Blanco helps lead Santos to playoff win

CuauhtemocBlancoSantos (Reuters) 

Who said Cuauhtemoc Blanco can't deliver in the playoffs in November?

The Chicago Fire playmaker missed out on an MLS Cup final this fall, but he moved one step closer to a Mexican League Apertura final when his penalty kick helped Santos Laguna beat San Luis, 2-1, in the second leg of their home-and-home series.

Taken on loan just before the Mexican Apertura playoffs, Blanco has stepped right in and been a revelation for Santos, which is now one series away from the final after entering the playoffs as the No. 8 seed.

For those of you wondering, U.S. national team defender Michael Orozco did not play in Saturday's second leg after starting in the first leg, which Santos Laguna won, 3-1.

Here's a question for American soccer fans (excluding Fire fans). Could their possibly be a team easier to hate than Santos Laguna? Santos now boasts Blanco, goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and American-born Mexican international Edgar Castillo. I'm not sure you could put together a team more hated by American fans, unless Giuseppe Rossi joined on loan that is.

What do you think of Blanco's success with Santos Laguna? Which of the three aforementioned players do you hate more? Who do you see winning the Mexican playoffs?

Share your thoughts below.

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25 Responses to Blanco helps lead Santos to playoff win

  1. Isaac says:

    Come on Ives theres no contest,

    Sanchez, duh

  2. WTF says:

    I hope Blanco chokes!

  3. Tony in Quakeland says:

    “I’m not sure you could put a team more hated by American fans, unless Giuseppe Rossi joined on loan that is.”

    Line of the year.

  4. Tim Crawford says:

    But Revs fans hate Atlante.

  5. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    I wonder if there is a discussion in Mexico about how if Santos wins the Apertura, they won’t be the “real” champions because they were the eighth seed?

  6. Scott A says:

    It’s hard to hate them, I’d call it pity more

  7. Tim says:

    I don’t hate Edgar Castillo so much because he is on a team that isn’t going to play in the Confederations Cup and that advanced to the next round of CONCACAF World Cup qaulifying on goal differential. Don’t forget he is on a team that hasn’t beaten the US in awhile.

  8. brentmcd says:

    I used to hate Blanco, but I love the way he plays for the Fire — and I’m a Dynamo supporter. He still dives more than he should but seems to have toned down his whining and foul play a bit. Hope he wins the Apertura — perhaps that would give some more respect to MLS.

    As far as which Mexican player I hate most nowadays, definitely Hugo Sanchez is up there, although he’s such a joke I just kind of laugh at him now. I suppose most hated would have to be Oswaldo for being such a poor sport — will never forget the way he tried to break EJ’s leg after Lando scored on him.

  9. Mike says:

    I’ve hated Santos since 2001-2002 when they played the Wizards 4 times in international competitions. They’re easy to hate.

  10. Oranje Mike says:

    No beef with Castillo. Bradley and the folks at US Soccer dropped the ball. Rossi flat out refused to play for us. Big difference.

  11. Kevin Smith says:

    I don’t care much about the Mexican Apertura playoffs, but if I were a fan of the opposing teams, I’d be pretty angry that he could join in right before the playoffs, without having played a game for the team during the season…

    -shrug-, doesn’t seem very “fair” to me

  12. lulz says:

    Ives you sound like you have a massive chip on your shoulder in regards to Mexican talent. I’m not basing my comments on your little blurb, but others in previous posts where you’ve gone out of your way to discredit Mexican players.

    I’m an American soccer fan and your schtick is getting a little tiresome.

  13. Christian says:

    Tim:

    Yeah, I’m sure Castillo would rather be on a team that constantly moves past the group stages in international tournaments.

    It’s highly likely that the US will lose all 3 games at the Confeds Cup next year and also probably not make the final of the Gold Cup.

    Get real.

  14. Lulz, considering the last name you posted under was “Perusucks” and you’ve defended Blanco to death in past comments, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I don’t buy that you’re an American soccer fan.

    There’s no chip on my shoulder. It’s no secret that American soccer fans don’t like Mexican players of the Mexican national team. It’s a bitter rivalry, therefore any chance to stoke that rivalry is fair, so get a grip. In case you missed this website’s credo, it’s “The world of soccer with an American voice.” Deal with it or move on.

    As for my “going out of my way to discredit Mexican players”, that’s a figment of your imagination. I may make comments about some players, but good players get the credit they deserve, Mexican or not.

  15. RedLine55 says:

    blanco looks sharp in that shirt. He looks deadly in rojo y blanco, but good for him. It’s keeping him busy.

  16. Oranje Mike says:

    @Christian

    Do you think Mexico would do much better in the Confederations Cup?

