June 24, 2007

USA 2-1 Mexico: FSC's Christopher Sullivan said before the game that while El Tri generally outplay Uncle Sam, the Americans find the chances and win and that was certainly what happened this afternoon. Donovan got his fourth goal of the tournament, all PKs, emerging star Bennie Feilhaber had the best goal of the competition with a volley to the top far corner off a poor Mexican clearance for the winner and the US improved to 10-0-1 under Bob Bradley. Next: Bradley takes an extremely young team to Venezuela since even the strongest side he could have fielded were unlikely to make it out of the group stage.

posted by billsaysthis to soccer at 05:59 PM - 33 comments

I'm curious as to how the Canadians would have done against Mexico. It could just as easily have been Canada instead of U.S.A in the final, except for extremely questionable officiating in their semi final match.

posted by tommybiden at 07:33 PM on June 24, 2007

tommy that's a good and fair question since Onyewu definitely played them onsides. I'm sticking with the hoary cliche that bad calls seem to wash out over time.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:07 PM on June 24, 2007

Tommy is correct. I want US Soccer to succeed, but winning that way is awful. There were 3 or 4 critical calls that seemed to go to the US, especially the "offisde" call. He was ON when played originally, ON still after Onyewu played it. Never offside and should have been a goal. Our Friends up north have a reason to complain. It should have been the Canadians beating Mexico.

posted by urall cloolis at 10:48 PM on June 24, 2007

Hey, it's not like the referee who blew the call on that play was American, he was Mexican, and we had some pretty bad calls against us earlier in the tournament. But even so, do you really think the Maple Leafs would have had a screaming chance against the Mexicans?

posted by billsaysthis at 10:57 PM on June 24, 2007

ummm.....did I say the Ref was American? Was the officiating so bad against the US that the US got 4 PKs FOR? And YES, I think the Canadians were playing as well as anyone else, especially late against the US. That usually carries over to the next round...IF they were to win in OT or PKs. I never said the US wouldn't win, just that the Canada fans have a right to complain about the result- everyone else does it!

posted by urall cloolis at 11:11 PM on June 24, 2007

Lets not forget the finer parts of the sidline entertainment here gentlemen! I use that term loosely.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:01 AM on June 25, 2007

It's either a cold day in Mexico... or plastic.

posted by igottheblues at 02:52 AM on June 25, 2007

I don't think the Canadians deserved to win. They only deserved to knot the game up and send it to over time. The US stood a good chance of advancing anyway even with 10 men.

posted by Ricardo at 09:09 AM on June 25, 2007

US soccer is a joke! Canada should have been in the final. The refs made sure that it wasn't. Anyone that has played the game knows that sometimes one or two calls will have a definate outcome on the game. Most of the time you only have one or two good chances to beat a team. When you don't get the calls for your team, it takes some of the momentum out of it. And is it just me or is everyone else tired of watching USA and Mexico? That hasn't been anything thrilling to watch since the early 90's when it was new and Mexico actually had a decent team. USA never plays anyone tough or skilled. They always seem to play these third world countries in their brackets for any kind of tournaments. Unless it's the World Cup, then the USA falls apart and gets beat up by the skill and world class play of the real national teams. Canada was short changed because they are relative newcomers to this scene. These things seem to be fixed for the favorites. Afterall, they wouldn't sellout a US stadium to see Mexico and Canada.

posted by koolhandvuk at 09:21 AM on June 25, 2007

I'm a USA-firster but yeah, Canada should have been in the finals.

posted by awrigh01 at 09:35 AM on June 25, 2007

Why are the USA and Mexico invited to play in Copa America? I thought it was a CONMEBOL tournament. And their group is Argentina (FIFA #5), Paraguay (FIFA #37), and Colombia (FIFA #31). The US is currently FIFA #16, and I know there are lots of problems with the FIFA rankings, but I would expect them to be competitive in that group, even with the all the games in unfriendly stadiums. Maybe there's just not much to play for, in that the US has their berth in the Confederations Cup. And maybe it's too early to be thinking about seeding for WC2010. And maybe we need to find out what the kids can do.

posted by mbd1 at 11:11 AM on June 25, 2007

koolhandvuk: Not sure which channel you watched the game on, but the crowd was there more for the Mexicans than the Americans. This was more obvious in the semi-finals since the stadium was sold out but huge portions of the crowd didn't bother to arrive until well into the USA-Canada game, as Mexico-Honduras was the second to be played. Also, if the US shies away from tough or skilled teams, why did they accept the invitation to Copa America? I'm not saying they get a win or even a draw in the three group stage games, especially with the new faces team Bradley selected, but they are going. mbd1: There are only ten national sides in CONMEBOL so two guests make for a better number, more games, more TV money and such, plus its a good warmup for 2010 qualifying to have different teams in the mix. This isn't the first time USA or Mexico have been invited.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:06 PM on June 25, 2007

