USA vs. Mexico: The Day After

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Dos a Cero.

The score almost seemed inevitable in the latest installment of USA-Mexico after the U.S. team's dominant performance against their arch-rivals.

It was ugly at times, and Mexico nearly found goals in the third minute and in the second half, but 'El Tri' never did finish and never really got a hold of the game after getting off to a good start in the first 10 minutes.

Michael Bradley enjoyed the best match of his young career on Wednesday night, not only scoring both goals, but commanding the middle of the field like a seasoned veteran. Here is my piece on the performance.

Here are some other tidbits from last night:

U.S. defender Frankie Hejduk was slapped by a Mexico national team assistant coach after the match in an incident near the locker rooms. Apparently some members of the Mexican continent thought Hejduk had made some disparaging remarks, which led assistant 'Paco' Ramirez to step to Hejduk and slap him. A small scuff ensued and was quickly broken up. Hejduk later called the incident nothing and called the slap a "Love Tap".

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard enjoyed another strong performance, but he will have to wait a while longer for his next one. Howard was issued a yellow card for time-wasting after the Rafael Marquez red card incident. Now Howard will have to sit a match (vs. El Salvador) after two yellows in qualifying.

Michael Bradley became just the fourth USA player to score two goals against Mexico, and the first since 1980.

Finally, here are some post-game interviews from last night's match:

That's all for now. Please feel free to share your thoughts about last night's match in the comments section below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, Mexican Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

118 Responses to USA vs. Mexico: The Day After

  1. Ko'd says:

    I agree that Bradley had a strong game, and he did a great job of linking through the midfield. But he HAS to stop giving the ball away in the middle third of the field. It was exasperating at times. (Then again, with Klejstan’s hair cut, I may be confusing he and Bradley. Either way, the U.S. gave up possession in the middle third way too often).

  2. Dave says:

    Superb midfield performance. The combination of Bradley and Sasha seemed to provide the right balance between attack and defence, unlike in past games when we have played with two defensive oriented center mids.

    Biggest disappointment of the evening was the contribution of the two forwards. While Landon ended up with 2 assists, it was a less than stellar performance. Ching did a lot of dirty work, but never looked like a threat.

    Still 3 great points and a terrific start to qualifying.

    Great job Boys.

  3. rocky says:

    Great performance for the USA. Mexico never looked like they were going to win. Marquez blew it with the red card, it was over after that. I still think our LB position is poor. Pearce is not good enough at a high level, I pray that BB sees the light and puts DMB their. Sascha also looked out of place, and out of his elements, I think Torres is a much better fit to play with Bradley in the middle. Great start

  4. jon says:

    Great game! Great Atmosphere! opportunistic finishing from Bradley!

    Not much to complain about…

    I would have liked to see Jozy introduced a little earlier and let torres get a taste of this match.

    Bocanegra scared me a couple of times, but Gooch was awesome! deMarcus and Dempsey looked dangersous at times, but what was all their switching sides?

  5. alex says:

    anyone have video of frankie’s bust up?

  6. Scott says:

    Not many comments yet; everyone must be sleeping off their hangovers; I wish I was :)

    I agree Ko’d – Bradley and Klejstan are still not quite there as the link going forward. Klejstan still gives the ball away too much, and on tv at least, it looked like Bradley missed a lot of opportunities to switch the field – too many back passes. I would really really like to see Torres play with the full team, but I’m not sure who gives way.

    But anyway, Bradley is a star in front of the goal and that’s what mattered most last night…dos a cero!!!!

  7. Clye McPhat says:

    The game was a foul fest that had rare instances of flowing football. Beasley was horrible early, but fortunately got better as time went on. The hoofball played from the backliners was unreal especially in strong wind conditions, and Coach Bradley’s sub pattern left a lot of tired legs out there into the very late stages of the game. The US was very lucky to have gotten out of there unscored upon. The high line played was effective, but how could Mexico not adapt to it as the game went along?

  8. Voodoo says:

    Hey Mexico:

    We dig, the voodoo, that you do, Baby!

  9. jspot says:

    we won even after pedro gomez stabbed the lando voodoo doll… thanks WWL!

  10. aristotle says:

    Seemed like a strange game for a U.S. vs Mexico match. The usual super intensity and passion seemed lacking in both sides compared with what it usually is. I’m not saying it was a bad game, or even a dull game, but the standard has been set so high from past games. It almost seemed like Mexico has finally accepted that they are number 2! I suspect the lack of passion and intensity that Mexico usually brings to such games may also have something to do with their coach. Can an English coach connect with Mexican players on a level that will make them feel that level of national pride?

    I was actually a little disappointed with the U.S. The game could easily have been quite different if Mexico had scored on their easy chance in the first few minutes. They could also have tied it on that shot or pass in the second half where the ball went just wide of the right post over the feet of a Mexican player lying in the right corner of the goal.

    My biggest concern was that the U.S. never looked like they were going to score in the run of play, and if not for a bad goalkeeping error they wouldn’t have. Beasley seemed out of place and a poor first touch cost him what should have been an easy goal. Donovan and Dempsey seemed a little quiet. Even though he was quiet for a lot of the game Donovan still made two huge contributions on both goals so I guess he had a decent game. The offense needs some fine tuning. The U.S. could find themselves getting shutout if they continue with that offense. Oh well, they got the three points and found a way to win. Great start.

  11. Gion says:

    Three points:

    1)Best part of the broadcast had to be the shot of the SBI Mafia banner;

    2) U.S. defense didn’t exactly inspire confidence; and

    3) Despite the brace, I am still not sold on Bradley. Like someone already said, he still makes some bad decisions in the middle third. For instance, he made that one pass to no one in the second half that led to a long range shot by mexico.

  12. JoeW says:

    What a sad commentary it is to see some of El Tri’s behavior:
    –the red card by Marquez. Yeah, not as bad as Sachez’ sliding tackle attempt on EJ in a previous match, Marquez doesn’t play this way for Barca.
    –the face slap by Ramirez. Okay, his team had just lost. But what do you think people would say if American players and coaches had urine or batteries thrown at them, lost and then slapped an opponent?
    –then look at the tape of the last goal. After Altidore and Donovan release the ball, they’re taken out/knocked down by body slams by Mexican defenders who aren’t playing the ball but playing the man.

    It all smacks of poor sportsmanship and whinny losers. How embarassing.

  13. Jim says:

    Even if they thought Frankie said something bad why does the Ass’t coach think he has the right to slap a player? That was a cowardly thing to do

  14. Paul says:

    Ives, we need more information on what Frankie is alleged to have said and what happened afterwards. is reporting that a pretty serious scuffle ensued, practically a riot, that had to be quelled by a bunch of beefy security guards.

  15. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Not sure what match you guys watched…Bradley was so much better at not giving the ball away…I think you were mistaking Sacha for Michael…Also I only saw one stupid foul by Bradley, otherwise he was great. DMB was good for me and I think considering the conditions we played about a good a football as you can expect against a compact Mexico team….Overall a great effort and win…

    ALSO…GET PEDRO GOMEZ off the sideline gig and send him back to baseball…Seriously…at least Allen Hopkins knows something about the game….I would even take Rob Stone over him…

  16. Bacalao says:

    Result aside, that had to be one of the most dismal performances by either squad in a long, long time. For the US, a set-piece goal (surprise, surprise!) and a soft goal to cap off the night. Not taking anything away from Bradley–he was the best player on the pitch–but the US plain stunk offensively.

