February 11, 2004

US out of Olympics.: US men's soccer team lost 4-0 to Mexico, and joined the US men's baseball team as another no-show at the 2004 Olympics. Well, at least they can focus on World Cup preparations now.

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 12:11 AM - 18 comments

We have a soccer team? What a poor showing.

posted by jasonspaceman at 04:29 AM on February 11, 2004

Remind me again: Why does FIFA restrict the Olympics to 23 and under teams? And only on the men's teams, for that matter. Are they just protecting their turf, making sure the World Cup is the preeminent tournament?

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:26 AM on February 11, 2004

justin: yes.

posted by tieguy at 07:17 AM on February 11, 2004

Why doesn't America put together a Dream Team?!? We'll put together all our homegrown talent and stomp ... those ... Oh. Yeah. Nevermind.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:09 AM on February 11, 2004

Freddy Adu shoulda been on that team.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:48 AM on February 11, 2004

Anyone know if Canada qualified?

posted by garfield at 10:39 AM on February 11, 2004

The two qualifiers from Concacaf were Mexico and Costa Rica. Add the US to those two, and I think we are looking at our World Cup qualifiers from the region (Honduras may sneak in on the half spot). I think this just goes to show that while we have a lot of young talent on the attack (total number of goals in the tournament), the youngsters can't defend very well. Keep in mind, this team didn't have our best defenders on it either (Cory Gibbs, Carlos Bocanegra, Eddie Pope, and even John O-Brien if push comes to shove),--most of whom are pretty young as well, but just a little old to play on this team. I'm still optimistic about how the US will show in 2006.

posted by trox at 11:12 AM on February 11, 2004

trox, add Jeff Agoos to that list of older defenders. Plus, I think Canada has a better chance to qualify for 2006 now that they have Frank Yallop as headman plus a few decent players in Europe and the US (including goalkeeper Pat Onstad). But I have to say that not having this match on any channel last night really sux0red! Where were Landon and Convey all night? And, of course, Tim Howard would have to be like one year too old for this competition!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:29 AM on February 11, 2004

Its not strictly under-23, though - you can still take 2 (or maybe 3) older players, if I remember right.

posted by dng at 11:45 AM on February 11, 2004

garfield: I believe that Canada lost to the US 2-0 a while back, and was thusly eliminated.

posted by mkn at 01:14 PM on February 11, 2004

Bah! Humbug!

posted by garfield at 02:31 PM on February 11, 2004

wow The trouble was evident from the start. The American national anthem was first booed, then whistled and then drowned out by chants of "Mex-i-co!, Mex-i-co!" In the 26th minute, the throng began chanting "Osama! Osama!" at the Americans.

posted by emoeby at 02:37 PM on February 11, 2004

The USA beat Mexico 3-1 in a U-23 friendly last summer in the stadium. The big difference? The US was missing 6 different players, 3 to injury (Buddle, the starting striker, Martino, starting central midfielder, and Whitbread, the starting defender) and 3 because their European teams wouldn't release them (Casey, a sometimes starting striker, Oguchi and Yi, both starting defenders). All of them played last year in the win. Between that and Buricaga out suspended, the US were fielding all 2nd choice fullbacks, missing a key distributor, and a couple more skilled strikers. (Donovan could've potentially been moved to midfield at times where he could involve himself more) American sports fans who are casual followers don't realize that playing in Mexico, be it in Guadelajara or Mexico City, are tougher places to play the home team than anywhere in North America, and easily more than anywhere in Europe. (yes, even Turkey) Of course there's large fervent crowds there. (60,000 yesterday, but 100,000 in the usual Mexico City venue of Azteca Stadium) There's the very high altitude and severe air pollution of Mexico City. But many don't know that the heaps of abuse and refuse that befall our players. I'm not talking just about the occasional Bronx battery throw or Oakland cell phone lob, there's SPIT, SHIT , and BAGS OF URINE thrown at the US players and staff. Perfectly normal and perfectly healthy for CONCACAF. The Mexican footballing authorities have never been called in to reign this is in. (The USA only counters this by holding our games against them in cold weather sites) Before this, the US has beaten Mexico 5 of the last 7 times including the 2002 World Cup final knockout stages. The resulting story coming out of this is that Mexican coach Lavolpe's youngsters are starting to come around to his new program that involves more athletic and speedier players, which tells you that some of these guys will be called in for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. If they would've lost this game Lavolpe would've lost his job.

posted by GoDizzGo at 05:38 PM on February 11, 2004

cold weather sites You got me thinking. What if Canadians had all their home qualifiers in Winnipeg or Edmonton? In January? If it was a bad day (let's say -35, snow, a strong wind) all we'd have to do is take the field. The (to pick an example out of nowhere) Hondurans wouldn't leave their dressing room. It's known as Winterpeg for a reason, right? Why not play to our strengths? There's probably a rule about inclement conditions. Rain on my parade, damn FIFA...

posted by alex_reno at 02:12 AM on February 12, 2004

There's federation and FIFA rules regarding playable pitches. If the field is frozen solid, it's not playable. (Artificial turf still isn't sanctioned to the best of my knowledge) I haven't heard of any stadiums in Canada that have some kind of design that warms the field like they do in Lambeau Field or a number of other stadiums in the US.

posted by GoDizzGo at 08:40 AM on February 12, 2004

This quote from the US goalkeeper: "Since Mexico won convincingly, every fan walked out cheering," U.S. goalkeeper D.J. Countess said. "I've been hit with bags of urine, limes and batteries. There even was a dead chicken thrown on the field next to me in El Salvador, but since Mexico got the result they wanted, there wasn't much of that. I'm sure if we would have won the game, there would have been a lot of stuff thrown at us and a lot of chants." In the teams' meeting here last May, the crowd pelted the U.S. players with beer bottles, batteries and racial epithets, causing the U.S. Soccer Federation to send an official letter of complaint to the Mexican federation. from McPaper

posted by GoDizzGo at 08:52 AM on February 12, 2004

I was at a Uruguay/Mexico game at Soldiers Field last year and all I got hit with was cups of beer and pop. Thank god it was only a friendly.

posted by emoeby at 09:47 AM on February 12, 2004

emoeby, you think it was beer but can you be sure?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:58 PM on February 12, 2004

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