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USMNT downs Mexico to seal Nations League Final return


The U.S. men’s national team returned to the Concacaf Nations League Final after breezing by rivals Mexico in Thursday’s second semifinal matchup.

Christian Pulisic led the way with two goals for B.J. Callahan’s squad before Ricardo Pepi came off the bench and scored an insurance goal in a 3-0 triumph at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The USMNT’s current unbeaten run against El Tri was extended to six matches in all competitions, tying a federation record against its biggest rivals.

Callaghan will have two key lineup decisions to make for Sunday’s final after Weston McKennie and Sergino Dest were sent off for red card offenses. Mexico’s Cesar Montes and Gerardo Arteaga were also sent off in the match.

Timothy Weah and Pulisic had good opportunities in the opening stages of the match, but failed to test Guillermo Ochoa in net. Pulisic raced to the center of the Mexico box in the 23rd minute before skying hit shot into the stands.

Pulisic’s pressure continued as the USMNT captain forced Ochoa into his first save in the 28th minute. The Chelsea attacker’s shot looked destined to nestle into the top-right corner, but Ochoa punched away Pulisic’s effort.

Pulisic delivered the breakthrough goal however in the 37th minute, picking up a loose ball in the Mexico box before drilling a low shot into the bottom-right corner. Gio Reyna’s original shot was blocked, but Pulisic pounced on the failed clearance and beat Ochoa from a tight angle.

Pulisic doubled his tally and the USMNT’s lead in the 46th minute after finishing off Weah’s pass for a 2-0 scoreline. Weston McKennie’s upfield pass allowed Weah to get behind the Mexico backline before crossing into the box for Pulisic to one-time his shot past Ochoa.

It was Pulisic’s 25th international goal for the USMNT.

Frustration boiled over later in the second half with both teams being reduced to 10 men after a confrontation in front of the USMNT bench. Cesar Montes’ kick out on Folarin Balogun saw the veteran defender sent off for a straight red card before Weston McKennie was also sent off in the skirmish.

Ricardo Pepi came off the bench and delivered the third and final USMNT goal, sneaking behind the Mexico backline before sliding a breakaway shot past Ochoa for a 3-0 lead.

Confrontations continued to occur as the match went on with Dest and Aretaga both being ejected in the 88th minute. Both players hit each other up high after a challenge involving Dest and Mexico midfielder Edson Alvarez.

The USMNT would hang on to capture its third win out of its past four matches in all competitions.

Mexico will meet Panama in the third place match on Sunday.


  1. generally speaking, America’s soccer awareness still needs, IMHO, to get by this notion that we play one style, or that teams play one style

    look at Real Madrid under Carlos, that master class vs. Klopp to win the UCL for example. Mourinho the same over the years, on and on…….

    and this is especially true for teams that cannot run out top 5 players at all positions…like the USMNT (even tho Carlos and Jose could!!)

    against Mexico, the style we play is perhaps not the best vs., oh, say an England.

    it’s even TRUE from one summer tournament to the next that we might play different styles, and play them successfully…one needs to only go back to summer 2023 for evidence!

    Teams have STYLES of play, depending on the matchups, the stakes, other stuff.

    same with GB and the USMNT. the notion we do one thing is not accurate, whatever the results, and the historical facts prove it

    • meh. there is a 9 times out of 10 thing with GB. disagree. you might say he broke out of it for, say, england. but i saw it for wales and holland when we blew a lead and then got out butt kicked. there is a default mode. unlike most NT our default mode under the regular coach DOES NOT WORK.

      i fully get good coaches are flexible. i appreciate sometimes he is. my point is they tend to look better when not played in the default mode with obvious implications.

