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USA vs. Mexico: Looking ahead to the rematch

Bob Bradley 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                              Photo by ISIphotos.com

Even though the U.S. team and its fans are still basking in the glow of a 2-0 victory over Mexico on Wednesday night, that doesn't mean it's too early to look ahead to the next meeting between the arch-rivals.

The re-match is set for Wednesday, Aug. 12th and while the venue hasn't been announced yet, you can bet your bottom peso that it will be at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which happens to be the scene of the only two Mexico victories in the series this decade.

Mexican fans and media were clinging to the belief that one thing the United States can't do is go down to Mexico and win, something the U.S. team has never done.

U.S. coach Bob Bradley wasn't spending too much time thinking that far ahead on Wednesday night, but he smiled confidently when asked by a Mexican journalist if the United States can win in Azteca.

"It's on our list of things to do," Bradley said.

What do you think of the rematch? Think the U.S. team can finally win in Azteca? Do you plan on making the trip to Mexico?

Share your thoughts on the USA-Mexico rematch in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. @ThaDeuce ? The Usa will have qualified?

    With 5 games to go in the Hex -at that time- how does the math add up?

    I already have my flight booked… GLORY!!!

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  2. I am a rabid USMNT fan and watched the game at the Globe Pub in Chicago. I was not happy with our win at all. We seem incapable of stringing more than two intelligent, short, quick passes together. Our attack seemed to consist of long passes into space and hoping that someone runs onto the ball. Donovan made some good runs, but the service was average at best. Our two goals came from pinball in front of the Mexican goal and a howler by Sanchez. I agree that Dempsey fell down every time he was touched, something I don’t see him doing a lot at Fulham. Kljestan could have sat down at the halfway line all night and contributed only slightly less. Franky Hejduk was his usual psychotically fierce self, a trait I love, but how many full-on slide tackles can you attempt before you are going to miss one and draw a red card?

    We are way better than we were under the Arena teams, but we still lack vision, a plan and ball skills. We need to be regularly scoring goals from the run of play with short, well thought out passes. Rebounds and set pieces do not make for long term success.

    Ok, here is where I get lynched. I would started Adu instead of Beasley. I do not think he is “world class” but I do think that he has been screwed by circumstances in Europe. He was brought in by a manager at Benfica who was immediately replaced by a guy with a history of disparaging American talent. He gets brought into France by an American owner, but apparently the manager wasn’t in on it and Adu is caught in the middle between them. During the Spain game, Adu was the only player we had who seemed to flummox the Spaniards for even a moment. Yes he can do stupid things like take on three Argentinians at once, but he will learn over time to be smarter. Beasley did his usual half-marathon during the match…..but to what effect?

    Lastly, either Altidore or Cooper should be in there instead of Ching.

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  3. The US is definitely beating Mexico this time around. It would be amazing to be there and see the deflated looks on the faces of the crowd. However, there is no way I would go to that game in that city without a full team from Blackwater.

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  4. A.S., I stand corrected. You are correct in regards to the seedings.

    While I believe that the US is still years (20-25) from consistently competing at the highest level, Greece won Euro 2004, and they were not even close to the best team in that tournament, but they played disciplined, if somewhat bland, soccer and got enough lucky bounces to go there way. Could the US do this, yes, so there is hope. Not a lot, but it’s better than nothing.

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  5. “Bottom line is whether the US is able to top Mexico in terms of seeding, we’ll likelier have an easier draw.”

    No, bottom line is, whether we beat Mexico at Azteca is likely to be completely irrelevant for our chances in the draw.

    Unless FIFA radically changes the procedures for the draw, there will be 8 seeded teams – South Africa and 7 others. All of the other teams will be put into pots based upon their *region*, not their rankings. The 7 other seeds (other than SA) will be among the teams that are in the current top 13 teams in FIFA rankings. We are virtually assured not to be one of the seeded teams. We will have the same chances in the draw as the other two/three CONCACAF teams.