    What basis do you for saying the US won’t make even the Gold Cup final? Last time I checked we won it last time and also last time I checked the USA owned Mexico.

  17. Christian says:

    OranjeMike:

    Why do I say that you ask?

    Based on the notion that the US has mediocre depth at best as was showcased at the 07 Copa America.

    Mexico PROVED it could compete in two tournaments that summer and proved it again in 05 when they defeated a star-studded Brazilian team that included Robinho, Ronaldhino, Kaka, and Adriano @ the 05 Confeds Cup while losing the semifinal game against Argentina in PKs and taking Germany into OT in the 3rd place game.

    That’s how I know.

    Let me know when the US wins in Mexico because just in case you didn’t know, they’ve never done it before.

    Keep boasting about that HOME record.

  18. Oranje Mike says:

    Your analysis of Copa America 07 is lacking. How many players on Mexico’s squad had players with 10 or less caps? Seven or eight? The US squad had 16 players with 10 or less caps. Eight of them had 1 or no caps at all. Of course Mexico was going to do better. They should have as it was a side stocked with, at that time, national side regulars.

    If Copa America 07 is your basis for a critique of the USMNT then you’re way off base.

  19. rick says:

    Hey Christian

    I wouldn’t call many of the USA/Mexico games played in the US “home” games for the US National Team. And definitely WC Korea was not a home game for the US and it ended in the now common score of USA 2 -Mexico 0.

    If is great that MLS is sending our old players like Blanco down to Mexico to help teams win games down there. The Mexican National Team is already coming across the border to raid from us American players, that were BORN and RAISED here, but have some weak connection to Mexico. This is only the tip of the iceberg of Mexico taking American citizens that have some kind of connection with Mexico. Pretty soon with American players Mexico will only require that they have eaten a carne asada taco at some point in his life.

    Face the facts-The US is the king of the region. Let’s look at Mexico’s last tree games. A loss to the stonners from the island. Then they tied a country that really only likes ice hockey. Then they lose to a country you can walk across with one bottle of water. Great job guys. And let’s not forget to mention barely beating the waiters and scuba instructors from Belize.

  20. Alejandro Ruiz says:

    “It’s highly likely that the US will lose all 3 games at the Confeds Cup next year and also probably not make the final of the Gold Cup.”

    I don’t know about the Gold Cup.

    But it’s really likely that the US could lose all 3 games at confederations cup. Get real, it’s Brazil, Italy and Egypt. Egypt being the team that beat way tougher opposition in the AFC cup than the US had to face in the Gold Cup.

    Also, who will the US be sending to each tournament? Will it have it’s Euro based team for both tourneys? Including WCQs?

    If not, then we might see the American B (MLS based) team in the 2009 gold cup. Don’t you think it could lose to Honduras or Mexico in the semis or quarters? In central America? Canada almost upset the A squad in Chicago.

    So….you know, theres no guarantees right now, it’s gonna be a great year for the mens team. But we all might be calling for Bradley’s head by late August.

  21. Christian says:

    Historians will only remember results.

    On neutral ground the US has beat Mexico twice.

    Once in Copa America and also at the WorldCup.

    I have no problem admitting that the US is the best team IN Concacaf.

    It’s outside of the region where Mexico does the talking.

    You can’t deny that.

  22. Heffe says:

    First step in seeing Blanco returning to Mexico? I don’t think I would mind it. I think Blanco’s nomination as MVP for MLS shows how Blanco’s ego and stature preceeds his playing this last year.

  23. Alejandro Ruiz says:

    “Will I go up to him? Of course not. I usually like to leave people alone. I didn’t even go up to Jimmy Conrad when I saw him at the hotel — and he’s guest blogged for me twice”

    Your editor is gonna slap you upside the head one of these days. :D

    What you should have done was talk to him and take him back to Pink Taco. Obviously. *shakes head*

  24. brentmcd says:

    @Christian: you are living in the past, amigo. The US sent a ‘B’ or even ‘C’ team to Copa America last year. Our Youth Teams are well-respected and have achieved good results around the world. The U-23 Olympic team was very unlucky not to advance this summer. Where was Mexico in Beijing? Bob Bradley will send the ‘A’ team to South Africa for the Confederations Cup in 2009, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them upset Italy or Brazil.

    I certainly respect Mexico, but how can you say the US is tops in CONCACAF but doesn’t best represent the region internationally? The US ascendancy is a relatively recent phenomenon; the overseas results will come.

  25. Manny says:

    Hated? Loving is more like it. OK so I’m a Fire fan but on top of that I’m a Santos fan and to see a rejuvenated Blanco assist Santos into the next round is great! Pehaps they’ll keep him on till March to assist in the CONCACAF Champions first round games.