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Mexico down U.S. U-20s in extra-time of CONCACAF final

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The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team entered the CONCACAF U-20 Championship final against Mexico having never won the entire tournament.

They still haven’t.

The U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss to their southern rivals in hard-fought match at Estadio Cuauhtemoc in Puebla that was decided in extra-time. Regulation had ended at 1-1 after both sides scored early goals, but Mexico won its 12th title in front of their home crowd through an 110th-minute strike from Julio Gomez. Jonathan Espericueta put the game out of reach three minutes later through a penalty kick.

Depleted in part by the departure of a handful of players, the Americans fell behind four minutes into the game after Jesus Manuel Corona beat U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper. The U.S. did not take long to respond, however.

Benji Joya pulled the visitors level in the 10th minute, converting a penalty kick that was earned after Hedgardo Marin was whistled for a handball.

As the game wore on, Tab Ramos’ men valiantly attempted to find a winner but it was evident that they were exhausted. The Americans came close to forcing penalty kicks but ultimately wore down enough to allow the Mexicans to score twice in a four-minute span in the second half of extra-time.

The U.S. and Mexico will now turn their sights towards this summer’s U-20 World Cup in Turkey, which starts on June 21.


What do you think of the U.S.’s 3-1 loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF U-20 Chanpionship final? Impressed with the overall tournament from the United States? Still have faith that this bunch of Americans can make noise in Turkey this summer?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Awesome game. Truly one of the great games to watch the US-Mex. I would have loved to see Cuevas get a run, but the them’s the ankle sprains…The whole team played great, even Javan Torre and Shane O’Neil who both progressed nicely in the tournament. The Mexican-American contingent was excellent, and Will Trapp integrated nicely with them. The one player who has improved in my opinion is Mario Rodriguez. His move to Germany of all places has paid off. He is a much better player than he was for the U-17’s. Joya is sublime, and Villareal causes some massive problems. Fun group of players and I hope they move up together.

    On the Mexican side, Corona is incredible. Great player.

  2. Benjamin Joya is attacking midfielder that we have been lookIng he can defend create take on opponent deliver long accurate passes n he shows an awesome leadership quality B JOYA like the fox sports analysis i said should be n will be in Senior team AS soon as possible

  3. Wow, I havent seen that ball control and confidence on the ball since the days since…well…never. Mexico did deserve the win but our guys did themselves proud, not by tough athletic defending but toe to toe attacking. This is fantastic for the USMNT future. Thanks Tab Ramos. I confess after watching the USAvsHaiti game I thought we were going to miss another Youth WC. I was wrong, our boys improved each game and I give Ramos the credit. Someone remarked earlier that Klinsi appointed Ramos and he has responded with a team that Klinsi often describes but has not been able to achieve. I think further credit needs to go to our Development efforts.

    Its great to see that Ramos was not afraid of bringing in kids who could play the game no matter what their size. I hope they continue this progression at the U-20 WC this summer.

  4. We would have won if the game was played in Columbus, at a 25F weather with a pro-American crowd (12th man). Mexico had all of the ingredients to win this game so I’m not surprised. I even heard that the stadium officials allowed people in the stadium free of charge just to fill up the stadium. Hopefully we’ll get to host the next U-20 qualifying event & payback will be a biatch.

  5. people, relax. yes, there could have been two PKs, a red card, and we only had one fully healthy player on the bench. yes, we were missing some top prospects and one of our key players, Gil, had to leave. it’s too bad.

    but, we played a good tourny. we took it to mexico for 120 minutes and almost went 5-0. we lost to a mexican team who won the u-17 World Cup, was playing at home in Mexico, and at 7500 feet. with hardly any subs to use while they used all 3. we did well. it would have been incredible for them to win, but given all the things that were going against us, it’s great we put up a good fight and out played Mexico for long stretches of the game.

    i’m disappointed that the US has yet to win a U-20 championship though. i think it’s ridiculous we haven’t won one yet. i know a lot of people don’t care about youth tournys, but it would be nice if the US could win some. so i do understand people’s frustration.

  6. Great game by both sides. The US attack, throughout the entire 5 games, was very impressive. Villareal, Cuevas, Gil, Rodriguez, Joya, Lopez even Ocegeda were all very confident in attack. This generation of mexican-american players are going to be great and are very much needed in the senior ranks. Cropper had a great 5 games too, legit future national team keeper. Tab Ramos seems like a great coach too! The defending on the other hand was bad, oneil and serna were overmatched. Like I said about the u23 squad and even our senior team; we are a solid back line away from an internationally competitive national program.

    Overall the ref wasnt perfect, when are they ever in NA, but i wouldnt point to that for why we lost. The pk in the 10th min was not legit, we got a bad call to help us. After that i feel loke the ref was compensating because he knew he gave the US a goal. Personally i think he should have never allowed any hard tackles and not been so on top of the pk’s as the worse result the game could have had was a serious injury. In the end Mexico was a much better team and won with style where the US should be proud of their well desirved silver metal.