      also, while, yes, tactics work against A but not B, with sometimes odd results depending on the matchup, the idea is to have a default mode that you can run most nights that (a) is effective to win most nights (b) is effective against good teams and (c) ideally is getting ahead of the curve in terms of the tactics needed to win at the highest level. to me we didn’t win as much as we should. we didn’t beat good teams. and we’re imitating tactics successful 13 years ago for a very good development period in spain — that even they can’t replicate — and to which the rest of the world has responded with their own exploits. it’s not 1 team soccer. the other teams respond. the world has evolved past this. our tactics need to be competing with france, argentina, and the future. not 13 year old past.

      worse, i think it’s a bait and switch. we discussed c. bradley we wanted attackers who could take people on. I FINALLY WATCHED SOME LAST NIGHT. it was not default mode. the default mode is keepaway passing and arguably as over-organized as a bradley bunker. it’s the opposite of messi-style player skill and liberation. worse, we sell possession to attack but i think it’s more possession to kill clock and withhold the ball. which is fine up 2-0 but crazy 0-0 or down a goal. default tactics IMO need to generally be 0-0 tactics as, hmmm, how the games begin.

    • I think you should choose a style that fits the players you have. That is the crucial point. However, you should not vary greatly to meet an opponent. If you play your style well and have good players, then the nature of the other team should not be determinative.

      • the style to play in CONCACAF is not the style to play vs. Top flight…No Way

        that false belief has been exposed (JK was part of that)

        you may not know it though, which is a bummer because the the cool part is that finally, today and now in the USMNT…we have the talent and depth to do it. not just default to something because it’s all we’ve got

        my bet would be that GB was rehired becasue he knows this, he understands what is already installed and convinced that he knew what was needed to add. the press works fine still in CONCACAF, but more developed options are required outside of it

        and again, last summer…2 different USMNT teams, two different Cup victories, 2 different styles of play.


      • btw, GB’s rehire surprised me, and I’d bet he’s got a shorter leash with some specific criteria he’s got to meet with this team to be the man still in 2026. that the players wanted him (for the most part 😉 ) speaks for itself. team must keep evolving. last night’s Kloppesque maneuvers with the attack were effective and new…whoever was behind it, I imagine it will stick.

        need more stuff like that in the quiver. it’s normal, not crazy. thinking one style for the USMNT will fit all though? maybe a little

      • I’m inclined to agree Pepi has earned a start in this final game. Balogun can come on in the second half. These two guys are probably going to be 1a and 1b for a decade. Now we need to find a 1c. I’m inclined to think that will turn out to be Keyrol Figueroa in a few years.

    • outside of box idea: dest or jedi. right now it’s not even pursuing perfection, it’s getting the ball over the first defender or on cage.

  2. Great win. Faster, more technical, more talented than Mexico was.
    Pulisic was a beast.
    I liked Balogun’s first start. His off ball movement opens a lot of space for the other attackers. Back to goal and hold up play promising too. He’ll get his goals once he plays more with these guys.

    • i felt like the 9 wasn’t very integrated in the offense after about the first 5-10′. this is a long term pattern. they need to combine to the middle sometimes and not everything going wide. i don’t think the sloppy mids help but they seem there for defense (though we don’t admit as much).

      i also was somewhat concerned on the goals pulisic was kind of running into the 9 channel. on the shot he botched he cut across into the middle then didn’t play balogun. he needs to work and play well with others.

      • Wasn’t it Balogun that played Pulisic in on the play you wanted him to pass it back to Balo? I kind of agree in hindsight he should have passed it but the angle and spacing was never great. One of those if it goes in he’s great, he misses why didn’t he pass it. Not unlike Reyna not passing to Sargent in last NL (I think it was the semi but maybe it was the final).

      • are you saying because A feeds B, B doesn’t need to pass back to A if he’s open for a goal in front of the net? surely you see the logic flaw here. i mean, like the definition of a wall pass. anyhow, more to the point, if i am coming in from the side and the defense is flowing to me, duh, i tap it over to the guy next to me with the more open look. it also has the virtue of building rapport with and productivity from a teammate you want to succeed. i’ve made that pass many a time even when i could have been selfish and gone to net.

        and to get touchy, he missed, and i am not sure the mix of selfish and scattershot is actually chocolate cake to a scout. the goals he did score sold him to transfer targets. that one looked selfish.