    As I said far above, the only even outside chance I’d see at a seed would be to do really, really well at the Confederations Cup. Would wins again (for example) Brazil, Italy, Spain, Egpyt and New Zealand move us up in the rankings sufficiently to get a seed? I have no idea. But, really, is there ANY chance of that occurring?

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  6. To clear up a couple of remaining questions on the seeding. NO, CONCACAF does not get a seed for its best team. It just so happened that the US and Mexico were fighting it out for the final seed in Germany – coincidence only. US was 4 or 5 in FIFA world rankings heading into Cup (stupid, but true), plus the US had the South Korea result to lean on.

    Assuming, as is overwhelmingly likely, neither the US nor Mexico is seeded, each team will have an equal chance at each group, along with whomever else is in their pool (1 or 2 more CONCACAF teams, plus either Asian or African teams – best guess is African). Mexico’s group last time was way easier because Mexico was seeded and not in our draw AND the US got an unlucky pull.

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  7. “A.S., I think your missing my point. I could be completely wrong, but believe that a team from CONCACAF has to be seeded.”

    Jon, I believe you are completely wrong. There is no requirement that a team from CONCACAF (or any other region) must be seeded, at least based on the requirements at the last World Cup.

    BTW, Michael, above was also under an incorrect impression that higher rankings would put us into a different pot for the draw. At least at the last WC, the pots were based on regions, not the strength of the teams. All of the CONCACAF teams were in the same pot, all of the Asia teams in the same pot, etc., regardless of how strong the teams were.

    BTW, the seeding regime in completely asinine and real detriment to the World Cup. But there you have it.

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  8. Some of you obviously don’t understand how the seeding process works.

    Mexico was seeded because they got out of the group stages in 94, 98, 02. They won the Confeds Cup in 99, made the Copa America final in 01, did well in 04 and played extremely well at the 05 Confeds Cup.

    There’s absolutely no chance the US will be seeded for SA 10 even if they beat Mexico at home for the next 100 years.

    The US just hasn’t shown a decent level of consistency away from home this decade, other than the 02 WC.

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  9. I think we could win in Azteca, and almost feel as if we should get a point if we play the right line up. That said, if all goes according to plan up until that point, I’d rather shine a bit more in Confed Cup, as in make it out of group, beating either Italy or Brazil

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  10. Bottom line is whether the US is able to top Mexico in terms of seeding, we’ll likelier have an easier draw. Remember Mexico’s draw in 2006? It was a cake walk compared to what the US faced. If that’s the case, the US has a great chance to advance. If not, we’ll struggle to get out of the group.

    I think Steve T. mentioned that we’re still 20-25 years away from being on the same level as the best teams in the world. Nothing wrong with that, as we’ve come a long way in the past 20 years. We have great games from time to time against the best clubs, but we can’t consistently defeat these teams with the current pool available.

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  11. Hey Kaiser, “I”
    During 2006, I made a “D” and “C” in summer school latin 1 & 2.
    That is why. I spent many a class in a bar in the afternoon instead.
    Haha….I’m scared of 2010. I hope I don’t have anything important to do that summer.

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  12. Bob will not field a first team for the Azteca. By then we will already have qualified, and he will be more focused on the Gold Cup and the Cup in South Africa. Too much going on. Mexico picks apart the C team at the Azteca in August. They will feel redeemed. We will say like it always is when they win, hey, it was our C team. Nobody will care.

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  13. @iasthai22 – thanks for the heads up on Dempsey’s attempt to play target at Fulham…makes sense what you say about him not being strong enough to hold position, he was flopping all over the place last night…

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  14. Good game by the US last nite.

    Bradley’s boys were solid in all aspects, as usual.

    I agree with the notion about the US CMs playing better and dominating the midfield for long stretches but that is more likely based on Mexico’s tactical approach than anything Klejstan and Bradley did.

    I thought it was concerning that the Mexicans outplayed the American team when they were down a man.

    Jozy looked rusty and was easily dispossesed by Osorio, who is at least a foot shorter than him and Klejstan showed absolutely no attacking prowess. Donovan seemed a bit off as well.

    Ching is a very good player, he does all the little things right, I don’t understand why American fans hate on him so much.