    • on the officiating, the most revealing no call was the elbow to Joya’s face which drew blood right in front of the linesman…no call. He dropped like a stone after receiving the blow so I guess the linesman thought he was faking, altho it was the team in black doing that, not in white

      red card, another red card, not even whistled a foul

  7. those kids played awesome, incredible effort throughout the game playing the high pressure D. they got tired in extra time and already had a depleted bench.

    Nothing but applause and respect from here. The free kick undressing of Mexico’s entire defense which was totally caught off guard was beautiful, deserved better than a hatchet play and a coward ref. Mexico’s vaunted backline was forced into horrible positions and into launching long balls instead of playing thru their excellent midfield.

    Ramos gets an A…he had his depleted guys ready to go and playing their best, my opinion

  8. If they would play this game ten times in a row, Mexico would win 7 of them, IMO. Corona was just too much out there. That said, the U.S. deserved to win this game in regular time, and but for a couple audacious foul/no calls, they would have. I am so sick of Concacaf and Mexican officials, I have been watching this crap since the early 90’s and it just doesn’t change.

    Second, I absolutely hate the embellishment the both sides displayed. It makes the game tough to watch. The one Mexican dude that rolled around in the grass for a minute, after only a minor nick, needed a card. Refs need to take better control of the game. The U.S. should not try to “Out-Mexico” the Mexicans. Let them put on their theatrics and hold the high ground next time.

    • Not a bad idea. I still have faith in Jurgen but if need be Tabb is next in line. I wish this whole team was 2-4 years older/ready for the senior side

  9. The ref like always…are pro-mexico…so many outsides not called, the penalty, and that red card not called!!!

  10. LOL. You guys sound like Mexico fans. “We outplayed them but we lost”. Never leave it up to the ref to win you the game. Score goals from the run of play and take the refs out of the equation.

    • When the run of play leads you into the box and penalties prevent you from scoring then…the ref will cal a PK etc…

      Points off set pieces.. Pk’s and run of play all count the same

      • You are expecting 3 penalty calls in a final? There was only clear one and that was only obvious on the replay. The first penalty I guess technically it was correct but it could easily have been waved off. You want a red on that Mexican defender for a tackle from behind a little bit later a Mexican player got tackled from behind on his support leg. Ref let the game play-on. Sure looked like Crooper tripped the Mexican goal scorer by scooting forward when he ran in front of him, so that probably makes him osvaldo zanches like. Try to enjoy the game which was very good. May not see the U.S. attack like that very often. Since they had not previously played like that I am attributing it to the fact that they felt no pressure since they felt secure in having qualified for the u20 world cup and they were not favorites. Blaming thing on refs makes people sound like sore losers.

  11. The no call was really bad. Benji Joya needs to be in the squad for the mens team starting right now. Sorry Sacha and Zusi but you are no longer needed ever.

    Some very positives things to take away from the game. Probably the most important was the individual experience those players got playing in that environment and the confidence they got from performing well. Proud of them.

    Too bad Jurgi was prolly watching some german u13 game looking for the next danny williams to pass the ball to the other team every play.

    • dude, playing well for the U-20s is MUCH different than the senior team. Joya needs to be integrated before we can start talking about him on the senior team. Corona and Mix are much closer than Joya.

      • not that crazy a jump especially for his position…i remember watching the u20 tournement when messi broke out

        lots of the standouts made seemless transitions into their national side

        in soccer 20 years is not so young as in other american sports

      • he’s good, and tough. he took that elbow, got flattened, then came back and kept playing well. that’s pretty cool, hard not to respect that even for the Mexican team

      • messi is on another planet dude. joya is a good player, a bright talent. but he has yet to even break into the game day roster on a CONSISTENT basis for Santos. and you want him on the USA senior team?!

        come on man. i’m very well aware of what 20 years old in soccer is versus football or baseball or hockey. believe it or not, i’m actually a soccer fan and understand the difference…

        but nothing you said shows why Joya should be on the senior team as of right now. i HOPE that after this tourny he can break into the starting lineup for Santos, let alone their bench, but until he is getting consistent playing time, he won’t be a major part of the senior team. certainly not for 2014.

        what i would agree with is that Joya, Villarreal, Cuevas, Gil, and Rodriguez should now be included in the conversations involving Morales, Gyau, Corona, Boyd, Agudelo, and Mix. personally, i can’t wait for some of these U-20s and U-23s to start integrating with each other and senior members like Bradley, Johnson, Chandler, etc.

        2018 and 2022 should be interesting World Cups if we can make it and these players continue on their current paths.

        and i should also note that this year’s Gold Cup would be a tourny that a few of those mentioned above should see time at. that is the perfect opportunity to see if they can prove themselves on the senior level without JK having to sacrifice a place on the A team since the GC team will likely be a B team.