    • Balogun did hold the ball up okay. He was a willing runner. After that, to me, he seemed pretty much invisible and couldn’t seem to find the game at all. He had one shot that was deflected outside the box and very, very few touches. He was also really really subdued after the game…mostly because it seemed he knew he hadn’t played well.

      Which is about what I expected, since guys just generally do not do well in their first debut for the Nats because of nerves and lack of familiarity with their teammates…and also like I expected, Pepi showed up big almost from the moment he got on the field.

      Just asking…are you also the charming fellow called “Mal” who suggested in that “who should start” thread we were both on that I was a complete moron who needed to not be poisoning the youth of tomorrow with my idiocy for thinking that Pepi would likely be the better choice to start against Mexico? Or was that some rando troll who just wandered in off an incel site whose throwaway username just happened to be similar to yours?

      Well, whatever. Regardless, while I myself wouldn’t have started Balogun against Mexico, I do agree I’d start Balogun against Canada myself…mostly because Canada’s CB’s – especially Vitoria – are slow as Christmas and Balogun is obviously really, really fast, and I do think that now that Balogun’s got that almost obligatory stinker out of his system everybody not called Jermaine Jones seems to have – Striker91 was kind enough to point out that exception – Flo will likely be a lot more composed and, well, himself, going forwards. Though because Pepi showed well and Balogun didn’t really, my suspicion is Pepi might actually get the start against Canada despite the fact that he doesn’t match up as well against Canada as well as Balogun would seem to.

      • Quozzel – no idea who “Mal” is, so I don’t know what that’s all about. What I “Mat” said in another thread was something to the effect that based on form, results, league difficulty, etc.. that Balogun should start vs Mexico and that it was a pretty simple choice.
        Now sure Pepi came on and scored and that’s great for the us to have these hungry young talented strikers. Then the “what if” game begins. Who knows it Pepi starts does he do the same job at drawing defenders with runs like Balogun cleverly did? Is one better as a super sub? No one can say for sure. Starting and subbing totally different things.
        Personally i think based on what I’ve seen (i follow ligue 1) is that balogun is a notch above pepi overall right now so i d still start him and give him more chances to gel in the usmnt system as i believe he is the 9 we have been missing.
        Maybe ill eat crow in a couple of years so be it!

      • Mat-

        I guess you didn’t see the comment I’m referring to, then, which is why I didn’t come out guns blazing…it struck me as a troll drive-by and I mostly just shrugged.

        I do agree that Balogun’s likely ahead of Pepi right now…though it is worth noting that Ligue 1 is rated as the #5 league in the world per most and the Dutch league is generally ranked sixth. Also…how good is Reims? We Americans seem to have a massive inferiority complex. Reims’ total salaries in 2022-2023 totaled just €12 million, of which Balogun was by far the highest earner at €1,800,000, or just under $2 million a year in dollars. Reims doesn’t spend as much as, say, LAFC – whose total annual payroll is $16 million and change, and less than a third as as much as Ajax (€41 million) or Toronto ($27 million!). So Reims is a good level…but not really significantly better than what Pepi was playing every week and not much past MLS either.

        Intriguingly, that $12 million of Reims’ total payroll would only put them as the fifth-biggest spender in MLS, just ahead of FC Cincinnati (also $12 million, but in dollars) and way behind Toronto FC ($27 million!)

        Also…Reims’ average attendance is 13,602…or about 7,000 less than the average MLS team. Balogun had just not played many (or any!) games with 65,000 Mexican fans screaming and throwing beer at him. Which is why I thought Pepi was the better choice to start, for that one game. Debuting against Mexico in front of 65K is a tough, tough way to break in. Flo actually did better than I thought; I thought he’d be awful because most young guys are, their first cap.

        I do think Flo will likely be better against Canada, FWIW.