    The biggest problem is that once they’re in their offensive third, the US doesn’t have anyone who can playmake, put through the final pass on goal, or break down a defense. The Mexicans clogged the goalmouth, sure, but they also played a man down for over a half an hour and the US never took advantage. Conditions were not ideal, but the US had no answers, nor even any proposals.

    I hate to say it after a decent result, but Old Man Bradley will get the US to the WC, but no farther. His lone target striker formation will only get the job done in CONCACAF. He has no ideas, nor tactical vision.

    Last night was Bradley-Ball 2.0, nothing more.

  17. Mike_D says:

    Ko’d, I think you ARE confusing Kljestan and Bradley. Bradley barely gave the ball away all night.(I’ll just say barely because I’m sure someone can find one time he did) Kljestan didn’t have a very good game and was losing the ball too much.

  18. brett says:

    ko’d- you must have been mixing MB and Kljestan up b/c MB made VERY FEW errors last night…

  19. Roberto says:

    I think this whole thing with the voodoo dolls is working against Mexico … And helping the US, maybe if they made the dolls with Mexican jerseys.. And then pinch their bolas with needles, Mexico would show more “courage”?

  20. Andy in Atlanta says:

    MAN YOU GUYS ARE WAY YO SKEPTICAL… We had several chances on goal…nice through ball to DMB…Clints decent shot after a great back header knockdown of a cross. A nice set piece from Ching…I agree that we did not take advantage of the 10 men for 25 mins but to say that we were poor is laughable…go back and watch the 2001 and 2005 matches in Columbus where Mexico bossed the play most of the game and we counter attacked…We may have lacked creativity at times last night but any bystander would have known who the best team was and that is a big big step in my eyes….

    Wake up guys we are not Spain but might just be Germany… and that is fine with me…

  21. Brant says:

    Frankie’s dust-up:
    link to

    The reports from the Columbus Dispatch:

    link to

    link to

  22. Carl says:

    we love the US we do!

    Nobody likes us we dont care!

  23. lassidawg says:

    Some of you are killing me the defense didn’t look create, but playing defense in windy wet conditions isn’t easy. Bradley had a great game Sascha was the one giving the ball away with some weak touches, then again so was Beasley. For those that think the 2 goal was keeper error clearly didn’t see the replay that showed how much the ball knuckled, it dropped a foot just has it reached the keeper.

    The only thing I would be complaining about is the yellow given to Howard for time wasting after the red card, it looked like to me he was testing his leg. How many people go into time wasting with 24 minutes to go. The tackle on Jozy before the 2nd goal could have easily been a red, but there was nothing.

    I will take that pewrformance in every game and see you in S Africa.

  24. Ko'd says:

    Mike_D. I was half-kidding. Bradley still makes some mistakes in the middle third of the field. I am not referring to the “last pass.” I am referring to the proclivity to play something other than the simple ball. That middle third can be very dangerous when the team that is building the attack gives the ball away.

    By the way, I still think that Bradley had a tremendous game. I have only one criticism, and his middle-third decisions would be it. God knows he is a better player (as they all are) than any of US could ever hope to be.

  25. Mike from Baltimore says:

    I must agree that most of the people talking about Bradley’s “poor” play are obviously confusing him. I’ve watched the game 3 times now (thanks to TiVO). Bradley had one of the most solid games a US midfielder has had in a long time. He was box to box all night. Strong in the tackle and smart with the ball. He rarely gave possesion away cheaply (unlike the other 3 in the midfield). In fact, he played some really great balls where he switched the field which lead to some of our best atacking moments of the night.

    Also, Brian Ching had a quiet, but very important game for us last night. He was constantly being fouled due to his superior postioning and stregth on the ball. He was a handfull for Mexico all night.

    And I thought Landon looked like he was searching for his legs from the long flight from Germany. I know some of it was the conditions (though Beas looked fast). But overall, much of the explosivness that we are used to seeing from Landycakes just wasn’t there.

  26. Judging Amy says:

    I was there last night and I have to agree with Bacalao. While the result was awesome, the team doesn’t look that great especially offensively. Dos Santos REALLY should have put that cross in but instead inexplicably laid there. Marquez’ expulsion seconds later sealed the game.

    So, Dos Santos puts that cross in and we have a different game.

    The US was dominant in the first half but did very little in the second against a team down a man and pressing forward.

    On another note I was saddened by the racial slurs thrown around by US fans in the Sam’s Army section. This was a very very small minority (maybe two or three fans tops), but nobody said anything and maybe should have. As a Peruvian American who loves the Nats I was hurt that these fools would possibly cause a mistaken impression on fans that are normally so great and tolerant.

  27. Colin Marshall says:

    Suprised to see so many low grades when it comes to the US performances, here is the way I see it.

    Howard – He is solid and organzied from start to finish and made a huge save in the first 5 minutes of the match. In that spot, if you down a goal early you begin to press a bit and that save avoided that senario.

    Heyduk – Have to admit, I am very skeptical of Frankie, but he was excellent last night. Not fantastic with the ball at his feet but great on the tackle and a constant nuisance on the right side.

    Boca – Just OK for me, made a mistake that gifted Mexico a chance early but organized the back line well.

    Guch – Great in the air and was good in the tackle last night as well. I think Bradley and Co. need to continue his technical development, he is very scary on the ball in the back and gave it away unnecessarily a few times.

    Pierce – Clearly not the answer at left back, thought he struggled in distribution all night. Dos Santos looked dangerous in the first half and I think it had a lot to do with Pierce.

    Beasley – I thought he looked dangerous and lively for the majority of the night, which I thought was impressive, especially because he doesn’t play with Rangers.

    Sasha – Thought he looked very nervous in the first 10 minutes but settled down nicely. A few too many give aways in the middle third of the fied (a few in the defensive third as well, but all in all I thought the central midfield paring looked sharp, moved well together, and combined well all night.

    Bradley – Fantastic performance. For me, the most impressive part was his ball winning and distribution. The goals are great and it is nice to see him in the right spot and to see how confident he was on the second goal (clearly should have been saved though), but his ball winning ability really made the difference in the match. His decision making was phenomenal last night, he controlled the speed of play brillantly, got the ball into Donovans feet and linked well going forward with the other midfielders. Top notch.

    Dempsey – Thought he was dynamic in the first half, showed plenty of bite as well. I also thought he faded in the second half, no doubt due to a cross Atlantic flight which offered little down time. Should have been substituted around the 75th minute I thought, but he certainly looked a cut above in the first half.

    Donovan – Disagree with a few of the posts that said he was average…..not what I saw. Especially not in the first half, I thought he looked really dangerous and linked well with Bradley and Sasha. The fact of the matter is, he seems to be able to make the final pass or movement that unlocks a defense and creates chances. Not only does he score goals, but he makes them as well. I did think he got tired toward the end of the match with a few bad touches and sloppy technique, again the cross atlantic flight probably didn’t help his legs either.

    Ching – Held the ball up well, but he is clearly not the answer up top in terms of scoring goals. He is very one dimensional, but he definitely plays within himself and gave the US exactly what they needed last night. Hold play up, get all 4 midfielders involved going forward, and make it tough on Mexico’s back 4. He did all of those things well.

    Subs – Ricardo Clarke looked absolutely lost, I mean lost! Sasha has jumped him in the pecking order and I don’t see him giving it up any time soon. He looked overmatched technically and VERY slow of thought. I thought Jozy looked very lathargic as well, I understand it is very tough to come on so late in the match, especially when it is cold and windy, but he needs to play with more urgency. He is young, it will come (I hope)!


