Olympic Soccer: Men’s Semifinals (Your Running Commentary)

Mexico (Reuters Pictures)

After an exhilarating Monday of Olympic soccer on the women's side, the men take center stage with four teams vying for a chance to play for the gold medal. 

On the heels of winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup and finishing third in the U-20 World Cup last year, Mexico continues it quest to add an Olympic gold medal to its trophy case. To do so, El Tri will have to get by a stout Japan side that has yet to concede a goal in the tournament and coasted by Egypt to reach the semifinals at Wembley Stadium.

In the day's second semifinal, gold medal favorite Brazil faces a South Korea side that eliminated host Team Great Britain and will look to spring the biggest surprise of the knockout stage by taking down Neymar & Co. at Old Trafford.

Here is the viewing schedule for the day's matches:

12 p.m. – NBC Sports Network/Telemundo/NBCOlympics.com – Mexico vs. Japan

2:45 p.m. - NBC Sports Network/Telemundo/NBCOlympics.com – Brazil vs. South Korea

If you will be watching today's Olympic semifinal matches, please feel free to share any thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below. Enjoy the action.

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55 Responses to Olympic Soccer: Men’s Semifinals (Your Running Commentary)

  1. YO says:

    Lets go Japan!

  2. shane says:

    If Mexico behaves themselves I will actually be rooting for them. Go CONCACAF

  3. Rowsdower says:

    Japan up 1-0.. great strike.

  4. Shounen Bat says:

    It makes me kind of sad to see how far Japanese soccer has progressed in the last ten years (when compared to the U.S.). I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Japan, not the U.S., making a quarterfinal run this next world cup…

  5. Rowsdower says:

    1-1 Mexico scores of a corner

  6. peter says:

    Take a bow, Shep Messing, you are the worst.

  7. LoS... says:


  8. chris says:

    Thats what happens when you focus on grass root player development and have a domestic league that prioritizes developing young talent, domestic and foreign, instead of bringing in has beens. Also helps that the J-league actually sells their promising talent because they realize that the players deserve to be playing at a higher level and that the sales help the league more in the long run

  9. Brett says:

    Why aren’t other nations allowed to do well without it being a blight on American sport? Japan is getting better. The USA is getting better. But neither has won a major tournament yet. People are down on US Soccer because we lost the Gold Cup and failed to qualify for the Olympics while enduring a changeover in management. We are still in the same place as Mexico and Japan, capable of getting out of the group but playing up to better talent in the upper tiers.

  10. Brett says:

    Hoping for Japan/South Korea final. No hype and hooplah, just two nations looking to make history and advance the game in their respective countries. Mexico has shown well, but I don’t want them getting any more confidence.

  11. Mig22 says:

    yup. and yup.

  12. LoS... says:

    Haha. Hating! Go Mexico! ; )

  13. Eric says:

    Did anyone else just see the video of the Canadian Tancredi stepping on Carly Loyd’s head? And that was in the 54th minute.

  14. LoS... says:

    Whaaa! Two Saints out at half. Must be an injury.

  15. Brett says:

    Hey, it’s good old-fashioned rivalry. If they win I’ll give them all the credit in the world. No hate.

    I honestly respected Mexico until they started flying karate kicking us. 😉

  16. Brett says:

    Talking about real football in this thread.

  17. Shounen Bat says:

    Of course they’re allowed to do well, and I’m happy for Japan as I lived there a couple of years. That doesn’t change the fact that 10 years ago, during the ’02 world cup, I could unequivocally say that the U.S. was better than Japan. Now, it is not so clear, and if I had to make a choice between the two, I would say Japan. I think it’s kind of hard to argue otherwise considering all the young talent they’ve had go to Bundesliga/Eredivisie in the past couple of years, players going to big-name clubs (Kagawa, Nagatomo, Usami), and the great showing their U-23’s are making here at the olympics.