      • @quozzel – more then ligue 1 it’s also the opposition Balogun has scored against vs Pepi.
        I believe Balogun scores vs PSG in Paris. Scored vs other top Ligue 1 teams, too. So he has played and scored vs tougher teams than Pepi has – world class defenses like PSG etc.. that’s why I would continue to double down on him….for now. Of course then it will come down to a/ can he show he can do this with usmnt b/ can he confirm next season with club. Just like with any other player. Regardless this all good for the usmnt so let’s see where it all goes – good problems to have! Cheers

      • Q: I believe Mal has been around for a number of years. Usually just in the days around NT games. Not as much anymore.

    • The US plays so much better in tight spaces than ever before. While we got behind the defense by outrunning the defense along the flanks, it was cutting inside and playing together in the middle that produced the goals.

      • …and that seems to have been started by the fact that the guys got off the railroad tracks Gregg always seems to have them running up and down and you saw a lot more fluidity and interchanging, at least among the forwards and mids. The outside backs stayed at home a lot more and seemed to pick and choose their spots to get into the attack a lot more carefully…and because they weren’t forcing it, they seemed a lot more effective when they did go. See the Dest-to-Pepi goal.

      • the key was they opened it up early up the flanks, over and over, and then, AFTER Mexico adjusted to that, the holes inside were there. that nuanced understanding is very cool, to set the table first before trying to eat the meal.

        the Weston to Weah to CP goal…up the flank again tostart the 2nd half

        the Dest to Pepi play, after all of that and others 😉

  3. Just before Dest’s red, he took a hit to the back of the head as he got ahead of the Mexican defender, I am not sure it was that hard, but it surprised him and I thought it was a foul that should have been called. I think that was what angered him and lead to the confrontation that ended with 2 red cards.

    • they were tangling at the line, the guy baited a confrontation holding the throw in ball, and someone shoved him in the face. despite VAR involvement i am sure they undersold how many reds there should have been because that escalated.

  4. to me it’s ironic GB got hired because while occasionally we bogged down in GB-take-ball-to-flag keepaway, the goals were generally 1-3 pass lengthy counter jailbreaks with a bunch of dribbling and easy finishes. precisely what this hasn’t been in recent years give or take honduras away, grenada home, or the costa rica friendly.

    this was only a round of 16 team, i feel like selection was improved yesterday, and they played freer, one hopes this has evolved and doesn’t regress. as we again witnessed yesterday, the mids cannot possess, the team is better running and dribbling, and we aren’t particularly suited to “pep ball,” even a defensive variant.

    • I think you are shading all the midfield for McKennie’s sometimes horrible passes. He really needs to improve that aspect of his game. If he doesn’t better teams will punish those bad passes and/or someone else will take his place. I thought both Reyna and Musah were pretty accurate with their passes comparatively (anyone have data on pass completion % ?)
      When a team only passes or only dribbles to advance the ball, they are pretty easy to defend (assuming more or less equal talent). Dribblers you outnumber on the ball, passers, you as a team step up to cut off passes you know are coming. To the extent they are disciplined in their approach and do not mix things up, it is really straight-forward. Of course, rarely are professional players so one-dimensional.

      • all due respect but this team save perhaps pulisic and reyna had gotten very one-d in recent years, a lot of “pep” style early keepaway type passing. such passing commits no defenders. it just makes them follow the ball. the theory is you move them around and find a crack but we’re not that proficient or patient and often ended up crossing.

        i think at some point other than occasionally playing weah a throughball, it got lost that one might want to handle passing in a way that commits the defense and sends an attacker behind them. it’s a timing thing. instead of balls 5 beats too early, wait for the defender to step. you then play behind the defender to a running teammate. the sainted “pep” actually promotes doing so but for some reason we were not read that part of the memo. so we basically played keepaway instead. at some point you have to go to goal to win soccer games. we had very few goals in qatar.

