Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well, THAT Happened

Happy Thursday to you. Mr. Fish here, of The Kin Of Fish fame, coming to you from the town so nice they named it twice, and I'm unbelievably honored that Brucio asked me to step in and do Du Nord while he trudges back from the Azteca. Obviously, the topic at hand is yesterday's Mexico victory over the US, the Yanks' 24th straight winless match South of the border.

Here's what the top flight had to say about El Tri's 2-1 win:

-Jere Longman of The New York Times
-George Vescey of The New York Times
-Brian Lewis of The New York Post
-Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News
-Stephen Goff of The Washington Post
-David Luhnow and Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal
-Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated
-Grahame Jones of The LA Times
-Chris Hawley of USA Today
-Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives
-Ives once again, at
-Jamie Trecker of
-Andrea Canales at
-Ridge Mahoney of SoccerAmerica

Postgame quotes from US Soccer with a photo of an unhappy Landon Donovan
Max Zeger looks at Bradley's possible roster for South Africa after yesterday's loss, at

My take:

Expectations of a US result for yesterday were ridiculously high, with many US-based pundits predicting an American victory. Considering our record at the Azteca, a draw would have been a tremendous achievement. Davies' shock goal created a quandry for Bob Bradley. Certainly the US wouldn't bunker for 80 minutes, would they?

Of course, the US wouldn't be getting any calls in the Mexican cauldron, and when Donovan stopped playing to argue a non-call by the ref, Castro stepped up unbothered and blasted an unstoppable ball past Tim Howard. The goal gave Mexico the confidence they needed to maintain possession in the thin air, and the US defense, neutered by two early yellows, stopped playing with aggression. Given the Yanks difficulty getting out of its own end, possession proved nearly impossible. Davies couldn't get to Holden's stellar late cross, and Sabah buried his opportunity. Game ovah.

Elsewhere in CONCACAF...
Former Metro Cornell Glen gave Trinidad all they needed against El Salvador in a 1-0 victory in Port of Spain.

In San Pedro Sula, Honduras whalloped Hex leaders 4-0 on goals from Costly (2), Pavon and Valladares to leapfrog the US into second place and create a massive logjam in the Hex standings:

1. Costa Rica, 12 pts, 0 GD
2. Honduras, 10pts, +4
3. USA, 10pts, +3
4. Mexico, 9pts, -1
5. El Salvador, 5 pts, -2
6. Trinidad & Tobago, 5pts, -4

Who has the edge with four matches remaining? Here's the Hexagonal schedule:

September 5th
USA-El Salvador in Sandy, UT
Costa Rica-Mexico

September 9th
El Salvador-Costa Rica

October 10th
Mexico-El Salvador
Costa Rica-Trinidad

October 14th
USA-Costa Rica at Washington, DC
El Salvador-Honduras

Obviously, home wins for the US are key, and with a win (or even a draw) at Trinidad, a sixth-straight World Cup Finals appearance seems like a certainty. The September 5th Costa Rica/Mexico tilt is clearly the match of the next round. Can the now-shaky Ticos get a home result against the resurgent Mexicans?

USA Today's Beau Dure projects each remaining Hex round. Could get dicey!

Across the Pond
There were a handful of other World Cup Qualifiers yesterday as well...

Belarus 1-3 Croatia
Azerbaijan 0-2 Germany
Slovenia 5-0 San Marino
Norway 4-0 Scotland
Faroe Islands 0-1 France (way to go, Faroes!)

World Cup 2018/2022
The US World Cup bid Committee has launched a promotion site to attract attention for the bid. Visit now and sign the petition!

Let's hear it for DC United for investing in a superb ad campaign to attract a crowd for the September 2nd US Open Cup Final v. Seattle. Well done! We clearly need more smart marketing in MLS.

Here's the MLS sked for this week:

Saturday, August 15th
-Toronto v DC United, 4p ET on Telefutura
-Columbus v Dallas, 7p
-New York v Chivas, 7p (The Red Bulls death march: 9 matches remaining)
-Real Salt Lake v Houston, 9p on FSC
-Los Angeles v Seattle, 11p (the match of the weekend)

Sunday, August 16th
-Kansas City v Chicago, 3p on Telefutura

Lastly, but not leastly, I've had immense pleasure watching Red Bull Arena, which will truly be the best venue in the league, go up in Harrison, NJ. Here's a link to the arena webcam, as well as some recent aerial photos. Hopefully, the product that will play in this palace will be watchable, unlike this year's edition.

That's it! It's been a massive pleasure, tip your waitress, and enjoy the last few weeks of this amazing Summer of Soccer!


Anonymous Doug said...

Thanks for the good compilation of news. Just read that Landon has the damn H1N1 flu. That explains why he faded late in the match. I still think if Howard didn't stray so far from his line he would have stopped that first goal. I have seen him give up several like that in EPL matches for the same reason. Still Castro did hit a rocket. Oh, well, on to Utah and 3 points vs. El Salvador.

11:26 PM  

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