  12. Mexico as a country has a high level of Corruption.

    CONCACAF as a federation has a high level of Corruption.

    FIFA as an organization has a high level of Corruption.

    Recent investigations in Europe have shown lots of fixed games.

    The presumption is that the referee’s calls in the game were fixed because the seemed so patently absurd for most people watching.

    Anyone saying Mexico won that game fair and square based on a gulf in talent is misled. The presumption should be that the game was fixed until someone can show why the refs calls were legitimate.

    • Guilty until proven innocent… Now that’s American for you…

      I agree that the calls were suspect. It is also possible that the fix may have been in. However, I cannot agree that the default assumption should be that the game was fixed.

      How about a relatively inexperienced referee intimidated by a home crowd? How about the natural tendency to not give a 2nd PK to avoid the appearance of fixing a match? Keep in mind, he also blew the disallowed (and meaningless) 4th goal, that was way onside, not even close.

      • “Now that’s American for you..”

        You are really dumb. In Mexico you are actually guilty until proven innocent.

  13. It was good game, but Mexico supporters have to be kidding themselves to think that this was the full strength US team.

    The US fought hard and had Mexico on the ropes for large portions of the game with a depleted roster.

    I hope that Mexico and the US play in the knock out rounds of the U-20 WC when the US is at full strength. My guess it will be a different outcome.

      • Sure!

        Candido Ramirez

        Rodolfo Pizarro

        Carlos Fierro (excellent player, was on the qualifying squad but didn’t get to play alot for some reason)

        Martin Galvan

        Kenyi Adachi

        Giovani Casillas

        Martin Zuniga

        Just some of the players that can reinforce this Mexican squad for the World Cup and would’ve been good to have in the qualifying tournament.

      • thanks. now, how many of these would you say were going to fight for a starting spot? in other words, how many of these players were fringe players as opposed to how many were locks but couldn’t come due to injury or their clubs not releasing them?

        i ask so we have a comparison when talking about Brooks, Pelosi, Packwood, Zimmerman, etc. each of those guys likely would have been in the starting lineup for the USA put were left off for various reasons.

      • Candido Ramirez is either a starter or a high impact sub. He played in the tournament in Toulon that the U-20’s won and has featured in his club team.

        Martin Galvan played on this team when they won the Ado Den Haag cup in Holland last year. He was named the player of the tournament.

        Carlos Fierro is a starter, any day of the week. However, Bueno was chosen ahead of him for reasons that still baffle me since he has demonstrated to have better movement in the box than Bueno.

        Casillas has been playing very well for Chivas and featured in their friendly win over FC Barcelona a summer ago, where he scored a goal. He was also a starter in the u17 squad and scored in the final against Uruguay.

        Now, have Brooks, Pelosi, Packwood or Zimmerman done anything for the u20 squad or featured heavily in their club teams? If I remember correctly, over the last year those players have provided little true impact when in the starting XI of the youth squad. At least little impact to translate into wins or tournaments. Those same players lost to Chile, Denmark, Canada, Uruguay, and tied against Panama. Their best performance was in the Marbella Cup where after losing to Canada, they beat Scotland and narrowly beat Azerbaijan 3-2.

        We may read a lot on these sites about how they are the next great thing and have tons of talent, but it may just be that their time hasn’t quite arrived. Not saying that they won’t blossom into top talent, but so far they haven’t produced for their national team. The players mentioned above from the Mexican squad have. So, given that they have a track record, have W’s in their stat sheets, those Mexican players would, more likely than not, have an impact on their squad’s performance versus talented opposition. The players that you mention.. well, where’s the proof?

      • remove the stick from your backside and calm down. i asked simple questions about them and how they impact the team.

        the proof of what? John Anthony Brooks is a starter for his club team, Hertha Berlina. Zimmerman was going to be the captain if he wasn’t injured. Pelosi has played with this group for a long time now and was only left out because Liverpool said no, then he got injured. Packwood was a semi-regular starter for his club team Birmingham but was left out due to a broken leg.

        so yes, these players would have helped a lot. why? because 3 of them are defenders and the US team had to piece together their backline this tourny. and of those 3, two of them are starters for their club teams at the age of 19 and 20. even if it is 2.Bundesliga and the Championship, that is invaluable experience at this age group.

        so, thanks for responding to my question but no thanks for being a little bia about it.

  14. I watched the entire match and could have predicted the ending. Quite evident that the US was fatiguing late as there passing was getting a bit lazy and their 1v1 defending was beginning to suffer. shame about the missed penalties but it wouldn’t be the first time nor will it be the last that that the game is altered by CONCACAF officating. The header off the beautiful cross needed to be finished as well. Great save but the keeper should not have had a chance to touch it.