        i was brought up in the let the ball do the work school so you don’t have to tell me dribbling for dribbling’s sake has its limits. however i thought we often seemed scared to take people on except the two i mentioned, before. i also thought we in recent years had a “pep” type team’s pattern of turning out of attacks instead of pushing them forward. those teams are more technical than we are.

        there are leading soccer teams like argentina that are built around attacking dribbling. feed messi and di maria and sic them on the defenders. not everyone is licensed to do it. they get to do it specific areas of the field because they are the team’s best players. they take people on, either beat them or commit them and play passes in. goals ensue. this is not complicated or bad soccer. it is not some barca purist’s idea of a good time, but i don’t think we have barca soccer players. and i think american players and fans prefer aggression, scoring, and wins to making people look silly with passing tempo. not sure i have ever seen us tempo anyone off the field, for that matter. again, we don’t have the mids for it.

        to be clear, i would separate pulisic and gio on that, but be real, most nights the plan has been musah mckennie adams, which is not a possession recipe. and i felt like especially in the first half it was a bunch of sprayed attempts at balls to the forwards. it lacked accuracy or polish. i tolerate that in a back or a 6. an AM can’t be swinging and missing home run balls all night. i feel like we have some guys like pulisic reyna and even green who could thread those needles. it’s a little crude and needs fixed. and yeah, vertical counters, take some people on for a change. everything shouldn’t go slowly sideways. we aren’t even good at tiki-taka.

      • musah hits a lofted ball across field right into the chest of a mexico player. first half. first half was worse than second. my whole point here is this is the sales pitch of what we are doing is barca style possession and 2/3 of the MF can’t do it. they have good other qualities but they aren’t possession mids. what they are is like hybrids or DMs. i think their real purpose is to defend in bulk. a different variation of “pep” style soccer is keepaway to deny opposing possession. i think that’s closer to what this is than that we are baby barca. we play DMs, and if we get the ball, a lot of the possession is just to keep the ball. we aren’t even probing that much. which is pep soccer is like while tapping it around get your head up and look for a crack. we’re content to hit crosses most nights.

        anyhow, it was a breath of fresh air. but you can look back on the game thread and first half we were remarking on the MF giveaways. and i don’t know what the numbers ended up but i know what i saw. i know what i have seen over years of games. musah likes to dribble at people and mckennie is a box crasher. they are not stu holden or claudio reyna “get it, give it” 1 or 2 touch types. their game is more athletic and sloppy.

    • the goal from Weah to CP from Weston’s precise release up the flank

      in your analysis, don’t forget that one IV…and frankly, our midfield dominated that game after the early mistakes…which Mexico did not punish. lucky they didn’t, yes

      but as the game wore on the lack of Adams was overcome though initially, abd not surprisingly, there were struggles to adjust to the new roles

      but they did, especially Yunus and Gio, as noted earlier

      Dennis perspective spot on

      • IV seems to forget that in the WC, our midfield pretty much dominated England’s. Also, he seems to lack historical perspective. The US gives the ball away much less than we used to. There are some people who have maintained that having players playing in a top 5 league isn’t that important. However, the clear improvement in ball skills, especially prevalent from those players in top leagues, is clear to me.

      • @ Gary
        over the years, as the US has evolved, particularly the academies and MLS, Top 5 and other options have become MUCH more available and, more importantly, the players are way better prepared. Before,when some were calling for that, it was the cart before the horse, not so anymore

        your points on IV are spot on, we all observe I think I love his passion! I do IV 😉