Billsaysthis: thanks for the reply to my comment. I agree with you on the mexican crowd. They are die hard fans. Most of them would love to see their national team beat the US team. I watched some of the final. But I have to tell you that it is painful to watch. It's a little better to watch than the MLS though. But that's another blog, so we won't go there. As far as the Copa tournament goes, we'll see what happens. As you probably already know, it's not being taken seriously by some of the teams. Brazil has had big names drop out because they want the rest and need to take a break. I still think that the US won't go far at all. They don't have the skill to compete. Most of the players are young and in shape and that's all they have going for them. And that's it. And hopefully this time the refs won't allow players on the US team like Onyewu to take cheap shots at better players with his elbow flying antics to get the edge. Once players like that are disciplined by the ref, they are quickly brought down to play on skill alone and that's when they'll get in trouble. Donovan is the only decent player on the team. Beasley has speed and that's it. No skill and no strength. Reminds me of Coby in his prime. Once a defender cuts him off or send him toward the corner, he's done. Players like that who play in the MLS and get caught up with the hype that they are on the national team and they are great players then try and go overseas only to find out that they are mediocre players at best and don't get to play much or don't accomplish much. Then they run back to the MLS. Goalkeeping is another thing. They tend to do well. Maybe because they don't rely on their feet in a sport which is about feet.

posted by koolhandvuk at 12:38 PM on June 25, 2007

I think the really important aspect of this whole controversy has been largely overlooked. I would like to draw attention to pictures #1 and #18 of jojo's link. Although I still don't know much about futbol, I am now a fan. Oh yeah, go USA!

posted by THX-1138 at 12:45 PM on June 25, 2007

I'm not sure why the U.S. is getting ripped on so hard in this thread. I wasn't even cheering for them, but over the course of the tournament, they were easily the strongest team (I felt Panama was also up there, but they shot themselves in the foot by red-carding too often and had luck go against them in several shots that should have gone in, but didn't quite make it so). Canada did not outplay the Americans in the semi-finals game, but rather mounted a very strong charge when the U.S. started playing not to lose; that's not to say Canada couldn't have won it, but rather that it's not a sure-shot they would have. (Disclaimer: I was rooting for Canada.) Mexico played surprisingly well in the finals -- and really suffered with the loss of Borgetti -- but had until then mounted a very weak campaign. If the Americans head into Copa America with the same team they had through Copa Oro (I believe someone said they weren't), I'd give them a good shot of getting out of the group stage second to Argentina.

posted by PublicUrinal at 02:32 PM on June 25, 2007

The team the US is taking to Venezuela is a much different team than competed in the Gold cup, mixing select veterans with much younger players. That's not to say that you shouldn't watch them play. The team is filled with young players, many of which will factor in World Cup qualifying and (knock wood) in South Africa in 2010. Pay special attention to Justin Mapp and Sacha Kljestan. It will still be hard for them to advance out of their group, but definitely not impossible. Who knows which Colombia and Paraguay will show up.

posted by trox at 03:06 PM on June 25, 2007

I was at the US-Canada game. The crowd was overwhelmingly there for the Mexican game after and were cheering the Canucks on like crazy. There were many questionable calls against the US team as well, though that offsides call at the end I will admit was a lucky break for the US. But that also doesn’t mean Canada would have won that game.

posted by criedel at 03:58 PM on June 25, 2007

kool: Soccer has only started to be taken seriously in the US since the '90 World Cup, and while I agree that our national team is not in the top tier (or even quite 16th as FIFA have us), doesn't that mean we ought to give the team a break when comparing them to Argentina, England or even Mexico? Why shouldn't other nations, where soccer has been the primary sports focus for more than a century, field better teams and leagues? Seriously, I think this conversation is about 10-15 years premature. Meanwhile, we play the teams we play and let's enjoy the wins that come our way.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:32 PM on June 25, 2007

Not sure which channel you watched the game on, but the crowd was there more for the Mexicans than the Americans. when those 2 teams play is there any venue in the U.S. where the crowd doesn't end up being mostly Mexican fans? speaking of being outnumbered by the visiting team, i was reminded this past weekend of why they don't play WC qualifiers at Giants Stadium. the U-20 men's team played the opening match of a double header against Chile (followed by the WNT against Brazil). the small crowd that did show up for the first game seemed like it was about 90% pro-Chile to 10% U.S.

posted by goddam at 11:12 PM on June 25, 2007

Bill, wasn't it also discussed during the world cup how the US team needed to get out there and play more of these teams from other countries? Or were they just talking about the US team playing more European teams? If not just them, then wouldn't the upcomming Copa America actually do the US good to get that experience, win or lose? Disclaimer: I am new to all of this futbol stuff you will have to bear with me, Sorry!