    No excuses though and this US team doesn’t need them. A lot of fight and heart with a good bit of flair as well. What I did not see was a US team that was 10 years behind Mexico (as someone previously posted.) We were a couple of players behind last night but had no healthy replacements. The kid that plays for Liverpool (who I guess just broke his leg) probably would have been nice to have as well. If there was ONE thing missing it was a game changing player on the US. Jesus Corona was the best player on the field by far last night and I believe that was the only MAJOR difference between the two teams.

    • Pelosi is who you are referring to.

      honestly though, we didn’t even need him. if Gil was able to stay and if Cuevas was healthy enough to play, they could have provided the spark the US needed.

  15. What was great about that game for the US was our aggressive style of play–high pressing on defense, attacking on offense. We played fast and confident. If that’s the future of US soccer, then someone is doing something right.

  16. This is a lost that is taken with our heads held high….to see our U-20 play at such a high level, with nice combination and passing, strong technical awareness and composure….even though we lost I feel an odd sense of satisfaction. Mexico, having a youth program that has gone as far as winning the world cup, were evenly match by the US which for me is progress for US soccer as a whole

  17. Wow Franco. Not even a mention of the two PK no calls and the slide tackle from behind that should have been a straight red? Did you even watch the game?

  18. Tab Ramos has made a very strong case to be near or at the top of the list if Klinsmann needs to be replaced. And I do think Sunil Gulati needs to have a concrete plan in place and be ready to pull the trigger if the USMNT would lose later this month against both Costa Rica and Mexico. In my mind, losing the first three Hex qualifiers with a very strong Jamaica team on the horizon would be solid grounds for dismissing Klinsmann and his sidekick Martin Vasquez.

    Unlike some Klinsmann apologists, I think the talent exists in the player pool for Klinsmann to choose rosters capable of playing a more attacking style of soccer. Other Concacaf teams with less overall talent but who are better coached are doing it. Let’s be honest here–no ifs, ands or buts about it, Honduran coach Luis Fernando Suárez on February 6 totally out-coached Klinsmann.

    I pose these questions: If Tab Ramos were coach of the USMNT, would we have had the same roster for the Honduras game? The same starting 11? Would we have seen the same tepid, heartless performances and the same three disastrous early second-half substitutes? that we saw?

    • It’s a bit sad when our U-20s are clearly better coached than our full national team. I was amazed at how well this team moved the ball, attacked, etc. Can we get Tab on the USMNT coaching staff ASAP?

      • Better coached? By that you mean there are creative attacking players who can create chances. Not really due to anything Tab did/didn’t do…

      • No, santos, I have not forgotten about the histroric win last August in Mexico City. In fact, it provides strong backing for the points I meade above. That win came without USMNT regulars Clint Dempsey, Steven Cherundolo, Carlos Bocandegra, Timothy “I’d rather play for Germany” Chandler, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

        That historic team had a bunch of guys playing with heart and included a whole bunch of Liga MX players Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Joe Corona, Demarcus Beasley, Herculez Gomez, and Jose Torres.

        (And Landon Donovan should have been named captain for this game, after whihch he has not played again for Klinsmann.)

        Match: USA vs. Mexico

        Date: August 15, 2012

        Competition: International Friendly

        Venue: Estadio Azteca

        Kickoff: 7 p.m. CT

        Attendance: 56,000

        Weather: 72 degrees, mostly cloudy

        Scoring Summary: 1 2 F

        USA 0 1 1

        MEX 0 0 0

        USA – Michael Orozco Fiscal (Terrence Boyd) 80th minute


        USA : 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-Maurice Edu, 15-Edgar Castillo (4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 77); 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Joe Corona, 89), 5-Kyle Beckerman, 6-Danny Williams (8-Graham Zusi, 60), 16-Jose Torres (18-Terrence Boyd, 45); 10-Landon Donovan (17-Damarcus Beasley, 45), 9-Herculez Gomez (11-Brek Shea, 78)

        Subs not used: 3-Matt Besler, 19-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando

        Head Coach: Jurgen Klinsmann

      • +1. I was very impressed by how Ramos identified exactly what needed to be changed and then made the right changes, which is more then I can say for Klinsmann. The team clearly got better with every game, which again is more than I can say for Klinsmann.

      • i dont think it was the coaching at all. it was the type of players Tab had. they could play the style he wanted. whereas the senior team does not have the players to play a similar system.

      • I don’t agree with the implication that Klinsmann is an incompetent coach or that there aren’t problems and gaps with the senior team player pool, but the statement “it wasn’t the coaching at all” is ridiculous.

        It was plain to see Ramos set up and picked a team that played good-looking, excellent soccer, was disciplined, and made great tactical decisions (pressing Mexico from the get go and the way it was executed was a nice stroke). From the beautifully run chalkboard play that led to a horrendous non-pk call to the heart the tired, underdog, visiting US team displayed, Ramos’ presence was felt.

        Eventually, the absence of key players, the officiating, the inexperience of youth, the quality of the Mex team, and the home team atmosphere caught up to them, but Ramos was clearly prepared, coached a great game and his team only got better as the tournament went on.

