Photo by ISIphotos.com
Admit it. If you are a U.S. national team fan then are probably still recovering from the emotional roller coaster and post-victory celebration following the U.S. team's 2-0 victory against Mexico.
As memorable as Wednesday night was, the soccer world continues to spin and the shift in focus reverts back to club soccer, with European leagues resuming play and MLS teams continuing to prepare for the upcoming MLS season.
The big news today will be whether or not David Beckham is sold to AC Milan, something we should hear about soon (although the word that Milan reps are only just today making their way to LA makes you wonder when this will get done by the deadline). Another news story we are still waiting for is whether or not Sven Goran Eriksson will be fired as Mexico head coach.
While we wait for those stories to emerge, and for other stories to develop today, here are is a look back at some tidbits from the USA-Mexico match, and from SBI's trip to Columbus:
Most of you have seen the slap Mexico assistant coach Paco Ramirez put on Frankie Hejduk following the match. While the popular explanation for the incident was a misunderstanding of something Hejduk said that night, Mexican media suggested that the slap was actually the result of past transgressions by Hejduk toward the Mexican national. Apparently, Ramirez had been carrying some lingering resentment toward Hejduk for things he has said after past Mexico games and decided to confront him. Someone probably should have told Ramirez that Crew Stadium was probably not the place to do that. Here's the video for those of you who hadn't seen the incident:
Rafael Marquez apologized to Mexico's fans after Wednesday's match for losing his head and kicking Tim Howard, an incident that resulted in a red card. Howard wasn't holding a grudge, as evidenced by the scene of the two players giving interviews practically side-by-side after the match.
One of the funnier moments in the aftermath of the match took place the next day at the Columbus Airport, when a PA announcement told "Dos a Chero to meet their party at Gate A-4." The announcement was greeted with laughter from the scores of U.S. fans in the terminal, even if the announcer pronounced 'Cero' 'Chero'.
Another good moment came in the post-game press conference when a Mexican journalist asked Bob Bradley if things would have been differently if Giovani Dos Santos had scored on the play where he brought new meaning to the term 'Sitter'. Bradley smiled coyly and said "We'll never know." He also took the chance to remind the journalist that the U.S. national team had come back against Mexico before in the 2007 Gold Cup final.
Michael Bradley, the USA-Mexico man of the match, credited his move to Germany with helping him reach the form that led to Wednesday's masterful performance. While most observers believe that him joining last-place Borussia Moenchengladbach was a mistake, Bradley credits the weekly battle for survival with the relegation strugglers with helping him improve as a player.
SBI Mafia members had to be happy to see the SBI Banner Contest winner shown on the ESPN2 broadcast for a good five seconds. Congrats and thanks again to Anton Jusufi for designing the banner and special thanks to SBI correspondent GianFranco Panizo for placing the banner. For those wondering where the banner is now, it is residing at SBI headquarters in New Jersey and we plan on bringing it to Mexico City in August (and Nashville if any folks from Trinidad & Tobago resort to using voodoo dolls). If anybody can put together a YouTube clip of the ESPN2 airtime for the banner, let us know.
Lastly, a special thank you to all the SBI Mafia members (and if you haven't figured it out by now, every regular reader of SBI is a member) who we met on this trip. You help make running SBI worthwhile and keep us motivated to keep bringing you the news and analysis you are looking for.
That's all for now. Feel free to share any final thoughts on Wednesday's match, the Beckham and Sven situations, or on the upcoming weekend's soccer action, in the comments section below.