    Bocanegra and Onyewu were pedestrian at best and it’s hard to believe those two are the best centerbacks the US could put out on the field, IMO.

    As a Mexican fan, I knew there was little chance we could pull off a positive result and the team is obviously not clicking. That has nothing to do with Sven, it’s the supposed “leaders” on the team like Pardo, Sanchez and Marquez (who has a history of pulling sh*t like what he did last nite) that let the team down but still, If I were a US fan, I’d be concerned with Bradley’s teams’ inability to play the ball in tight spaces and lack of imagination in the final third.

    The US can pull off results against Mexico because they have a defined system that is guaranteed to beat the Mexicans but it ain’t gonna get you too far in the Confeds Cup or the next WC.

    Still, congrats to the US, they did what they had to do to win the game.

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  15. Yeah i was in Vicenza. I got out in November though. Went on a tour of Germany before I left. Had to go to Landstuhl and then took 2 weeks to see Bayern, Hertha Berlin, Stuttgart, etc… I saw alot of matches here in Italy, great atmosphere, San Siro during the derby is probably the best.

    The greatest thing about that US/Italy match is that when i got back to Italy all the italians i knew and hung out with agreed that the US outplayed them and the Italian fans showed alot of respect for us.

    My wife is from Italy , met her my first year stationed there, and her father even said that he admired the USMNT because we didn’t dive, we didn’t argue with the refs and we played like men. He is an old school Milan supporter and he said it reminded him of the old 1980’s Milan squads.

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  16. Kaiser – maybe trainging in smoggy high altitude will be better for Azteca.

    By the way, using A.S.’s 13 team theory i ran Mexico’s number’s too. Since 2000 the US has played those teams 21 times, Mexico 17 times. They’ve compiles a 6-7-4 record with 4 of the 6 wins coming against Brazil. Not that this means anything, I just found it intersting. What is it that makes them competitive against Brazil?

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  17. Re: seeding. It changes every year a little. Some might say to reflect what FIFA wants the result to be, but I digress…

    Last go around, it was based on the FIFA rankings and the performance in the last two or three world cups (weighted to favor the most recent one). The USA is the highest ranked CONCACAF team right now, but we’re #20. Going nuts in teh Confederations Cup would yield a bunch of points (the FIFA system gives international cups and qualifiers more points than friendlies…), but I seriously doubt enough to overcome the ’06 cup performance which will weigh us down like a lead balloon.

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  18. Guy – That Italy match had me on the edge of my seat at the office the entire match. Remember it vividly…Frappen Italians. We owned them even with one man down…what the feeee happened the rest of the Cup prior to that match…we sucked…then realized our lives were at stake and played well.

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  19. Each team will win at home and lose away, except for El Salvador (which will be the bottom feeder of the group). So whoever beats El Salvador in San Salvador will take the group. I do not see the US going into Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad, and Honduras and “dominating” the opposition. There is parity in the CONCACAF, whoever does their best to win away and not play for a tie will take the group.

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  20. Guy – I got here just after the Cup, but was here for the Euros–good fun. Were you stationed in Vicenza? I head down there now and then. Great food and wine.

    I went to K-Town for the FCK-Bayern friendly last month and saw Donovan score–sweet goal. Just hope he can do more of the same in the BL, but he hasn’t converted yet–getting close.

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  21. Kaiser – I guess we will just have to wait and see how the hex plays out. Never count your chickens until they are hatched.

    Have another bier on me!

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  22. We did get a point there once.

    Frankly, that is all we need to accomplish – a point on the road.

    Really, we need to worry about the matches in between.

    My question, how many points do we need to qualify?

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  23. Der Amerikanische kaiser:

    you get a chance to go to the WC in 06?

    I was stationed in Italy at the time and made it up to K-town for the US/Italy match and no match will ever be the same.

    One of the keys about the Aug 12th match in Azteca is that it’s on a Wednesday meaning they will play at night for ratings and fan viewing pleasures, this makes Azteca a little less for air sucking. BB will bring the boyz because he wants nothing more than to advance the USMNT to a new level. Europe will be close to starting so who will be match fit though????