  28. Bacalao says:

    Kljestan just plain sucked, and I’m a huge fan. It makes me question whether he can be effective in the speedier int’l game. He looked several steps slow, and his decision making on passes was woeful at times.

    I’m usually one of the guys who talks smack about Baby Bradley. I wasn’t sold on him until last night. If he can replicate that form on a regular basis, punch his ticket for So Africa! I thought Dempsey was horrible. What happened with him?

  29. Scott says:

    You guys are crazy. I was at the game and saw/felt plenty of passion and thought the US played a very smart game tactically unlike Mexico who did not have a clue. Sven will be gone for the weekend.

    Disappointed in Mexico’s behavior as always but unfortunately US fans are starting to resort to some of the same crap… throwing bottles at players taking corners, beer dumped on players. That’s embarrassing when we stoop to that level.

  30. Nicholas says:

    I’ve gotta watch the tape because it’s hard to follow in what was a great atmosphere. Bradley and Heydude had really solid performances from my own lying eyes.

    Pearce seemed to have a pretty poor performance.

  31. Felix says:

    I thought it was a better game by the US against Mexico. As Andy In Atlanta stated above, remember earlier games where Mexico would dominate long stretches of possession and we were left to counterattack. This wasn’t the case at all this yesterday. I thought Bradley was a stud and I felt Hejduk had a good game as well (I wonder what he supposedly said), however, I felt our centerbacks were shaky at times and if the US were playing a stronger team than Mexico, some of those chances would be put away.

    Overall I’m pleased with the performance and we started the hex off right.

  32. JB says:

    And to think people were disparaging Hejduk’s selection for the starting lineup before last night. He was excellent. I hope he starts again in the game in Azteca.

  33. GB says:

    hejduk was very solid on the tackle and won the corner setting up the first goal.

    going into the boards with a Mexican defender and full head of steam. His energy was a lift for the us.

  34. This Guy says:

    I’ve watched match 3 times now, i know i have no life, and Bradley would have been MOTM in a draw the way he was playing.

    I took 3 things away from the match:

    1. Beasley is our best attacking option so everyone needs to quit ragging on him constantly

    2. Klejstan was a ghost last night and the few attempts at thru balls he made were not pretty

    3. Our backline is solid

    I hate the Crew but i wish Hejduk could play forever. Rumors out of Mexico are Sven is gonna step down and that Mexican guy with the mullet that slapped Hejduk is gonna take over

  35. Mike says:

    Where’s Luix Mex? He’s been talking smack all week, then disappears when Mexico gets blanked???

  36. Twiggle says:

    “Can an English coach connect with Mexican players on a level that will make them feel that level of national pride?”

    Aristotle, although it doesn’t change the meaning of your statement, Sven Goran Eriksson is Swedish.

  37. Proud says:

    MB tore it up last night. He and Frankie played out of their minds. The only players that I saw that had any trouble had help from the rest of the team when needed.

    Howard. Enough said. Gooch may have had issues when the ball was on the ground, but was dominant in the air, and even had a slick slide tackle covering for a pushed up FH. Los had some trouble as well, but caught on fine. Beas and Pearce provided good service and covered for each other. Sacha had some trouble in the middle of the park but stayed with it. Duece brought a little creativity to the pitch. Ching did all the dirty work and Landon was constantly double teamed.

    All in all, a great showing against a team who man for man are probably more skilled. No complaints here.

    OH, btw. Did anyone catch the commercial right before the game started and at half time for South Africa 2010? It said SA 2010 and then a U appeared to make it say USA 2010. Does anyone know what song was in the background? I know, random.

  38. Luke in NC says:

    I also wish that LD would’ve looked more impressive….but he had a hand in creating practically EVERY scoring chance! LD can obviously score, but he can create opportunities to set up others as much or more than he scores himself…..and, good Lord, I cant wait to see Altidore raise up to play at his side more (if he develops like we all expecthim to) so we can have finally have somebody to put away more of those beautiful passes around the box!

    I also would’ve liked to see Altidore in there earlier….but it doesnt surprise me that Bradley waited, considering we were up 1-0 with a man advantage and Brian Ching is known for playing good defense from his position. Ching also did well getting some dangerous free kicks for us…..something we cant underestimate.

    Congrats to Michael Bradley…..but obviously we have a lot of work to do for our offense to get into true scoring form.

  39. Fumar says:

    I’m usually a Brian Ching hater, but I think he had a fabulous game last night. Holding up the ball beautifully, allowing the team to press forward and laying off thoughtful passes. Just top notch play for Ching. I thought Landon could have done more to help him out. He seemed late to the ball most of the night.

  40. Matt M. says:

    I’m not sure why people keep bashing the US perfomance. Lest we forget, this is not USA’s preferred support. Mexico dedicates their best athaletes entirely to soccer. They have more top level players and more depth to boot.

    For US to have such a good record against them (not including mexico city) is pretty impressive.

    Don’t bash the US for “winning ugly”.

    Just be pleased they won so often.

  41. This Guy says:

    Judging Amy i understand you were there last night and might not have seen the Dos Santos laying there play but if he taps that in or touches it he is offsides, so he was probably avoiding it for someone else to tap.

    I think if everybody watches the match again look at the midfield. The US basically had 6 midfielders the entire match, Ching was dropping back so much and then we did a hellofa job of holding the ball up. It is almost as if we moved as an entire squad to attack. I think this performance was unbelievable

  42. martha c says:

    What a bunch of hack classless players

    I love when Rafa Marquea plays. I was afraid he wouldnt. Hes always good for 1 stupid play a game and flat out sucks on defense. way too slow.Im not looking forward to the day he stops playing. The easy two goals a game might stop coming.

    With four naturalized players Mexico is only 7 naturalized Brazilians or Argentinians away from being able to tie the US.

  43. Ko'd says:

    Just watched the Hejduk slap. Paco Ramirez, like Rafa Marquez, is a coward. They play on or coach an inferior team and when they lose, they resort to dirty, cowardly tactics. Scumbags.

  44. Rageman says:

    While I’m not in the “Bradley shouldn’t be playing” crowd Ives mentioned last night . . . I am in the “Bradley plays TOO MUCH” crowd. If his dad wasn’t coach, he would see less time in other matches as it seems that daddy likes to see the depth that he has at other positions but wants everybody to get used to his son playing D-mid and no one else.

    Bacalao . . . way to nail it, brother(although I would say the wind affected many passes for both sides). Bob Bradley is Arenaing this team. Isn’t the definition of insanity trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results? We’ve seen the single striker theory before . . . Roy Wegerle? Brian McBride?

    I like watching Sasha play, but if Michael Bradley is the best D-Mid we have I’d like to see a standard 4-4-2 line-up like this.


    To me, Ching is our Emile Heskey. EH doesn’t do much when he plays for England, but when he played, Michael Owen scored. I think Ching would look more dangerous if it wasn’t him against 3 or 4 defenders every time a ball is played to him.

    Donovan is our best attacking mid and can easily move forward to join the attacking line. Remember, France won a world cup without any goals from their forwards. Oh yeah . . . having one of the greatest players of all-time didn’t hurt either.

    And try to eliminate him from the picture all you want, but Hejduk is too important to this team . . . the guy can still run all day.

  45. Rageman says:

    Damn I wish there was an edit feature on here.


    I would start Pablo over Bradley

  46. Steve says:

    Thsi was far closer than it could have been which is why there is a wide discrepency in perception of how people played.

    The US was in general more composed and in control than past performances against Mexico – GOOD!

    This was a 1-0 game until stoppage time and a little more PT at Tottenham away from the US- being done 1-2 in said stoppage time.

