Sunday, June 24, 2007

What a game!

If you didn't enjoy Sunday's Gold Cup final between the U.S. and Mexico, then you don't know what great soccer is.

The game completely surpassed expectations I had for it. Dramatic saves, clutch goals and a world-class strike. Mexico gave it their all but it wasn't enough. At the same time, the U.S. showed why they are the best team in this region.

Bob Bradley's decision to sub in Ricardo Clark was fantastic. I guess Andrea spotted something in Clark that many of us hadn't. Clark and Feilhaber in Copa America suddenly doesn't seem too shabby for the U.S.

I wrote this up after the match for SI.com. I tried to do the game justice but I don't know that that was possible.

11 comments:

Matt L said...

Amazing drama.

But...Ching's post was almost explicable -- twisting, turing, falling away, but he should have finished.

Beasley's crossbar was inexcusable. You HAVE to finish that.

Should have been at least 3-1.

L.B. said...

Ching and Beasley epitomized what the U.S. went through all tournament: frustrating finishes that should have given the U.S. wider margins of victory in each game.

You are absolutely correct: the Beasley miss was inexcusable. I don't care if you're 12 years old - that needs to go in the back of the net.

Anonymous said...

Amazing game, and it was exhilarating the entire game!

I think the MVP for the US is Bocanegra and Onyewu, but more Boca. How many times did they save dangerous opportunities back there. They were firemen the entire game.

For Mexico, well it's a sad ending to a sad tournament for them. I support both sides passionately but Mexico have got to find a better striker than Bravo and Borgetti. It was useless playing with them. They created nothing and finished nothing. Bofo missed a sitter and that is why I can't stand to see him play anymore. Put some power behind that shot kid into the corner.

For that matter, Donovan and Beasley missed clear cut chances all tourney long and Twellman, and Johnson proved nothing to me. Both squads are still searching for forwards than can finish.

Guardado and Castillo were superb for Mexico. However, without Marquez (who is a stud) the backline for Mexico is scary bad.

Magallon gets my vote as the worst player of the tourney.

A.C. said...

What a game. Rico made my call on his improvement look really good. Awesome final. Yes, the U.S. finishing left something to be desired, but the come-from-behind win is an amazing characteristic for the U.S. - a new element they haven't had before Bradley, really.

degerron said...

We didn't have the come from behind element before Bradley? What about last qualifying cycle's come back goals? You had Ching's clutch goals in Kingston when the Jamaicians were in the stands celebrating thinking they had finally beat the USA. Then that victory in Panama during that same round. 2004 I think the team gave half of US fans a heart attack.

A.C. said...

Frankly, despite a few dramatic exceptions, Arena's teams did poorly when facing a deficit.

Ching and Jones only tied those matches you mention, by the way. I'm talking about turning a loss into a win, which Bradley has managed twice in his tenure.

degerron said...

I stand corrected thanks AC

lic said...

Degerron,

Historically speaking, the USMNT has never handled adversity well. Their come-from-behind wins are few and far apart.

There is no point in going back decades ago (which still stands true), but even in the last 17 years, US teams have had a hard time equalizing and/or flipping the marker in their favor.

Against Mexico, their come-from-behind wins OR equalizing the marker have been very few and very rare.

The US has only 2 come-from-behind wins against Mexico.

1. 1934. WCQ. USA 4-2 Mex.

2. 2007. Gold Cup. USA 2-1 Mex.

The US has managed to equalize the marker on 4 occasions

1. 1960. WCQ. USA 3-3 Mex

2. 1993. Friendly. USA 1-1 Mex

3. 1996. USA Cup. USA 2-2 Mex

4. 1997. WCQ. USA 2-2 Mex

jason said...

That was a great game. I haven't seen much discussion of just how bad Mexico was in terms of diving. Some of these dives were downright silly. This may not be news but I only saw no US dives and only a couple of uncalled fouls/yellows on their side.

I own a Mexico kit and was a little embarassed. I also think these efforts to summon the ref hurt their game. Time spent diving when you are three feet away from your mark is time not spent moving the ball. They won't be able to beat Brazil this way.

I am ready to stand corrected on all of these points. For instance, is their best hope of beating Brazil to be found in a couple of successful dives?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Did you see the game. I thought it was played evenly from both sides.

I am sorry but I did not see Mexican players dive as you mention. I saw Bravo and Borgetti get tossed like rag dolls by Bocanegra and Onyewu but that is par for the course because they are more physical and bigger men. The laws of physics dictate Bravo is going to get buried every time and complain about it.

The only questionable dive I saw was Brian Ching's. But I think that was crappy defending more than a dive. However, Ching was looking for the penalty and got a not so smart Magallon to bite.

FYI-Landon Donovan received a yellow card the previous game for diving.

Anonymous said...

Will Batres be refering any U.S games at Copa America?