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  24. @TMsB – Fulham tried Dempsey as the target man role for several games last season… it was ugly. Sadly, Dempsey wasn’t strong enough to fight for his positions to draw fouls. Obviously he has the skill set to what Ching does but lacks the strength and positioning to pull it off.

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  25. Given the above picture, this is an unfortunate place to mention the similarity, but now that Bob and son share the same haircut, I was constantly noting how much they look alike.
    Not a slight against either guy, just noticing the striking family resemblance.

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  26. Hater – Plzzzzzzzz. Our men have come to make us “real fans” who know and understand the game at the international level, expect more from our boys wearing the RWB who have on occassion shown they have the composure to win some of the big games, albiet not yet on European soil except against the likes of Sweden, Denmark, Poland, etc.

    I am hopeful that South Africa will be a similar storyline to that of Korea 02 and better. Why? B/c we can if on top of our game.

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  27. Kaiser, good points, all of them. I was underwhelmed by the overall performance last night. Steve, I think we can all agree that this was one of the weakest Mexican teams we’ve played against (at least in qualifying) over the past several years between out of form players and injuries. Plus their recent history is abysmal (under Sven in particular). I’ve gone back and forth under Bradley’s reign as to whether we’re improving or not. I think we’re a bit more confident and have more depth to our pool, but I think we’re years off of repeating our 2002 performance. Consider me one of the skeptics.

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  28. Fubar – I don’t think BB will bring an inexperienced squad to Mexico. This is a monumentl moment in USMNT history to put a nail in the coffin.

    Can you say reputation or legacy? Don’t think for a moment that BB isn’t thinking along the same lines.

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  29. kaiser is a typical “i watch soccer in europe, listen while i break everything down for all of you illiterates”

    I do agree with you that yesterday was not our greatest performance ever, however the tables have completely turned. We spend much more time on the ball throughout the match while Mexico’s attack is disjointed whenever they got possession from working so hard to get the ball back.

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  30. well I might be in Mexico for the summer, and if I am I’m definitely going to do everything possible to be able to go to the match.

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  31. Xander – Right on dude.

    TMB – Couldn’t have said it better myself. Not a big Ching fan, rather a Cheech and Chong fan. Sorry, too many frosty German biers already and it’s only 9:30PM.

    Jon – A.S. is missing everyone’s point.

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  32. will we get a seed? no. we can’t get a seed. seeding is based on three factors: performance in the past two world cups (33.3% for 02, 66.7% for 06) and the end of year rankings in 07, 08, 09. in large part due to our abysmal showing in Germany (25th) we would need to end this year ranked in the top 4 globally to get a seed. I don’t see that happening.

    as of today, your seeds are, roughly: Germany, Brazil, Italy, Spain, England, Argentina, France, South Africa. South Africa is guaranteed a seed, Germany, Brazil, Italy and Spain are total locks, based on current rankings and past Cup performance. to give you an idea, in order to lose a seed, Spain would have to end the FIFA year ranked somewhere in the 40s. England is vulnerable, as is Argentina, sort of. England more so, since there’s always that odd chance someone good doesn’t come out of UEFA. but unless you see every team on this list basically losing every match the remainder of the year, and badly, it’s just not going to happen. The US isn’t going to end up ranked any higher than 15, we don’t play enough good teams. we’re already ranked the best team in CONCACAF, so there are no big dogs out there to knock off here. I suppose we could win the confederations cup, and Brazil and Italy could manage to go home without a point, but that seems highly unlikely.

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  33. I’m with Josh and Jeff- no the USA will NOT win at Azteca this year. They will have already sewn up qualification and Mexico will be fighting for their lives.

    BB should take those he thinks need some mental toughing up, those who are battling for spots a LB, CM and LM, and all those who have never had the charming experience of playing in front of 104,000 gentle fans at altitude. HA!

    Give those who will have played 50-60 matches already this year a break. sned them over to Acapaulco for a few days of cliff diving.

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