  18. Shark says:

    Yes I did and it is interesting in all of the hoopla how its been overlooked and how she has been one of the biggest whinners…should have been a straight red and a minimum 3-5 game ban…

    A few of us were just talking about that this AM and are baffled as to why this has gone unnoticed…would have changed the game compeltely had she been sent off…

  19. Shark says:

    Sexism at its finest…hopes Ives bans you….its what you deserve…

  20. Vic says:

    Normally I would root for a concacaaf team but Mexico has been to arrogant recently so I’m rooting for Japan.

  21. Brett says:

    I hope he removes your horribly off-topic post before then.

  22. Shounen Bat says:

    Mexico’s face-grabbing embellishments are disgraceful. I shouldn’t be surprised, but it’s annoying seeing this new generation do all this simulation bull, perhaps even more egregiously than they have in the past. Scary. And bad for my blood pressure.

  23. YO says:

    Time to fall down and fake injuries even more mow.

  24. chris says:

    Marco Fabian is an overrated p*ssy

  25. pete says:

    As an announcer. I may be a bit harsh. Ray Hudson is actually the worst.

  26. YO says:

    My problem is that if they win, a medal is already in the bag.

  27. Mig22 says:

    How is it that I can like and respect Mexico and Mexicans, their culture, history, etc. and so utterly root against their soccer team? Wow.

  28. Dimidri says:

    I’m tired of this notion that having David Beckham play in MLS means we don’t care about player development. That’s overly reductionist and quite simply things aren’t that finite. There is plenty of investment at the youth level, and most of the biggest problems (few high quality youth set ups in urban areas that have historically produced the best players regardless of sport, a largely for profit youth club system even with the introduction of MLS academies, a college system that is almost always in the best interest of each individual even if it isn’t for ‘development of soccer’ and thus won’t be going away any time soon, the most saturated youth sports set up in the world with a near-infinite amount of other more popular sports for kids to be drawn to play, etc.) have little to do with older DP’s ‘stealing’ dollars, and if anything, are actually helped by these ambassadors of the sport.

    There are cultural, sporting, and historical differences that better explain why Japan (who as recently as 2010 did exactly the same as the US at the World Cup) is better in your eyes and has little to do with a lack of ‘grass root player development’ effort on the part of the US.

  29. fortunate only says:

    It’s called hate and having blinders on.

    I’ve seen plenty of my boys wearing the US jersey do the same.

    It’s gamesmanship.

  30. 917press says:


  31. SurfGuyI says:

    Always rooting for CONCACAF! In any tourney! Mexico rocks!

  32. Soccer_Garcon80 says:

    Historic moment for concacaf soccer. And Mexico got there first. We better get back on the motorcycle cuz we are getting left in the dust.

  33. JG says:

    This is a huge moment for CONCACAF and the majority of these comments are negative. Wake up people! Regardless of who you cheer for in the region, Mexico is representing the confederation and will be giving ALL our teams a boost.


  34. jlm says:

    think you touched on the key there d. the competition that soccer faces from other sports in the US means that it has to be a different process here. If Japan determines that it wants to devote a ton of resources to developing young soccer players, what obstacles are going to stand in the way? there are going to be many more obstacles in the US. Overcoming those obstacles is one of the reasons MLS needs to employ “has-beens.” Overcoming those obstacles also means that we are going to have to do a lot of other things differently than how other countries would do it.

  35. Shounen Bat says:

    Of course I’m biased. But there were three times in this game (twice by Fabian) where a Japanese player nudged/bumped into a Mexican player in the shoulder or chest, and the Mexican player grabbed his face. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I watched a USMNT game where they did that.

  36. Eric says:

    I’m sorry I didn’t know there was anything wrong with watching Alex Morgan run around for two hours. And since this is you’re only contribution to this thread I assume you wouldn’t know what real football is.

  37. fortunate only says:

    That’s because there is permeating notion that American players don’t dive or embellish, and that is absolutely false.

    Davies, Altidore, Donovan, Jones, Dempsey and even Gooch are notorious for this.

    Heck, in the Gold Cup final, Dempsey petulantly kicked the Mexican GK Talavera after he beat him to a ball in a corner kick.

  38. Joe+G says:

    I only remember Shep Messing from the smokeless tobacco commercials he used to do.