    Klejstan was terrible last night and should have been subbed far earlier. Pearce is a complete liability and isn’t getting better riding the pine at a team about to get relegated of the Bundeliga 2 – it has to be time to see if Bornstein can sink or swim. Everyone else was solid or better.

    I hate doing it after a good result but I have to give Bradley a hard time on his coaching last night. He needed to sub far earlier for Klejstan, for whom Torres would have been a perfect sub (particularly after the red card to close tha game out). And Ching and Dempsey were clearly spent and should have been subbed earlier.

  47. curiousgeorge says:

    Mexican coach bitch slaps Frankie? We need details1!!

  48. Kevin says:

    Biggest issue I had with the US players is that they sometimes put their teammates under too much pressure, i.e. they pass to a guy already being closed down when there is a more open option available. The pass gets there, but the guy receiving the pass doesn’t have any time to accurately deliver the next pass before he gets stripped of the ball.

    Biggest coaching issue is that Bradley seems to wait a bit too long on his subs. Ching was obviously slowing down 10 mins before Jozy reported to the 4th official, and was completely gassed 5 mins before being subbed. Same with Sascha. Hejduk worked through his injury, but it took him a good 7+ minutes to be effective again (though 1-0 against Mexico might not be a good time to blood Marvell Wynne in a qualifier!)

    Overall, they played well, not great, but well.

  49. Eric Griesheimer says:

    Everyone, stop make dumb comments about bradley giving the ball up. He played a great game. By far the highest work rate on the feild, by far the best player last night.

    I may be wrong, but I think we are confusing Bradley with sasha when it comes to turnovers. Sasha had at least 5 really bad give aways last night. I dont remember Bradley having more than one or two.

    Great game from Bradley.

  50. Josh says:

    Ching and Pearce to me had the worst performances.

    Ching: obvious he is a step behind the European-based players. He just wasn’t up to game speed. He holds the ball very well, but something was missing once he got the ball, just held on too long.

    Pearce: it’s clear he lacks the pace to deal with speedy players. He got burnt everytime someone took him on and allowed TOO MUCH SPACE!!! There were too many crosses he was allowing in.

    Overall, we dominated the game. I was in the Sam’s Army section behind the goal and I was in tears after the first goal… It was that intense.

    See you all in Nashville.

  51. Mark says:

    Mexico should have had goals, but I thought the US did enough to deserve the win. Not great soccer, but I think the conditions had a lot to do with that.

    Bradley and Howard played well, and Hedjuk was a mad dog out there. His play isn’t pretty, but it’s effective. And I watched that clip of the slap. It’s like Frankie was stunned, like this guy just slapped me? Then the scuffle ensued as it pretty much had to since you can’t get slapped by another guy and that not try to mow his lawn.

    Pearce and Beasley need playing time. Pearce ran out of gas in the 2nd half and his performance dipped, and Beasley had his moments, but definitely looked rusty.

    More reasons to love to hate Mexico. It’s a great rivalry.

    Lastly, I’m always surprised at how some view the same game as I do. The pessimism is over the top in some instances. The US team has some problems that need to be addressed, but the doom and gloom by some is unmeritted.

  52. madmax says:

    Even without his two goals Bradley was clearly man of the match. Mexico needed an Aspe or Torrado to mix with him and throw him off, Leandro and Pardo, not good at that. The Mexican cheap shots at the end of game shows that they are still undisciplined. Beasley showed well, please leave Rangers. If Sascha, Ching and Dempsey had passed better the score could have been much higher.

  53. chupacabra says:

    I loved how the number on the back of the voodoo doll was “01.” Even the voodoo doll can’t avoid the fact that the US is #1 (and Mexico is number 2).

    Chin up Mexicans. Today is “Mexicans eat free” day . . . at the International House of Crow.

  54. Ryan says:

    theres a video of the slap over on the offside rules

  55. Eric says:

    My buddies and I left from Claddagh at 5:30 and didnt get in our seats until the 2nd minute thanks to the Columbus clusterF traffic… very frustrating start but ended up a very good time

  56. golfstrom says:

    Great performance by MB last night. If a Mexican attacker hesitated at all, BOOM, MB would come out of nowhere to tackle it away.

    I have not seen the fact the wind played havoc with the game brought up anywhere. That’s why the game was so sloppy at times. The US defense was having all kinds of trouble early on (e.g. Gooch was giving away insta-fouls until he figured out every long ball was coming up short) and Mexico got two fluky chances in the first half based on the wind holding up balls.

  57. Tolik says:

    Colin Marshall, good analyzes. Not much to disagree, only to add.

    Pierce was OK linking with DMB upfront, but some crosses were to nowhere, and at the back he felt vulnerable. He is a place holder, not the answer. We still need the left back.

    DMB’s creativity is plus. I think only in-form Adu is better on that.

    After Marquez ejection we looked dis-jointed. It happens often enough that a 10-men team overplays the too relaxed opponent.

    Timely infusion of fresh blood should have prevented it. Subs were 10 minutes late! Jozy did not get into the game right away, and only in the very final minutes, including the run of play to the 2nd goal he looked dangerous.

    Energizer bunny is Da Man! Heyduk was absorbing bumps without complaining and was ditching out some too.

    Mike was great. He displayed tenacity and vision and ability. Hope he continues that way.

    All-in-all: a very solid effort against tough opponent, and a good result.

  58. Ko'd says:

    Griesheimer–relax. I already said he had a great game. But the great game could have been marred by one of the silly passes he gave up. I will be happy to re-watch the game tonight and give you some examples, but I don’t see the need to dwell on it. Bradley was clearly on his game last night.

    By the way, you can lump Oswaldo Sanchez together with Ramirez and Marquez. Remember when he tried to take out EJ’s legs after the Donovan goal in Phoenix? Just despicable, the whole lot of them.

  59. Isaac says:

    One thing I liked about last night was Beasley’s willingness to take players on 1v1 and he did well using his speed although occasionaly he had a bad touch that put him in tight situations.

  60. Tom says:

    Gooch scares me. Not because he is physically scary, but because he has trouble with fundimental soccer skills. He looks very awkward with the ball at his feet and “muffed” a couple of clearances that would have been goals against a quality non-CONCACAF opponent.

    His man handling style of defense, though very masculine, is always inches away from giving up a free kick or a red card depending on the referee. As we head into WC ’10 I hope we wean ourselves off the dependence of this goon. Playing a man down in never a good way to get out of the group stage.

    There is no shame in playing defense with proper positioning and technical ball skills. It has worked well for top defenders like Maldini and my old Cosmos favorite Beckenbauer.

    I would hope that Bradely would ignore the shear physical volume of Gooch and evaluate players based on the technical ability. However, I’m not holdin my breath.

  61. Franklin says:

    Am I the only one who thinks:

    1) Ching is just in everyone else’s way on the team when he’s out there?

    2) We cannot be a Final 16,8,4 etc. team in the 2010 World Cup with Ching as our target forward?

  62. Josh says:

    I was impressed by the US’s ball control, esp. given that the weather sucked. Granted, in windy conditions keeping the ball on the ground is the smart thing to do, but ten years ago it woulda been Mexico stringing together passes with the US looking to boot it upfield every single time.

    I’m also glad the voodoo didn’t work.

  63. hokieunited says:

    Hey guys, from what I have read, the incident was because of a misunderstanding. Frankie was saying F*** YEAH!… But the assistant thought he was saying F*** you… If you look on Goff’s blog, he has a video to it.