    • Goal 1: Pulisic gets American football tackles. Reyna throw in to Richards, swings to Robinson then to Weah who drops into the 6 space because Dest pushes up and Musah is wide to cover Serge. Weah calmly turns and passes to Wes who is filling Weah’s vacated space, he quickly passes back to Musah who has tons of space to pick out the pass to Dest who then passes to Weah who has run back into his original RW space. It was not a counter or jailbreak it was against a set defense. We get pretty lucky that the ball bounces our way but we went thru not around them. 8 of our field players touch the ball in the sequence.
      Goal 2: It’s quick but it’s playing out of the back. Richards intercepts, passes back to Turner who under light pressure passes calmly over to Miles, Miles takes a touch to lesson the pressure from Martin and passes to Dest, Dest over to Musah, Dest makes his run up the sideline and beats his man maybe Guzman is caught watching or Weah just beats him Musah (who you called sloppy) lays a dime for Tim to run onto, he races to the flag (as you like to say) cross and into the old onion bag. By playing through the light pressure the US is able to open up space. Past US teams the GK would have booted it up the field and it would be a battle for the header and then the second ball giving El Tri time to organize. You’re right it wasn’t 30-40 pass sequences but it wasn’t what you described either. They we’re confident and decisive with the ball and through possession and early defensive pressure largely forced Mexico to force things and make poor decisions.

  5. great comments section

    would add I thought Gio was excellent, imperfect, but excellent in his role, especially defensively, where he played his best game by far that I’ve seen. Nothing spectacular but on point in his cover/balance over and over again, responsible. Callaghan (or whoever) added some kinks to the system to account for allowing Dest forward and central, see goal 3, like what Klopp does with TAA, so Gio (and Yunus) had to read and cover depending on who was where, like an 8 in Klopp’s system (Henderson usually covering for TAA); I don’t think Gio missed his assignment once

    shout out to Yunus and Weston too; both started shaky in their roles without Adams, some missed pressures, some bad turnovers, but Mexico didn’t punish. after that, they settled and bossed

    • gio is far better suited to an interior creative role than yunus. heck, try pulisic in there too. yunus is a tank with speed and i think should be tried wide or as a 6.

      like i said above, i feel like they benefitted from some counter play and simplification. reyna likes to take people on, and whether inspired by that or what, they dribbled a lot more. they also on and off would just get down the line in a hurry, few passes. one goal was one pass. one goal was three passes. they weren’t bunker ball or kickball as the fanboys suggest would happen. one can play soccer with more urgency like the french do. one can let their attackers take people on and not pass sideways, like the argentines do. breath of fresh air.

      to me when this was at its worst was relying on the other mids to create or when we occasionally fell back into tiki-taka. this is not a patient or exceptionally technical team. we do not break down half court defenses well. we only occasionally hit an accurate outside box shot. it is athletic and fairly skilled for that.

      i also saw little pressing and i hope that remains true. to me pressing is naive but also attached at hip to half court passing soccer. a team pressing high has no green space to play into. we need to drop back at least partway, if not all the way, and create the room to get out and play vertically into. i do think we have the backline foot speed with that unit last night to play a higher line and not be punished for it. but that needs to be balanced against how far do we want the opposing team to come out of their shell and give us green space behind them to attack into.

      • if they have to press, there are “pressing”-related ideas like you encourage the opponent upfield into the center or our side and then swarm from both their markers and the upfield players pinching backwards. japan, morocco, holland. that then opens up field to attack into.

      • IV, go watch the video.

        we PRESSED, SUCCESSFULLY…if you missed it…just weird man!!

        and the press messed them up, literally forced to boot long was Mexico after failing over and over to build out, they basically gave up trying. we were all watching here and couldn’t remember a time like that except back to when Erikson coached Mexico way back when

        come on man!!