        There are some ballers in this group for sure. Some great players that should have us US fans excited. But Tab also did a good job adjusting to their strengths and weaknesses (a lack of individual talent on defense throughout the tournament, hence the high pressure to play to their strengths).

        If you can’t see the good work done by Tab and his staff in this tourney and the final game, you don’t know how to judge coaching.

      • look, I’m not taking everything away from Tab, but you act like if he wasn’t the coach, these players wouldn’t have been called up. they would have been. and their skills comes from their clubs, so the ability to play like they did was already there to begin with.

        i do agree that Tab did well to bring this team together and really nurtured the team spirit among the players. and he did his part by not messing up player positions (for the most part). but again, the players in this pool allow the US to play that style. i don’t agree with the people saying JK should get the credit because he picked Ramos, but i also don’t think that Ramos could duplicate this on the senior side.

        we just don’t have the players to play this type of game. of course, what JK is doing with our players right now is pretty strange, but that’s an entirely different conversation. my point was in response to people saying that Ramos could make the senior team play like this U-20 team. it’s not true and that is why I said it has very little to do with the coaching.

        Ramos has an excellent pool to choose from and chose the players 99% of coaches would. being that he is a good coach, he was able to get these kids to believe in themselves and play a certain style that they are more than capable of playing. it’s just a different generation of players who grew up playing more possession, higher pressing soccer than their predecessors.

        once again, not taking away from Ramos, but i completely reject the idea that because of the U-20 performance he could replicate it on the senior level. there is much more to it then that.

    • It’s unfair to compare the situations both coach’s are in. First, Tab Ramos would not be in the post he is in if it weren’t for Klinsman. If you remember Klinsman was brought in not just to coach the senior team but to also change the whole system. Change begins at the youth system and will take a few years to truly make it’s way to the senior team. Klinsmann’s biggest promblem is he is trying to play a new style with the senior team. Basically teaching old dogs new tricks. And what he wants isn’t feasible with the players he has now. It’s frustrating to watch and at some point he is going to have to adjust his ideal style to what the pool of players can do.

      And if you look at Mexico’s situation as to where they are now as to where they were before, it’s their investment in the youth system that has gotten them this far. But there are still elements in their senior team hindering them from progressing. Teams are adjusting to them now and giving them a hard time. Like Klinsmann needs to adapt, Chepo needs to too. Systems are always evolving but I have no doubt that the fruit of Klinsman’s influence will more likely be seen in 2018 than 2014.

  19. Going into the tournament the guy I was rooting for the most was Wil Trapp. Being a fellow Ohioan, and a Crew supporter, naturally he was the kid I was most interested in watching. He definitely had his struggles in the Haiti & Costa Rica matches, and while he scored that “screamer” against Canada, he still made some gaffes. As the tournament went along I thought he got progressively better. Long story/short: I’m glad Tab stuck with him.

    • Not an Ohioan, but feel similarly. He struggled early in the tourney, but I thought he (along with many of the other guys) were excellent against Mexico.

  20. US should have had 2 penalties called and a red card to Mexico for that bad foul on Villareal.

    Bottom line – these kids were not afraid of Mexico at all. They gave them a game. I think we missed Luis Gil. We did not have that connection in the midfield.

    • I agree about the US being a depleted team, and about the officiating. There was definitely some “home cooking” going on behind the whistle. Mexico’s Briseno should have been red carded, a straight red card after the cynical tackle from behind on Villareal, and then when he hacked down Villareal in the penalty area, that should have at least been his second yellow card, plus a penalty kick for the US. My one criticism of the US style of play, is that as time wore on, they grew more frantic, and tried to play Mexico’s run and gun fast break style, and they lost their composure and gave the ball away cheaply far too often. Granted they are young guys still learning he game, but that boot and run, long ball style of just giving the ball back to your opponent becomes a habit now, and then filters up to the full USMNT – and we have seen how that goes, far too often.

      It will be interesting to see what kind of team Ramos can pull together for the world cup in Turkey, and what kind of quality that team may be able to bring to the field. Overall a job well done, they lost to a very, very good and well coached team (with some help from the officials 😉

  21. Dear all,

    USA is improving but let’s face it, Right now Mexico plays at different level, the gap is about 10 years of hard work.

    I know soccer in mexico and USA for over 35 years, it will take a while before USA catches up to the Mexicans,


    Have a good day

      • +1000

        BTW Miguel, you must not have been paying that close of attention because the US was the better team from about 1998 to 2008. In that time period (aprox.) Mexico wasn’t able to score 1 goal on US soil and the US came in first in WCQ the last two rounds. PERIOD.

    • Not true based on the evidence of THIS game. There was no gap in this game. Overall, Mexico is still better, but not by nearly the size you state.

      • Guys,

        I think you should use evidence to justify claims. Over the last 20 years the record is USA something close to 13 wins 11 loses and 7 draws against Mexico. We are nothing less than co~equal if not better.

