ago..

    with as much ambition as young michael has, i do think it is very likely that something like that would be written into his contract, but as i cannot verify that, it is as of now a rumor.

  21. Christian,

    You are wrong to defend Paco Ramirez.

    Marquez, as a player let his emotions get away from him. Most of us understand that this happens to all players. He knows he was wrong, admits it and there are no hard feelings from Howard or any other player I’m sure.

    However defending an authority figure such as Ramirez with a “pull out the “classless” card and make stupid generalizations ” then point to Dempsey as an example is idiotic and sophmoric (look it up).

    Ramirez should be fired. If Mexico is serious about fixing its personnel discipline, which they should be based on their results; it starts by taking a hard-line against actions such as what Ramirez did. Ramirez waited, waited I say again, for Hejduk in a pre-meditated manner to accost him. If he thought it was inappropriate behaviour he should have been in Hejduks face at the time of the incident, not after the game.

    To defend Ramirez IN ANY WAY is to condone the lack of discipline Mexico has shown in its games over the last few years. Not just against the U.S., but the rest of the region.

    I too listen to Spanish Talk radio and television and I’m appalled that there is little being discussed about Ramirez. The focus is on Marquez. I can not imagine an administrator with the U.S. keeping his job after pulling something like that. That we have not heard he’s been suspended pending investigation, is an indication and not a generalization, of what the Mexican Federation condones for behavior.

  22. Thats me holding the flag in that picture!!!!

    Ives, I think I remember meeting you at Claddaghs late Tuesday night… great work!

  23. Christian you criticize a lot of the US fans for such feelings yet the Mexican fans are the same and even worse about it. I am glad that for the most part the Mexico team and staff knows how to act, but the stupid acts that guys like Marquez and Ramirez did ruin it for the rest of you guys. A game doesn’t go by that the fans and some players act like morons, the only reason you complain now is because at least before you could get the results. This is the way that many Mexican fans act when playing teams in the Caribbean, Central and North America. Mexico and its fans created this monster, take it like everyone else has and stop complaining. I have been to games where Mexican fans don’t even have enough class or respect to acknowledge the teams they are playing, so if you ask me they are getting off very easy.

    Like many of the Mexican players we will see them in Azteca, its going to be a great game…

  24. If anyone caught that ‘Dos Achero” announcement on the PA at Columbus Airport on video, I would LOVE a copy! It may have been my idea and white courtesy phone call that made it happen.

  25. Gofirego:

    Nery Castillo was born in Mexico, again, why do people insist on bringing up such petty subjects.

    Secondly, the FMF has already stated that Paco Ramirez will be dealt with for his behavior.

    The incident was a misunderstanding, Hejduk went by the Mexico bench to celebrate with US fans near by and some of the staff and players thought he was tauting them. Guille Franco confronted him and they both shook hands afterwards, then Paco Ramirez came in a bitchslapped Hejduk for no reason. After the incident, Hejduk clearly stated that it was a misunderstanding and nothing more. Some of you guys just love drama and will look for it anywhere.

    The match wasn’t a hackfest, I don’t know what game some of you watched but it was a pretty clean game, apart from Marquez idiotic challenge on Howard.

    And for the guy that said Marquez didn’t apologize to Howard, did you not watch the game? He shook hands with Howard before walking off the field after being sent off.

    I think it’s typical of US fans to pull out the “classless” card and make stupid generalizations when in reality, there was no animosity between the players and all the post game interviews from the Mexican camp were very complimentary towards the US.

    I don’t see anyone calling out Dempsey for diving all over the place when he had the ball. That is some serious hypocritical sh*t because most of you don’t hesitate to call out players from other teams who do it.

    Show a little objectivity.

  26. Hey Pico,

    I’m not Ives but I like your question. I was having similar thoughts on Jozy’s performance. I’d love to hear what Ives thoughts are too.

    I saw Jozy thinking too much and trying to force the situation of couple of times. He came in to the game really late and maybe had some big game jitters. Like when he pulled the ball over to the top corner of the 18 and tried to post-up on his defender, he was trying to be in control, and be smooth, instead, basically, he got taught a lesson. Then,later, he practically got knocked out on the last play of the game while Landon was streaking down the line. Chalk it up to a learning experience. He didn’t bring the level of intensity necessary to match the intensity on the pitch. I’ve watched him play a lot and I am confident he’ll make the adjustment and be ready for the next one.

  27. Two of the fake Mexicans, the Argentine Guille Franco and the Uruguayan Nery Castillo, whined that they did not like how Hejduk celebrated.

    * Nery: “They will have to come to the Azteca, and we will see if he does that there.”

    * Guille: “I don’t know his name, but he was the USA’s No. 2. I told him he’s an idiot for what he said after the second goal, that this was no way to celebrate and that he should have respect and ethics as a player. When they scored the second goal, he insulted us and said insults toward the Mexicans, I heard it clearly. That shouldn’t happen. That’s why I told him he’s an idiot.”


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