  6. The Mexican commentators on the Spanish feed said that it was absolutely shameful and embarrassing the way that the Mexican team behaved. Rough translation from memory: “You have been thoroughly dominated on the field and now you want to try to win out by resorting to blows and cynical fouls, no, sorry that is not how you represent your country’s jersey and colors.”
    The word shameful / embarrassing = “vergonzoso,” got repeated several times by all of them for at least 10 minutes between the reds to Montes and McKennie, and the straight reds to Dest and Arteaga. Mexico is capable of so much more and such beautiful attacking, precision soccer when they are on their game.
    This time we handed Mexico their a#$@s, all night long. Quality, speed, determination, toughness, lightning counters and clinical finishing! (Except for that first one that Pulisic skied over the cross bar.)
    The Hispanic commentators also noted that, a) the referee started to lose the game when he didn’t give Antuna a second yellow and a thus a red for his flying shoulder charge to the head on Gio that resulted in Gio getting a bloody nose. And, b) that throwing out McKennie with a second straight red after that cynical hack on Balogun by Montes was completely UNWARRANTED. “Si, no fue nada, no fue ni para amarilla! O, amarilla tal vez.” McKennie just gave a Mexican player a little shove to the chest and they swarmed him trying to provoke him to retaliate harder because they know what a bulldog he is in the midfield and how much of a pain-the-a$5 he had been to them all night, thwarting attacks and distributing sphere with sextant and compass. Look at his jersey after the incident! The red on McKennie should be rescinded, in my humble opinion. Mexico needs to take a long hard look in the mirror as regards their national team program. Around the time of Pepi’s dagger, 3rd goal, the same Hispanic commentators also initiated the discussion re: is this result a fire-able offense for the Tri’s current coach, Cocca?
    There was some hemming, hawing, and hedging, but let’s say Cocca’s head is not quite on the chopping block yet, but soon could be given how much Mexico loves its soccer and how critically their sports media will dissect this disastrous showing before the world, and against their hated arch rival.
    The talk was that Cocca’s style of coaching, his tactical acumen and defensive posture, the way he prepared for this match calling in players to camp that he then did not put on this team, the way the Mexican players looked uncharacteristically disjointed and unconnected on the field, etc. – all were red flags, and did not bode well for a long stint at the helm of el Tri for Cocca.
    Job well done USA. Got to do a better job of keeping our cool when we get CONCACAF-ed by biased refereeing, cynical fouls and dirty play, but still so, so satisfying to see the potential in this crop of youngsters start to gel. USA!

    • This marks 6 straight victories over Mexico, and with one being the most dominant, Mexico needs to reach a state of reckoning. It is not the coach’s fault, but he will take the fall. The US talent pool is deeper than Mexico now, has more pace, and plays more organized and tactical.

      Their fans have had a bad reputation for decades, and hasn’t gotten better. I have been to one US-Mexico game and have no desire to ever go another. It takes away from the live experience with chants and boorish behavior.

      • I think it’s 6 straight without a loss. Tied at Azteca 0-0 and El Cashico in April 1-1.
        As for Cocca, he prefers a different style than Mexico’s typical high pressure possession style. The team looks like they don’t especially believe in his ideas and he doesn’t believe in theirs. Gimenez should have started but I don’t think it makes a difference. Araujo not starting makes sense, starting a more defensive RWB in Sanchez but perhaps that decision to line up more defensive plays into the poor play. “Wait we’re supposed to be the aggressors to be on the front foot, we don’t play this way against the US.”

  7. Dest red card looked like a bit of a year and half worth of club frustration mixed with a rivalry game mixed with I’m not backing down mixed with I am more than good enough to be on a big club in Europe. That wasn’t just him getting angry about being pushed. Sometimes restraint just doesn’t happen. We are all human.

    • Dest has improved as a defender for me, he shut his man down all game, nothing dangerous from his side. Was actually on A rob’s side that Mex had their couple dangerous moments. And Dest still has that magic with the ball at his feet going forward, I think he will find his way back to the top of european club ball.

      • the one early chance they had was dest went to sleep and kept their man on, who then received a diagonal pass that turner blocked the shot on. i also thought they were trying to get after him a little. they were notably not trying to go route 1 on richards and miles. i am eager to see scally. i would have liked to see dest tried as a wing sub.