    There is not much to it though. It was not a riot, like described elsewhere.

    As for Bradley, the goals were just the icing on the cake last night. He finally put in a full performance all over (and no yellow to boot!).

    I know someone mentioned his short, back passing as opposed to more attacking ones, but he nearly got Beasley in behind the defense in the second half with that through ball. And he also had that perfectly weighted pass to Beasley in the first half.

    He could try more attacking passes, but I would rather play a bit more possession.

    I also thought the US made a mistake after Rafa was sent off. We did not play possession, and were giving them the ball too much. We should have held onto the ball more, and tried harder to kill off the game.

  64. golfstrom says:

    Tom, it’s called wind. Everyone had trouble w/ it all game. The reason you didn’t see it w/ the Mexican defenders as much was we were playing on the ground. But I’m sure if we were huffing in long balls all game you would criticize that, too. Also, how awesome is it that you brought up Maldini and Beckenbauer as if Bob Bradley has benched them or something.

  65. Luke in NC says:

    I agree that if we’re still playing with Ching as an isolated striker in 2010 i’m gonna lose it….

    I’m definitely intrigued by somebody’s suggestion to pull LD back into a CAM position with Ching and Altidore as joint forwards…..that could be greatness.

  66. JoeW says:

    1. What Heyduk told Steve Goff is that he was excited and yelling “F**k Yeah!” and he guesses that Ramirez thought he was saying “F**k You!” In either case, slapping an opposing player is not appropriate.

    Here’s what I think would be cool….SGE gets canned (or resigns), the MFF appoints Pando Ramirez as coach….but he gets a 1-game suspension for their next match by FIFA for slapping an opposing player! So MFF has to go with an interim interim coach for their next match–hah! They’ve got some real talent on their side but boy has they created a culture of classless behavior.

    2. Yeah, Ching isn’t a started forward for a final 16, final 8 WC 2010 team. But you know what? Neither is Pearce, Klejstan, probably DMB (unless he gets a starting role), Dempsey, and probably even Bocanegra. Let’s be realistic here: Ching is a limited player who plays within his limits. Donovan has said repeatedly that he matches up best when he has a big target type to play off of as a foil. People could argue we should be running out Altidore, Adu, Cooper, Davies, etc. as a NT forward. But the reality these days is that Donovan (who is a SUB in the Bundesliga, not even a regular starter) is our best forward. Everyone else is about being a role player with limits or maybe in 4-6 years being a guy that makes the French or English or Argentine defense worry. So let’s stop all the hating of Ching. On a windy day with possible worse conditions, not starting Ching would have been idiotic because you have to figure that we’re going to be doing a certain amount of “kick down field and hope someone gets to it” soccer.

    3. As for all the complaints about how we looked, here’s both the positive and negative of SGE–he plays a very tactical game that is fine on paper but often results in ugly soccer (for both sides) and rarely brings out the best of his team. One of the constant complaints when he was the English NT coach was that they were playing like italy’s “C” team and ignoring all of the elements that make English players what they are (heart and work-rate and in-your-face physical games). And SGE used to complain about how the English lacked tactical sophistication. I suspect this also contributed to some of Klejstan’s tentativeness at times.

  67. Erik Abarca says:

    I wish i was there so I could have layed Paco out. Why did’nt Frankie hit back, he would not have gotten in trouble. Self defense, he was attacked. Frankie let me down.

  68. Eugene says:

    I watched the Italy-Brazil game the other night, and while I liked our performance, it’s still a full step down from what those guys do on the field.

    What I really liked was that we were playing 2-touch soccer and moving well off the ball.

    What could have been better is making faster decisions, and consequently moving the ball faster, as well as having our one touch passes be MUCH more accurate.

    I thought our defense played well, despite some early miscues, and our outside backs got into the attack well.

    Beasley had a solid game, he looks close to top form again and his corner kicks are very good. He has a really good tactical game — I think we could even be getting much more from him if we do a better job of putting him through into space, particularly wide on the left wing.

    Donovan had a solid game, really benefiting from his time at Bayern Munich. For the sake of the national team, he needs to make a permanent move. Donovan plays well in the hole.

    Dempsey is not a right wing. He’s really like Donovan, a second striker/attacking mid. Dempsey does well enough to create and can be dangerous, but he doesn’t stay wide on the right wing. I think he’s one of our best players, but we need to alter our formation to make best use of him, rather than continue to shoehorn him into the right wing spot in a 4-4-2. Maybe play a christmas tree with Dempsey alongside Donovan.

    Bradley had a solid game and is a solid 2-way mid. No reason to take him out of our starting 11 for the foreseeable future. His performance last night was reminiscent of his performances at Heerenveen, when he was in his scoring frenzy.

    I thought Kljestan and Ching were kind of invisible. Ching wasn’t that mobile or dangerous — I think we can already try starting Jozy in that position because he brings all the same qualities as Ching but to my eye looks more dangerous (10 minutes at the end of a game not withstanding). Kljestan needs more polish. Even with him starting, I would have preferred putting in Torres early in the second half. I think Torres offers maybe a little more offensively at this point, and is also very familiar with these Mexican players.

    Overall a solid game, better than I’ve seen the national team perform in a while.

  69. Angel says:

    Hey Ives,

    Can you find out whats gona happen with Rafa Marquez and Paco Ramirez. What the USSC is going to do for the accident between hedjuk and Paco Ramirez. For me the Mexico Federation have to fire him for a stupid conduct. USA better not be a nice people and just let this situation just pass by, HELL NO We need to get Rafa Marquez get the Full Force. And Paco should of have been Arrested or send get him fire.

  70. LOSER says:

    My self loathing is not doing the trick. Please, all of you, give me some crap. After driving three hours to cbus, having some PBR at Ruby Tuesday and marching over, getting drenched in the parking lot, going inside, and then seeing the black line of clouds in the distance, i say to myself “this game isn’t getting played”…and ten minutes before kickoff…i leave. please, hurt me.

  71. Matt says:

    OK here we go:

    This was my first USA National Team game. This was my first time to Columbus and the Crew Stadium.


    Besides the traffic getting to the stadium and the soggy conditions, this was awesome. My buddies and I found ourselves in section 219 surrounded by Mexican fans. We made friends, got great pictures, saw a fight at the end of the game (Mexican fans should never kick over an American fans Bud Light) and got to sing the whole way out of the stadium. I can’t wait for Nashville and DC.

    Great job everyone.

  72. cbiscuit says:

    I also don’t understand all the ragging on Bradley. Even without the goals I thought he played well – constantly pressuring balls and giving no time for Mex to establish anything at the midfield. He, Frankie and Howard (looking really solid) were also the most pumped for this contest.

    On another note – although this is a great soccer venue, getting in and out of Crew stadium was a bloody nightmare – pretty bush league for such a big event. Anyone else to comment?

  73. Trent says:

    Hejduk still rules. This guy is amazing. And that Mexican coach with no class should be arrested.

  74. Trent says:

    I’ve been to several big events at Crew stadium. Getting out is easy if you know how to drive. They do a good job.

  75. Erik Abarca says:

    Pearce did ok, his service could be better, but he was not bad like u guys are saying. Donovan and Ching did’nt link up well. I like Chings work rate and all, but him and Donovan could’nt put together a give and go that was successful. Donovan did well he moved a lot and was a threat the whole game and drew dbl team. Dempsey had some flashes, but was’nt much of a factor and went in and out of the game at times. Sasha look a little lost, he settle in late, but still had some poor passes. Bradley had a great game. Hedjuk was a close 2nd best player of the night. Gooch and Boca were fair, I wish they could do better with passing, but over all ok. Beasley was good, i wish he would go at players more often, like he did on that play where he got that really good cross off. He needs to go at players more one on one. Timmy was solid as always.