      • that’s why the US has so many trophies, right? I bet that England feels they are as good as Germany too.

    • Go ahead, believe that if it helps you sleep better. What you saw last night was a US team taking the fight to their hosts and standing toe-to-toe playing a more technically advanced and attacking style of play for a full 90 minutes. There were standouts on both sides of the pitch, and it was a fantastic match to watch. One thing I will definitely not take away from that match, was that “Mexico plays a different level.” Bravo to both sides.

      • What you saw was a US team that pressed hard and high for good portions of the match and eventually couldn’t keep it up. Mexico hadn’t been pushed this far all tournament long so they obviously had a hard time doing the things they were accustomed to, which is a testament to the quality of this US team but ultimately Mexico was slightly better and pulled it out in the end.

        Certainly some interesting players to keep an eye for the US.

        Joya might be ready for some minutes with the GC squad.

      • You don’t think mexico playing slightly better at the end had anything to do with the US operating with a short bench. Please……kudos to both teams, we’ll see what happens this summer in Turkey.

      • unfortunately, that doesn’t really hold much water. let me start by stating i, as a USMNT fan, wish we could win more regional youth tournys. it would nice to do that.

        the problem with using that as an argument for a gap, is that still, at the senior level, mexico has not maintained that gap that we all see at the youth level. for all the youth tournys mexico has won, they have not made it further than the USA in the World Cup (i’ll even ignore 1930). in fact, the two teams almost have an identical record starting in 1994 at the World Cup (leaving out 1990 since mexico was disqualified and the USA went 0-3). further, the only time the two teams met in the World Cup resulted in the USA winning.

        my point is, this gap may be a lot more prevalent at youth levels, but when it comes to senior teams, they truly are about even. i think any USA fan out there would say that, right now, mexico is the better team. but to speak of a “gap” is pretty ridiculous because mexico has not done NEARLY enough to distance themselves from the USA at the senior level.

      • Just to sum up what I think you are saying, the whole point of a youth system is to provide talent for the senior team.

        So even if the youth teams are kicking butt, if that is not reflected in the seniors, then so what?

        Right now, the senior Mexican team on any given day at a neutral site would probably be favored over the USMNT but it would not be by much. And the USMNT beating El Tri would hardly be a big upset.

        I would argue the rivalry is all well and good. It is a great outlet for haters and racists on both sides. However, in practical terms it is irrelevant.

        The way World Cup qualifying is set up, one team could sweep the other in the Hex and still qualify easily. I don’t care if the US ever beats or even ties Mexico again as long as they qualify for the World Cup.

        The US has to make sure it gets results from the rest of the teams in Hex not so much Mexico.

        Now if CONCACAF really wanted to spice up the rivalry they would set it up so that only one of Mexico or the US would qualify for the WC but that will never happen.

      • my point was that the gap at the youth levels is not as big at the senior level. the guy was saying there is a gap, citing the number of youth championships Mexico has won compared to the USA. i was simply stating that, using the same logic, the gap is smaller at the senior level because our two teams are pretty even…including at events like the World Cup.

        i’m not saying “so what”. in fact, i specifically stated that i would actually like to see the USA start winning at the youth level.

        “Right now, the senior Mexican team on any given day at a neutral site would probably be favored over the USMNT but it would not be by much. And the USMNT beating El Tri would hardly be a big upset.”

        that’s exactly my point. there isn’t really a gap at the senior level.

    • Not sure its as far off as you believe Miguel. The current Senior National Teams do share a desparity, but as evident from yetsterdays game, the future is bright for the USMNT. I realize we lost, but the style of play and determination are posative signs of good things coming. Also the Mex-American influence will only help bridge the gap.

      • You know, i’m just not seeing this gap that people continue to bring up in reference to US-MEX! Correct me if im wrong but in the gold cup a few years back the tide in that game turned when BB made the horrendous move of putting bornstein in the game bc of an injury to i believe cherundolo and the mexicans ran up and down his side of the field creating opportunities and goals left and right. We beat mexico in azteca a few moths back undermanned while el tri had the majority of their first teamers, and please don’t say it was because it was a friendly because we know there is no such thing as a friendly between these 2 teams! Last nights game was lost due to coaching and injuries. I don’t think ramos had the players available to him to bring in late to change the game and when he did make thee substitution smh, i was too late and you could tell our youngsters were beyond exhausted to keep up with the paces!!! It’s unfortunate but in my opinion true!

    • Sure congrats to a MExico team that barely beat a depleted US team die to injuries, players leaving after the QF, and players not realeased by their teams in Europe.

      If the US is full strength, they win last night. PERIOD.

      • Mexico was also missing players that were not released by their clubs.

        It is frankly, a futile exercise to cry about the players that weren’t here.

        Pelosi is out due to injury, will miss the WC and Brooks hasn’t really committed to the US so counting on him is rather short sighted.