  8. Did y’all see that lil’ boy w/ the El Tri head band & the USA jersey celebrate when Pepi scored? He was screaming his lungs out, and didn’t even know that the goal was being reviewed. You can’t tell me that moment for that lil boy was POLITICAL. I’m not the only person (JR talked about it also) to point out the importance of Pepi committing to the US for millions of Mex-Americans. It’s actually a privilege to rep multiple countries because millions of Americans can’t. People all over the country want to see someone, who looks like them, play futbol for the country. (I know because I spend time talking & listening to people outside of my comfort zone). Not just only to play & compete but to do something that contributes to winning. Pepi will probably be important to the lil fan like Desmond Armstrong was to myself and my family in ‘87. What a match! Tres o Cero!!

  9. Weston and Dest (and Adams, and Robinson and Robinson and probably a few others) need to learn how to not get ejected. Word has now gotten out that if you play dirty the above named players will do something stupid, which will just invite more dirty play. I personally fault the coach because once it became clear he should have been screaming at the ref, the 4th official etc. lobbying for calls. If the ref shows him a card, so what. Better the coach than the players.

    • That’s just what Mexico looks like when they get their a#$ handed to them by their hated rivals. Coach did well, the boys were awesome. Love the fight from Gio, Weston and Dest! Officiating not so good but who cares. USA will be all OK in the final. Trust my brother … believe. This is the real deal.

    • like i said on the other page, i would give them a pass on this one. but they need to be pulled aside at some point and reminded a particular list of items are basically automatic reds. eg don’t touch the face. like, yes, get stuck in and stand up for teammates, but maybe let the other team get the reds, and be composed enough to hold the “afters” on our end to the yellow limit. i thought we got baited a little. a little restraint and that’s a 4-0 or 5-0 game playing 8 or 9 remaining mexicans. i mean, a lot of that was their frustration coming out, let them melt down.

      one credit item we didn’t really do stuff run of play. it was only afters.

  10. When the game started my attitude was the result wasn’t as important as how well we played. When we dominated and continued to dominate, I wanted to see us win. Then, when the Mexicans started playing dirty, I wanted us not just to win, but to crush them. And, as usual, their fans are truly classless. The US is now at least equal to Mexico in skill and have them beat for pace. We really should dominate the region. We can replace Dest with Scally and McKennie with Aronson or de la Torre. US depth should be up to the task.

    • It goes to show how important the timing of goals is. I don’t think it was all that different from the qualifier in Cincinnati but we just couldn’t get that first goal. Getting the first before half and then immediately to start the second just took all the life out of them. In Cincinnati it just took Pulisic’s man in the mirror moment to break it open in the 75th.

  11. Remember when HH choked McKennie and didn’t even get a talking to or I think it was Rodriguez raked Aaronson’s eyes with no yellow? Lopez probably got it right with the reds he gave. However, a yellow to Balogun for stepping on Montes maybe prevents the Montes cynical foul on Flo a few minutes later. If he shows a red or at least yellow on the tackle on Luca late and from behind he has another chance to calm it down. I actually thought it was a pretty mild USA/El Tri match extracurricular wise until the first scuffle. I think he probably felt I’ve given two reds let’s just get out of here and it boiled over again.

    • The guy who Dest pushed had previously put his hand on his neck, which was the exact reason given for tossing McKennie. The ref was sheer dreck but our guys need to control themselves, or just hit the deck, roll around and lobby for a card, as is traditional in the beautiful game.

      • I agree Alex. It is tough sometimes, but you have to show restraint, especially up 3-0 with a pending final.

  12. USA fans need to come out and support this exciting young team. They show fight and good football! Get out and support on Sunday Vegas!

  13. Wow. Well… it’s horrible that Weston and Dest will be suspended (very unfair). But my goodness did we humiliate El Tri and theit sad sack fanbase today. Just humiliating for them. Glorious, in an ugly sort of way.

    • Watch Canada & Panama a bit before the US and think Panama may have a shot at beating Mexico now that they’ll be down another 2 players.
      The US exposed Mexico’s lack of speed at the wide positions and if Panama is smart they’ll target those same area’s of the pitch. Fully expect their game to be a dirty/gritty affair especially if Panama can hold things tight in the 1st half.


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