  76. Adam from Joliet says:

    Outside of the game highlights:
    a) Lalas is a good TV personality. He has been disparaged so much as a manager I never saw this coming.

    b) The US fans were awesome. I loved seeing the cameras shake from people jumping up and down.

    c) ESPN could afford more sideline/low action shots during its telecasts similar to what we see from the UEFA games it shows.

  77. 4now says:


  78. timmy says:

    let me ask everyone a serious question. was this performance any different than our 2-0 win over mexico in 2005? be honest. my answer is no. mexico had a lot of the run of play, the 2 best chances, a debatable red card, we scored off a set piece goal and michael bradley’s second goal was a routine save that got botched. we still don’t have solid build up play, and i dont think we’ll ever beat any powerhouse team (powerhouse in this example can include teams like ivory coast, not necessarily just teams like spain, brazil…). im ecstatic we won, hate mexico, but it’s more of the same.

  79. eric says:

    im not well versed in mexican vernacular, but isn’t “gringo” a disparaging word?

  80. kpugs says:

    The entire Mexican team is a bunch of scumbags. I retract the comment I made last week about respecting any of them. There isn’t a dirtier, smugger, buttholier group of players on earth.

    I mean, Marquez went into the air to stab Howard with his studs. He wasn’t looking for the ball nor did he make any attempt to play the ball. He simply wanted to kick Tim Howard. AND HIS ENTIRE TEAM SURROUNDED THE REF TO COMPLAIN OF THE RED CARD.

    I have no respect whatsoever for any of them. I wish I would bump into any one of them in the street. I’m sure I’d come off worse for wear but I’d get the first shot in, and that would be straight to the face of any one of them with an open-handed slap. The little respect I had for Mexican soccer is now non-existent.

  81. green says:

    Took it to them in the first half.

    It looked like we wanted to throw away two points in the second half, against 10 men! Against any top 15 team, we are gonna get blasted with that sort of play.

  82. beckster says:

    Can’t believe the Bradley bashers on this post. I have not been a believer up to this point but he was great…man of the match and best player on the pitch by far.

    Agree with the folk that say we are going to get to the WC and then bomb. The reason why:

    – 2 holding midfielders. Replace one with a good attacking creative midfielder or we are not going to score goals. We haven’t been getting service to our attacking players.

    – Our back line is questionable. Not sure Gouch and Boca are doing it for me in the center. Boca may be better out left with someone who doesn’t do at least one “howler” per game in the center.

    Players like sacha and clarke can’t cope with the speed of the international game. Get them out of there and replace with players who can.

    Other than Bradley, Howard and Frankie, play was ho hum for me.

  83. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    Best moment of the night? A close-up of the “SBI Mafia” banner!! That thing was sweet!! Seriously tho, I am totally befuddled by the positive responses to DMB’s performance last night. I’m seriously considering calling him “back pass” Beasley from now on. He was poor, at best.

  84. lassidawg says:


    You clearly didn’t see the replay of the fouls that got the red card, and the ref had the same angle. While I doubt he went in with the intention of kicking Howard, but he did and if that isn’t a red then nothing is. The second goal dipped about a foot when it got to the keeper.

    I will worry more about beating powerhouses when we get there.

    Will someone tell Dempsey to quit falling over.

    The line up last night will be different 16 months from now if we are playing in the world cup, worry about qualifing instead of next year. Up next a tough test in El Salvador with out Howard.

  85. JD says:

    A few observations to build on what’s already been said…DMB looked good despite his lack of playing time at Rangers. The thing I didn’t like may be a “chemistry” issue. A few times when DMD would pinch in towards the 18, there was no supporting overlap (or crossover from the midfield) into the corner. This allowed Mexico to compact into the center of their 18. Perhaps Pierce didn’t have the confidence in his ability to recover from such a run, if needed. By contrast, the old man Hejduk, made over lapping runs on the right all night.

    I also think Sasha had too many unforced giveaways – he looked nervous. I would have liked to see Torres subbed in for him.

    Last, I thought Bradley had finally overcome his tendency to make bad aggressive (yellow card) tackles. To me this speaks of maturity. He still tackled forcefully, but made fewer poor decisions doing so.

  86. MiamiAl says:

    Mark it down! US will beat Mexico in Azeteca- 2-1!

  87. A.S. says:

    Since I usually kill Michael Bradley, I’ve got to credit him – he would have been MoM even without the two goals. (The goals themselves were not especially noteworthy on his part – he but in a rebound from 3 yards and the keeper let in a soft goal – but you’ve still give him credit for them.) What I was really impressed with was how he improved on several things that I’ve had issues with before – he had real attacking vision (for example the through ball to Beasley that Beas really should have scored on), he played excellent defense without fouling unnecessarily, and he didn’t give away the ball in bad spots. Those were all big, BIG problems he had in the prior round, and none were problems yesterday. You’ve also got to credit his high workrate. Guys like Dempsey and Ching were dead worn-out by about the 55th minute, but Bradley worked hard throughout. Mucho props to Bradley – if he plays like this all the time he deserves to start every game.

    Other guys I thought played well: Beasley, Donovan, Hejduk, and Timmy Howard.

    I was somewhat concerned about our central defenders – the definately did not play up to their usual standards, and if the Mexicans had guys with any finishing ability, it would not have been a shutout (and we very well may have lost). We also need a new left back – Pearce is OK but fairly slow, and while he does fairly well getting into the attack, he wasn’t very good at crossing. I expected more out of Kljesten – I’m surprised he had such a bad game. I thought Ching and Dempsey played OK – better in the first half, but wore down too quickly in the 2nd half.

  88. USA4Life says:

    Ching played alright as a midfielder; too bad he was supposed to be a forward.

    He also didn’t hold the ball as well as people who are giving him credit for.

    The guy needs to go it is time for the next generation of forwards.

  89. A.S. says:

    Oh, one other thing – the referee was excellent. That guy is the best ref in CONCACAF.

  90. Raghu says:

    Colin Marshall – well thought out post. Good points. My two cents:

    Ching – people need to lay off him. He is the American Emile Heskey. I thought he had an outstanding performance last night (and I’m not much of a fan of his). He wins balls, tracks back, gets fouls, plays thoughtful balls to the midfield. Really nice job for what he is.

    Beasley – What does this guy need to do to get some respect (I think I say this in every post). Sure, his first touch isn’t stellar, but he’s really dangerous in the attack, he takes a very good dead ball, he’s our speediest player and our BEST defender. You can’t ask for more from him. He’s a downright pest to opponents.

    Landycakes/Dempsey – They play with a level of class and flair that no other US player has. Kudos for both of them becoming 2 way players. They don’ get enough credit for this.

    Pearce – He’s def. NOT the answer. We need an upgrade.

    Heydude – Wow. He just doesn’t stop. GREAT, gutsy performance last night.

    Howard – Other than the yellow, us and Everton are lucky to have him.

    Gooch/Boca – I’ve thought the best thing going in the past, not a great performace last night.

    Bradley – Good all around performance. I still worry about him making that late dumb tackle – but he was a missile last night.

    Sasha – He’s underrated defensively as a midfielder, I’m curious about his game and his offensive upside.

    Bob Bradley – look, this team might not be the prettiest, but we seem to keep winning the games we’re supposed to win and we’re starting to win/tie some games we’re supposed to lose. He’s conservative, but I’m okay with that. I think the Confed Cup and Gold Cup are great opportunities to play different combo’s.

