Thursday, February 12, 2009

USA USA USA Beats Mexico in Unspectacular Fashion

The US, last night, won an "important" game against Mexico in the World Cup qualifying series. Let's be clear--this game was important to win, simply because the US doesn't want to go into their horrific road games with a loss on home soil.  However, even given the frequently brutal conditions the team is subjected to on the road, they could probably lose to Mexico and still finish in the Top 3 and thus qualify for the World Cup.  

But it is important to beat Mexico, because we hate Mexico when it comes to soccer.  And win the US did.  But they trotted out an overly defensive lineup for a home game in Columbus--4-2-3-1? Really?  Both goals from the US came from horrible, horrible defensive miscues from Mexico.  They left Landon Donovan uncovered on the back post on a SET PIECE, which led to the first goal (though it took two tries to score from point blank) and the second goal was nothing but a late game miscue from Messican goalkeeper Oswaldo.  No way that second goal should have made it into the net.  And the US has our twitchy netminder to thank for keeping a clean sheet.  Howard was hung out to dry a couple of times--point blank, at least once, and the Mexicans did their part by firing some shots right at him.  

In short--this game, while it will go down in the books as a 2-nil victory, and may be the reason the US finishes in the Top 2, is not one to build a lot of confidence on.  That said, let's see what our fellow bloggers said about the game:

The Beautiful Game:   It was good to see a little life out of DMB [Demarcus Beasley], but Dempsey was definitely underwhelming...Man, I really wish this team had a finisher. THE guy. Maybe by South Africa 2010 that will be Jozy.

That's On Point:  Bradley will get a lot of the platitudes Thursday and going forward, but Wednesday's win had Donovan's stamp all over it -- even without the balding one adding to his U.S.-record total. He set up the second goal by Bradley in the 92nd minute, taking a ball from Jozy Altidore at midfield (via a good advantage call) and cut inside at the edge of the area to find the coach's son unmarked. And yes, Dirty Sanchez probably should have saved it, but nobody feels bad for him, right?

Sanford:  Mexico played like a Sven-Goren Eriksson team- mostly well organized, cautious on the break, wasteful in midfield and poor in front of goal. Rafa Marquez, supposedly Mexico's best player, came up small again with another untimely red card for a cheap foul and longtime Mexico keeper Oswaldo Sanchez looked past it, leaking a goal under his armpit in second half stoppage time that any second rate keeper would have smothered.


Muumuuman said...

an ugly victory by the US soccer team? No way!

Have they shored up the backline yet?

Big Blue Monkey 2: The Quickening said...

I should have mentioned the probable importance of Neri Castillo (Mexico's best creator on the ball) going down with an injury early in the first half.

That guy scared me more than anyone else on that squad. Him gone was a huge relief (or, at least, should have been--when you get your second goal in the 88th minute, the sweating has been going on for awhile.)

Muumuuman--the back line is shored up, if you mean by that, "we know what we are"--come 2010, it be (barring injury) Bocanegra and The Gooch in the middle; Cherundulo on the right). The left is still a question--Heath Pearce is the frontrunner, but it could be Jonathan Bornstein or even Marvell Wynne.