        These issues are highlighted when fans talk about the ifs and all it really shows is the lack of depth at all levels.

        Hopefully this tournament goes a long way to change some of these things.

      • Not sure 2tone was talking about those players missing….gil went back to RSL, cuevas was injured and i believe caleb stanko returned as well….the US only dressed 15 players for the game…

      • ronniet,2tone,

        With all due respect, as a USMNT fan I find your excuse making and reliance on hypothetical circumstances to assert American superiority over Mexico more than a little pathetic, childish and embarrassing.

        Good teams don’t rely on the lame excuses and cheesy hypothetical arguments you two are making.

        Any sane neutral with half a brain can see that Mexico are a better soccer team in just about every way than the US. They are more skilled, more confident, have greater depth, have better teamwork, and have a well established “identity”. In English, that means they have a plan going into every game and are confident they can carry it out. And this has been true for a while now.

        Nevertheless their advantage over the US is not huge and is hardly insurmountable and the US is capable of beating them here and at Azteca. It is just going to be really hard to do so.


        The way to beat El Tri is to attack them and unsettle them physically. Bornstein is a convenient scapegoat for the USMNT fans but he did not lose the game for them. The US could not do enough with what possession they had and were unable to build on their two goal lead even though they had chances to do that after Bornstein came in.

        Mexico won because their playmakers did more with their chances than our playmakers, it’s that simple.


        If you don’t really care about the result in a friendly, it is possible to lose to a team you might normally beat.

        For example, just about a year ago the Mexican Under 23 team barely showed up and were beaten quite soundly in a friendly by the US Under 23 team. A short time later that same US team couldn’t beat weaker Canadian and El Salvador teams and failed to qualify. And they looked pretty awful in doing so.

        Meanwhile, that Mexican team went on to beat Brazil in the Olympic final to win the Gold Medal.

        This tends to make me think that when you write, “please don’t say it was because it was a friendly because we know there is no such thing as a friendly between these 2 teams!” , you are not entirely accurate.

        Maybe the fans see the “rivalry” that way but it seems the players don’t.

        Everything I’ve read about that Azteca match you refer to tells me the El Tri players were not all that excited about playing that game. They had no incentive to get overly amped up.

        Here is the lineup for the game :

        USA : 1-Tim Howard (capt.); 23-Fabian Johnson, 20-Geoff Cameron, 7-Maurice Edu, 15-Edgar Castillo (4-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 77); 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Joe Corona, 89), 5-Kyle Beckerman, 6-Danny Williams (8-Graham Zusi, 60), 16-Jose Torres (18-Terrence Boyd, 45); 10-Landon Donovan (17-Damarcus Beasley, 45), 9-Herculez Gomez (11-Brek Shea, 78)

        Subs not used: 3-Matt Besler, 19-Chris Wondolowski, 22-Nick Rimando

        No Bradley or Dempsey but Donovan was there for a half.

        Mexico will regret giving up that mental edge, however slight it might have been. Then again, all streaks come to an end and based on Jamaica’s recent draw there, which Jamaica really should have won, it is possible the Azteca aura of invincibility may just be dying a natural death.

    • 10 year gap?!! We played Mexico straight up for 90 minutes in Mexico without subbing, wide open, up and down the field. Both teams were missing players, but if we have Cuevas healthy for the game Mexico loses in regulation. At this level, the gap is history.

  22. Going back to the “contaminated chicken” that the Mexico camp ate a couple of years ago, what is the likelihood the Mexican fed is actually overseeing a program for their players? This might be the wrong time to bring this up since it is a subject so much larger than this game, and I do not want to imply that this subject is the reason for the outcome of this game, but it is something that I think about time to time with all of the success of the Mexico teams and the recent trends in sports and PED usage.

    • If I had to pick one team that could be using PED’s I would say the U.S.

      American athletes have a long history of steroid use at every level. From Middle School to the pros.

      • I have. It doesn’t change the fact that American athletes have a long history of systematic steroid use.

      • If you have paid attention then you would realize that the USA is one of the leaders in rooting out PED usage and for a country of this size and with the amount of sports we actively participate in (as well as top flight leagues of all nature) – we are incredibly pro-active and excellent in our ability to control PED use – especially when you compare us to other countries.

      • To be pedantic, if you look at history, it really started in Europe with wide spread doping by the East German olympians going back to the 60s. Then there was the blood doping by the Finnish long distance runner Lasse Viren. And of course, the Tour de France. All of these pre-dated widespread use in the US.

    • Totally agree. Mexico got caught, sort of, a couple of years ago, so they naturally are suspect. But I wonder if we won’t look back on these years as a period when PEDs were pervasive and we just didn’t realize it.

      • Got caught?

        Their own federation and doctors turned over the positive results over to CONCACAF and FIFA and suspended the contaminated players, all of whom were subsequently cleared by WADA.