    Right now, if we win this group outright, we stand a chance for a much better draw in 2010. If we had Mexico’s draw in Germany, we’d have made the knockout round again.

    Bradley has us on pace for this right now. We need to improve, but hell – we’re winning.

  91. Angel says:

    Ching was ok but he look too slow we should have Altidore earlie at list on the 70min. and Sasha was ok also but look a little bit lost at a time should have Torres come in for him and play along with Bradley instead of Clark. B. Bradley have to be more aggrassive in his Change of players especially when they go play at the AZTECA.

  92. Yossarian says:

    I have to say that the Bradley haters are way off on this one. As a former Bradley skeptic, myself, I couldn’t be more impressed with that performance last night. It reminded me very much of Claudio in the 2002 World Cup match against Mexico. He was frigging everywhere. He almost singlehandedly dominated the midfield in a way I’ve rarely seen from an American, particularly against a Mexican team that normally controls the center of the field against us. Wow.

    The cracks of him giving the ball away in the middle third are ridiculous. His distribution was excellent and his percentage of completed passes must have been incredibly high. Ko’d must have been watching a newly shaven Klejstan, thinking it was MB. Klejstan looked awful, but I haven’t given up on him, yet. He desperately needs to go overseas to acclimate his game to a faster pace.

  93. Joeking says:

    Yo Proud: “What song wad that in the background.”

    I think that was the commercial that had “Over There” as the bg music. It seems that everyone of the same mind that this should become our theme chant/song. Like Liverpool/ Celtic’s Walk Alone.

  94. OwoodSC17 says:

    rageman – I agree that donovan needs to come back into attacking mid. He is more dangerous running at people than he is with his back to the goal.

    Bradley was man of the match last night. As people have said, his goals were nice but I was giving him MOTM regardless. You couldn’t ask for more from in any aspect. Sasha was out of his element last night. I was at the Sweden game and that was the first time he impressed me and last night brought him back to the level I previously had for him of being way overrated.

    Pearce cannot be our option at left back, we have to find someone to play there and whether we move Boca out there and have Califf or someone else play center, pearce is too much of a liability.

    Last comment, Frankie played a great match and if he continues to play at the level last night I think it is going to be hard to move him out of that starting spot. Wynne and Co. might have to wait another 4 years.

  95. Angel says:

    Bradley was given a lots of credit by a lots of the Mexican Media, from Univision to Futbal Picante, They praised him as the MVP of the game. Plus they talk about the Central Defense Ouchie and Bocanegra by saying that it was hard to try to get by them on the air cause of their height specially GOOCH, and of Course the best goal keeper in our conference Tim Howard. But for me I like the way Dempsey hold that ball his skill are getting better to bad we need to Attack more go foward Donovan, Beasley, Dempsey need to be more aggrassive espcially when Mexico was one less defender. No Mercy no Surrender. Ching Too SLOW you can tell in his face the frustration

  96. Kyle says:

    I definitley think the gap between technical abilities has closed, however I still thought we should’ve done a much better job holding the ball against a ten man team, we made it harder than we had to. I thought Bradley’s sub decisions were crap I thought the subs came in at least 10 minutes too late. Good result but in reality against a weakened Mexico team the US should have dominated even more, it’s early still though.

  97. Justice says:

    RE: Proud

    The song is called over there. It’s an old Army song I think. I remember seeing it in a movie about WWII.

  98. Paul says:

    Hejduk’s energy and toughness coninue to impress well into his 30s. Beasley was giving defenders fits all night. For my money, the most mysterious performance was that of Dempsey. I know is M.O. is cool fluidity, but he seemed curiously passive, hoping to draw fouls (on a night when the ref was letting some things go) instead of showing more aggression. For his part, Ching’s effectiveness may have been hampered by the tricky winds, which made it hard to use him as a target man for balls floated over the top.

  99. J. Turks says:

    Klejstan had a case of nerves. His touch was terrible. He had several momentum crushing offensive third giveaways that were a pass or two away from a goal-scoring opportunity. I know if coach bob left him in the game to try and shake it off, but Sasha didn’t. I expect better from him in the future.

    Bradley was tremenduos. He looked like the player I read about but rarely saw in a U.S. uniform. LD was slightly below his high standards but rarely got the ball in a dangerous position. Maybe we should give Mexico credit for that. Can’t decide on Ching, the Heskey comparison is valid, who is our Owen? Also, Liverpool and England underperformed with that duo for most of their run, though there were some memorable highpoints. Altidore needs more time, we need him to make a run in the WC.

    I also think Freddy needs to be out there too. LD, Beasley, Bradley, Dempsey, Altidore, Adu, Gooch, Howard, has to be our core. Play them together for ’10… now.

    Interesting comparison of the U.S.-Mexico game to the other rivalry game of the night UNC-Dook here:

    link to

    I thought Beasley was good, and on first viewing I thought Dempsey got lost, but he had his moments.

  100. jmac says:

    Anyone else a bit worried about Brad Guzan starting in El Salvador?? Any chance BB would pick up the phone, call Mr. Friedel, and offer to parachute him in for the match? Does Aston Villa have a match near the El Salvador fixture?

    I think people are hating on Peirce too much. He is much more consistent on the defensive end than Bornsetein, who is really a converted midfielder. We can’t play Boca at LB because in our current format our two wide midfielders (Beasley and Dempsey) pinch in too much and our fullbacks help provide width in the midfield by getting down the pitch. Boca isn’t fast enough to do that.

  101. A.S. says:

    “We can’t play Boca at LB because in our current format our two wide midfielders (Beasley and Dempsey) pinch in too much and our fullbacks help provide width in the midfield by getting down the pitch. Boca isn’t fast enough to do that.”

    I think there is something to this. However, while Pearce can get up and down the field pretty well, he isn’t very good at doing anything with the ball when he gets into the attacking third. His crosses were really bad.

    I also worry about his lack of quickness indefending against wingers. Dos Santos ran right by him a couple of times. Unfortuantely for Mex, DS wasn’t much good at doing anything, but still. It worries me.

  102. B lueWhiteLion says:

    One important feature noone has commented on yet: after the game was over, one Mexican player made his way from the corner of the field out to the US players celebrating in the middle, and shook several hands. Did anyone see that? I couldn’t catch who is was, but it was pure class–something woefully lacking of the El Tri for some years now. Had to read this blog about the asst. coach slap. And someone reports he is to take over from Sven? Geesh.

    I agree with Colin: Donovan had a very good game. I was very impressed with his vision and quick one touches. His passing seems to have improved immensely with Bayern’s influence. (not that it was ever bad)

    The Outlaw/Sam’s Army section I was in was absolutely the best soccer experience I have been in. I will definitely ONLY experience live games with them in the future. I am not into the cussing part, but it was unbelievably fun, and a lot of volunteers worked extremely hard to provide confetti, banners, flags, drum beats, flares, etc. Thanks, guys!

    Parking was atrocious.

    I was screaming at the ref for calling “advantage” at the end of the game after Jozy (?) was taken down from behind. I kept screaming about how it was no advantage and we need a foul, a card, and a free kick. And then Bradley scored, lol! I’ll take that!

    The US dominated most of the play but seemed to lose intensity after Mexico went down a man–and El Tri actually picked it up. We were lucky not to be scored on.

    We need to do better at through balls in the final third, and running off the ball. But our one touches and play in the middle are doing better. I agree with several however: we still serve too many stinky passes that either go way wide or have half the pace they need and never reach their target. Did the field conditions contribute to that?