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:41 AM on June 26, 2007

Many of the USA naysayers are basing their comments on a bad (very bad with the exception of the Italy match) World Cup. No one seems to be looking at the excellent World Cup in 2002 and the decent run between the two and since the latter.

posted by Ricardo at 09:10 AM on June 26, 2007

when those 2 teams play is there any venue in the U.S. where the crowd doesn't end up being mostly Mexican fans? I believe when they played in Columbus for a WC qualifier, the crowd was a bit more evenly split. For what it's worth, Chicagoland has about one million Mexican residents, so that balance of crowd isn't surprising -- as it wouldn't be surprising in California or Texas, two areas more commonly perceived as having large Mexican populations. Like Columbus, I think a match up in New England would have a decent chance of drawing an even crowd.

posted by holden at 10:09 AM on June 26, 2007

I think a match up in New England would have a decent chance of drawing an even crowd. That would depend upon your interpretation of the chant "Yankees suck".

posted by Howard_T at 03:44 PM on June 26, 2007

41 percent more households tuned into Gold Cup final than Stanley Cup final, just counting the Spanish language broadcasts since FSC is not rated.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:54 PM on June 26, 2007

Good lord, do we have some delusional people here, or what? When Canada can consistently qualify for the World Cup every four years like the USA and Mexico can, then you guys can start complaining about being "tired of watching USA and Mexico" in the Gold Cup final. Canada has been getting better, but they still have a long way to go. USA appearances in World Cup: 1930, 1934, 1950, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006. Canada appearances in the World Cup: 1986.

posted by dave2007 at 10:20 PM on June 28, 2007

Good lord, do we have some delusional people here, or what? You must be new around here.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:16 AM on June 29, 2007

We have some delusional people, some misguided souls, and a few arrogant individuals. Our little community is much like society in general.

posted by tommybiden at 09:26 AM on June 29, 2007

Don't forget the trolls.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:48 AM on June 29, 2007

I guess no one is starting a new post about how great the US team is now. Talk about delusional? Where is the bandwagon now? Bradley tried to build up his excuse before they went to the Copa tournament by saying he is using the younger players. Watching the game last night, I couldn't help thinking that the two commentators for the match on GolTV were a couple of morons. They actually were praising how great the US team was and that have a chance at winning the game. First of all, the US team were lucky to get the PK. It was very, very questionable. And that was their only threat of the game. Second, the US players were playing on adrenaline and having been put on a great platform against a great team. Once that wore off and they got a bit tired, they couldn't rely on their SKILLS to keep up with a WORLD CLASS team, then it was over. The Argentines showcased a beautiful aray passes, touches and goals in the second half. Because that's when it counts at the end of the match when the final whistle blows and you look at the score.

posted by koolhandvuk at 01:02 PM on June 29, 2007

I guess no one is starting a new post about how great the US team is now. Actually, if you go back and read the post, it didn't state anywhere that the U.S. team was great, just that they beat Mexico. In fact, billsaysthis, who knows a little bit about futbol, stated right there in the post that even the strongest U.S. side was unlikely to make it out of the group stage. Did somebody at U.S. Soccer steal your prom date or something? That's a mighty big chip you seem to be carrying around. Is U.S. Soccer just supposed to not even try? Then you'd probably be pissed at them for not making an effort. The United States has taken forever to build a halfway decent men's national program, and we face a significant uphill battle against many nations who've been playing the game much longer. There are some extremely talented young players in the 17 and under leagues who are the future of the game in America. Every journey begins with a single step, and U.S. Soccer, while obviously not doing what you'd like them to do, is taking small, but significant steps. They're not always right, and they're not always as good as we'd like, but then again, nobody wins 'em all. But, what the hell, hate 'em all you want. I'm sure they care deeply about your opinion. Because that's when it counts at the end of the match when the final whistle blows and you look at the score. Wow. Deep stuff, that. You're obviously an expert.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:09 PM on June 29, 2007

The Black hand....nice name! let me take a guess, you're ignorant and you've never played the game? Therefore you value billsaysthis' opinion and he's the expert on soccer. And no one stole my prom date. Another dumb comment on your part.

posted by koolhandvuk at 07:45 PM on June 29, 2007

Yeah, I played soccer, and I've been involved in enough discussions on this site to know that bill knows his way around the pitch. Perhaps, if you'd take a less combative stance right off the bat and try to enjoy some discussion with other sports fans instead of spewing your invective, you'd learn to appreciate somebody else's knowledge, too. And I don't believe you about the prom thing. But I am ignorant, so bully for you!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:52 PM on June 29, 2007

there's some good stuff on the Copa at the Soccer By Ives blog. he's the soccer reporter for a local paper here in Jersey and has been doing running commentary on the US matches. i find that he has some pretty good insight. he's not quite as ignorant as t_b_h. plus he blogs about leagues around the world, not just US stuff.

posted by goddam at 11:21 PM on June 29, 2007

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