    • Wow, that’s a stretch. If you were to actually read the news carefully you would have read that other teams who had visited Mexico during the scandal also ingested the contaminated meat. These were a few female soccer teams who were in Mexico for a tournament. So, go ahead and look for excuses. But the fact remains that the youth system is just doing a good job and that the talent pool in Mexico, and among Mexican-Americans, is pretty deep. Why not wonder whether those 9 Mexican-Americans on the US u20 team aren’t using? Just because they are Americans they naturally are beyond reproach? Now you wonder why people are annoyed by US fans? This holier than thou attitude gets old and your “exceptionalism” makes it hard to stomach supporting the USMNT when it plays anyone.

      • what are you talking about? you can’t frame an idea with your own words:

        “Why not wonder whether those 9 Mexican-Americans on the US u20 team aren’t using? Just because they are Americans they naturally are beyond reproach?”

        and then use it against the person you’re responding to in the very next sentence:

        “Now you wonder why people are annoyed by US fans? This holier than thou attitude gets old and your “exceptionalism” makes it hard to stomach supporting the USMNT when it plays anyone.”

        even though his comment about contamination was weak, your response is completely random and smells of desperation to turn anything into an argument. so much so that you presented your own idea and then bashed the other guy for something you said. makes no sense.

        the point is, the guy never said anything about American players being above the law or free to do as they please because they are Americans. yet most of your response is implying he did. next time, just call him out for being wrong like you did in the first four sentences. like you said, it’s a pathetic excuse to question if we lost to Mexico because they were doping…based on no facts.

  23. Great game to watch from beginning to end (other than the disappointing ending). Skill, determination, and heart were all on display. Impressed with the US performance despite missing key starters.

  24. I am really proud of our boys. I think they were the better team and should have won despite being absollutely ROBBED on two PKs. Nonetheless. the fought very hard and played beautiful soccer.

    • I agree. Overall the US was as good or better. Both teams should be proud of their play in this game. The home field advantage and altitude seemed to be the slight difference in the end.

  25. I hope young Mexican-Americans watched this game and saw the mex-am players on the US team. And i hope they could identify more with guys like Edgar Castillo, Jose Francisco Torres and the US team than Gio dos Santos, Chicharito, and Mexico.

      • I’m sorry you feel that way, but historically there are tons if examples from both sides of the issue to support your feelings on this. This gringo wants to see the most talented US players get a shot at playing at the highest level regardless of where their parents were born. While I have absolutely zero say in the system, I cannot believe I’m alone in that thinking.

        I think we’re seeing the ship beginning to turn as far as the system goes. These past few senior teams have shown quite a bit of diversity as well as players getting opportunities to state their case in camp and on the field, whereas before they couldn’t even get to that point.

        And the fact that we are seeing more Mex-Americans coming through the system means things are changing in the talent pool as well. USSF would be wise to use this U-20 team as poster boys for outreach as much as possible.

      • I think Rick and Martin’s point is more about the fanbase and who people cheer for more… when the US played Mexico in the Rose Bowl out in Pasadena 2 years ago for the Gold Cup Final….out here in LA with such a big Mexican National population and the Mexican Americans following their lead….well it became Azteca 2.0 to us……

        Same happened in 09 Gold Cup Final in NY…or the 07 in Chicago or even in Houston for friendly matches….Phoenix etc etc

        I also look forward to the day we have more Mex-American fans cheering for the US as they can identify with the USMNT or maybe even both…as of right now is mainly “VIVA Mexico” and barely a minority as Martin said of Mexican-American fans who support the USMNT

      • Edwin, you are right about what I meant.

        BTW, I find it so interesting that so many Mexican-Americans born and raised in the USA feel that they are so Mexican and everything is about Mexico because Mexicans in Mexico sure don’t feel that way about them.

        The USA U20 team was filled with Mexican-Americans, yet the Mexicans booed them and cheered anybody but them the entire tournament.

      • I got sick reading the comments on the yahoo article about this game. All it was was Mexican Americans bashing the US team and praising Mexico. Sure, support Mexico, that’s fine, but do these guys really have to have such animosity towards their own country’s national team?

      • Could be more a way to vent animosity toward a very vocal part of society that says “you don’t belong here.” Or they could be the same kind of front runners that root for Brazil and Spain before they root for the US. Not saying it’s right, but folks have reasons for not bleeding red white and blue. That said, it’s getting better all the time.

      • Chris, I totally agree with you. For years I have told my Mexican-American teammates that suport Mexico that maybe you should be treated as a second class citizen if you act like you hate the USA and love Mexico. BTW, I am also Mexican-American.

      • I was born to Irish parents in London in the mid-60s and always supported Ireland. We were hated by many of the English and not much effort was made to hide that. When the troubles started things got really nasty. I’ve spoken to many Mexican-Americans who don’t feel welcome in the country of their birth. I now support the US and only the US.

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