  39. AJ says:

    All of a sudden, representing the CONCACAF in a tournament is no joke. Don’t hate Mexico, they’re giving the conference a good name. How many CONCACAF teams gave Mexico a better fight than the teams at the Olympics? That’s a sign of strength folks!

  40. YO says:

    I think we need to give Poter a second chance.

  41. Stephen says:

    Have not in the past and will not in the future ever support Mexico MNT at any level and I fully expect the vast majority of Mexicans to continue feeling the same about the USMNT.

  42. YO says:

    I meant Porter!

  43. YO says:

    I am with you!

  44. Stephen says:

    Could be the vomit and urine thrown at USMNT players in the past? Or the violence from their fans I have witnessed first hand at every single USA/Mexico clash I’ve ever attended (for either club or country competitions)?

  45. Mig22 says:

    Well, I agree that some of their fans behave badly. But I’ve watched a lot of games with Mexican nationals too and have had a great time. But yeah, some of it is what you said.

  46. chris says:

    hahahaha you complain about the pay to play system yet you discount free highschool and college soccer? Every sport in the US is pay to play buddy. You do realize Japan has highschool and college as well right? Keisuke Honda played in highschool and so did Shinji Kagawa. There have been plenty of talented players that have played college,including foreign talent that have gone on to have great careers, the problem is earlier in a players development but thats too hard to comprehend so un-informed people like yourself decide to gloss over the positives of these two systems while the Japanese federation realizes that its takes a combination of all three(pro,college,highscool) to improve and they have surpassed us. The only investment that is being made into youth development is forcing players into one non proven system that works in europe so it has to work here but ever since this these so called improvements have been made our youth teams have continued to under perform. Just take a look at FC Dallas the crown jewell of MLS academies. Non of their home grown players have made any impact at all and now we see thier players realizing getting minutes in college is better then rotting on the bench in a league inept at bridgeing the gap between youth teams and pros.

  47. Eric120 says:

    Great moment for Mexico and for CONCACAF.

    Congratulations, Mexico! Well done.

  48. NodaNob says:

    What are you talking about JG…. Mexico does not represent me! USMT does and what should have been our olympic team… this sucks! And this is also oen major reason why soccer is made fun of. Only girls do well in it so it’s considered a girly sport! it’s not! We need to erase mexico off the map and have a real US team representing us at every major event!

  49. Manrique says:

    It is called envy..!

  50. Mig22 says:

    lol. no es verdad, amigo. :)

  51. LoS... says:

    Yuuup! Go Mexico!

  52. steve-0 says:

    The way I see it is I support any Concacaf teams vs. other confederations. But when it comes to Mexico vs. USA, I want us to win so bad it makes them cry :-)

  53. Stephen says:

    Respectfully disagree steve-0… There is not one team on this planet that I would not root for if playing Mexico, unless there is some reason a Mexico win would benefit the USMNT in a tournament.

  54. Dimidri says:

    Pay to play and the suburban focus push out huge percentages of players who would otherwise be good. College, while free, as noted almost anywhere else on this site, prevents the best development during the key years with a short season, not the best coaching, and poor competition and a focus on purely winning. That’s bad.

    Nice job keeping it classy, pretty sure you’re the one who is grossly uninformed. Pray tell, what is it that Japan does ‘earlier in players career’ that the US doesn’t? Oh, and most US sports aren’t pay to play-football and basketball historically haven’t (even if that trend is changing). You seem to defend the college system at the expense of the European academy system, fair enough, what was lacking in USSF investment with regards to high school and college soccer? USSF has no power over the NCAA, if you really think they could affect change you’re just plain dumb.

    Besides talking in generalities, do tell, what is it that Japan does that the US doesn’t? And if it is the academy system you admonish, then what is Japan doing that the US wasn’t doing pre-2007?

    Oh and the Kagawa example? That proves my point. He went pro at the age of 17, something that is just not socially acceptable for most of the suburban players who currently make up teh bulk of American soccer.

  55. Tyler says:

    Jesus this freaking awful.

    That’s two BLATANT penalties not given to South Korea. They are getting hosed.