  103. Andy says:


    The kid in the red Chicago Fire shirt pumping his fist and screaming in the upper left corner of that pic is my brother! Hahahahaha!

  104. mouthful says:

    Tom “As we head into WC ’10 I hope we wean ourselves off the dependence of this goon.”

    Are you stuck in 2006 Tom? Gooch is no goon. His game has matured, he’s lead his club to great results, and he’s our most accomplished CB. Oh, my bad, you’re right Beckenbauer would be better.

    Franklin “Ching is just in everyone else’s way on the team when he’s out there.”

    Take it easy on Ching. He’s not going to play like Messi, but that’s not his job. He plays his role well — get in good positions, control long entries, hold off defenders, wait for MFs to move forward, make good passes, mix it up in the box on crosses and set pieces. Until we have someone that is better, I am happy to see Ching do his job well like the last 2 games.

    JoeW “the reality these days is that Donovan (who is a SUB in the Bundesliga, not even a regular starter) is our best forward.”

    Joe, I agree with your take on Ching pretty much, but what are you trying to say here re: Donovan? He’s not just a sub in the Bundesliga, he’s a sub for B.Munich behind Toni, Klose, Ribery etc. How many NTs have a fwd who WOULDN’T be a sub on that team?

    kpugs “The entire Mexican team is a bunch of scumbags.”

    Sweeping generalizations are always fun.

    A.S. “We also need a new left back.”

    Who do you suggest? We all love the idea of Spector, so maybe he can shore up that spot when he’s ready. I’m still ok with Pearce for now, but I wonder if Bob would go all Arena on us and put Frankie at LB and Dolo at RB if Spector doesn’t work out.

    OwoodSC17: “Frankie played a great match and if he continues to play at the level last night I think it is going to be hard to move him out of that starting spot.”

    FH was great, but he starting spot belongs to Dolo. No question.

    timmy “mexico had a lot of the run of play”

    Huh? If by ‘a lot’ you mean ‘not very much,’ then I agree. Otherwise, whaaa?

  105. Nicole says:

    Donovan did not have his explosive speed we’re used to seeing – 15 hours of travel over 6 time zones will do that to you – but his MENTAL game was top-notch. And since his mental game has been his weakness…I thought he was superb. His one touch passing what great – though his teammates at times weren’t where he thought they’d be. He was in every scoring opportunity we had and he managed the game very well – very professional job by Donovan. He made us win that game.

    Bradley was MOTM. I’m very, very happy for him. He didn’t tire at the end of the game and get his usual yellow or red card with a late slide tackle from behind. Simply superb.

  106. Steve says:

    BlueWhiteLion – That was Omar Bravo who stuck around to shake hands. I thought it was A) very classy to do it on his own and B) hysterical because you could tell teh US players were all shocked he was out there doing it.

    As for the comment on the next generation fo US forwards? Who is this generation of which you speak and where are you hiding them?

  107. TCompton says:

    What’s with US fans throwing bottles at the Mexican players when they taking corner kicks or throw-ins near the corner.

    I get the whole rivalry and excitement around the game, but that’s just plain stupid. I wonder what those fans would do if they actually hit the player and injured him.


  108. Ko'd says:


    Sweeping generalizations are only problematic when they are not true…I try not to paint with too broad a brush, but I am pretty sure that they are all scumbags.

    My favorite part of every game is watching Oswaldo Sanchez pick the ball out of the net. I am not sure whether I would get more joy out of the U.S. qualifying or Mexico failing to qualify. Maybe the latter…

  109. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Steve–thanks for the Omar thing.

    Nicole–you succinctly expanded my sense about Donovan last night. His mental game is very good, but either the 1) understanding, or 2) soccer sense of many of his teammates is not on that level. He did seem to develop some understanding with Dempsey and Beas at times. I think/hope that will only improve.

    Did anyone notice how much of a beast (and slightly dirty) #2 for Mexico was?

    I haven’t been a Ching supporter, but the last two games, I have seen his worth, for now. His body positioning (with defenders on his back) and flick ons were pretty good.

    US defense: I STILL see guy marking/watching the ball rather than their man, one in particular was Boca. Not hating on him, but marking your man is a fundamental defensive activity. You watch the ball only and you lose your man. He did. But we got lucky.

  110. Clye McPhat says:

    I still think Coach Bradley got away with murder last night. His late use of subs in a 11 v 10 match was uncalled for, and allowed the Mexicans to stay in the match. Fresh legs were needed from around 72 mins on, and how he needed Ching Cahng walla walla out of there earlier was evident in what the Green guys did to Jozy the first two times he had the ball…hack city. Anyway, US got away with a penalty too, in the build up to the red card. A defender at the far post (can’t rememebr who) dragged the Mexican attacker down by his shoulder and that’s why he was ont he ground and out of it by the end of that play.

  111. Jacob A. says:

    I was wondering why the Altidore/Ching sub didn’t come earlier, along with everyone else.

    The “Over There” song is from WWI, and I’m for singing it in Nashville.

  112. Jared Montz says:

    Not sure if anyone said this yet or not but that action pic of Bradley on your piece, link to, looks like Beckham in a U.S. jersey with Nike cleats on (with a shaved head look of course)
    Anyone else agree?

  113. Christian says:


    While I agree that Marquez deserved the red, the reason the Mexicans were complaining was because Heath Pearce pulled dos Santos down in the box right before the red card incident.

    Funny how you choose to ignore the fact that Howard and Marquez shook hands before he walked off the field and there were no yellow cards handed out all game and no hateful challenges.

    After the game, players shook hands and saluted each other. Paco Ramirez should get fired for his behavior against Hejduk.

    Some of you guys just always need something to bitch about.

  114. aristotle says:


    Thanks for the correction. Obviously that was just a slip of the tongue. Everyone knows Sven is Swedish. I think I was just thinking of his recent experiences in England in the back of my mind when I made that mistake. (Manchester City, England.)
    As you said though, same principle applies.

  115. Isaac says:

    I was actually not totally surprised when Bradley scored that one from distance. We all saw that volley he had not too long ago and he actually hit a few from distance back in the Eredivisie. He’s turning into an American version of Steven Gerrard with hits like that. I’m not saying exactly im just saying there are similarities.

  116. BlueWhiteLion says:

    No, Isaac, I am sorry, you meant he is EXACTLY like Gerrard, and i for one, will hold you to that.


  117. patrick marshall says:

    Hejduk played his heart out as he always does, I am always ok with him in the lineup! Howard was outstanding aside from one scary clearance. Onyewu has some good qualities but still scares me at times with his decision making on the ball. Pearce has never impressed me, to tentative and slow on the ball, fairly predictable. Beasley=dangerous he puts teams on their heels. Donovan “ditto” but only better. Dempsey should always be in the lineup imho. Bradley played great, he is winning me over! Ching did his job, as usual. Sasha K – (only OK last night) has good qualities, not sure he is there quite yet. Altidore needs to gain more experience ,has all the tools to be great. My biggest question, why does Pearce get so many call-ups?? What has he done to deserve them?

    The team is lacking 1. left back 2. a really creative central midfielder 3. a really prolific goal scorer up top

    I think we may have 1. already (somewhere)— not far from developing 3. —–but 2. is nowhere on the horizon.

    Still yet, we have a very good team that can compete with and occassionally tie/beat the top teams in the world.

  118. Scott A says:

    Jared Montz, I totally agree but I saw it in a different picture
    Go to link to
    It’s the 8th picture. Very similar