USA and Mexico ready for third straight Gold Cup final

USMNTmexsport041

photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

HOUSTON, Texas – As Honduras applied most of the pressure towards the end of regulation of its semifinal match against Mexico on Wednesday night, there was a growing sense that maybe the U.S. men's national team would not face its most bitter rival in the Gold Cup final afterall.

That belief was quickly crushed with an improved Mexican effort in overtime, an effort that saw El Tri score two goals to set up a United States-Mexico final for the third consecutive Gold Cup.

"Honestly, I think it's going to be a difficult final against a tough opponent that we know has quality players," said Giovanni Dos Santos. "We're going to have dig in deep and do our best to win the final."

Mexico may have won the last Gold Cup final, in 2009, with a 5-0 dismantling of the United States. But that result came against a U.S. team comprised of mostly reserves.

The last time the CONCACAF heavyweights squared off in a final with both being at full strength was in 2007, when the United States needed a come from behind effort, and a wonder strike, to defeat Mexico, 2-1.

""What happened in that moment, happened then," said Andres Guardado, who scored the opener in the 2007 final at Soldier Field. "But now it's a new tournament with a new team. We have more confidence now. We've had a great Gold Cup and we need to finish it off with a win in the championship match."

Guardado, a key figure in Mexico's attack, also admitted he could potentially miss the final with an ankle injury suffered in the 2-0 win against Honduras on Saturday.

"I'm a little worried because it's the final and we all want to be there," said Guardado. "It's the most important game to date, and I don't want to miss it. The doctor has given me reasons to be optimistic and told me that I might be able to play without a problem, and I hope that's the case."

Whether Guardado is there or not, Mexico will enter the final under somewhat different circumstances than their American counterparts. The Mexicans began the tournament in dominating fashion, but have looked beatable in their last two matches.

The U.S. team has done the exact opposite. After starting out slowly with less-than-convincing performances, including a first ever loss in the group stage of the tournament, the United States has rebounded. The Americans have continuously gotten better with each passing game and appear to peaking at just the right moment.

"We're playing a lot better and sometimes it's good to get a wake-up call," said Landon Donovan, who scored off a penalty kick in the 2007 final. "We've said all along that this tournament is a marathon and we can't get too caught up in one result, one performance. You've got to keep getting better as the tournament goes on and now we find ourselves in the final with a chance to win it."

Following their respective games on Wednesday night at Reliant Stadium, both teams shared a mutual respect for one another. Veteran players spoke about how the contests are always tight and how their opponent always provides a stiff test. They also spoke about how it's always special when the two teams meet.

But the awareness of how special and big the final is didn't just come from the guys who have been there before.

"They're a tough opponent, and they're in the finals for a reason," said Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, who has yet to play against the United States.

"Yeah because I've grown up watching USA play Mexico all the time," said Eric Lichaj. "I would like to be playing in that final game against Mexico if I could."

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, CONCACAF Gold Cup, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

135 Responses to USA and Mexico ready for third straight Gold Cup final

  1. AME says:

    Being a US fan I would not have liked it if Honduras won. I want the big Mexico v US final. And of course a US win.

    There is nothing better than beating a rival.

  2. Brian says:

    Going to Vegas tonight and Friday, and I’ll going to LA Saturday for the game! Can’t wait!

  3. andres says:

    With Ochoa and Rodriguez out due to chicken, possibly Guardardo and Salcido out. US better take advantage. Mexico is deep either way, so don’t underestimate.

  4. PD says:

    I cannot wait for this match. I think we have to assume that Mexico will get at least 1, so the question is will the US get theirs, and if so from whom? Also, I think the US simply have to play their game. they’ve found a formation that really works for their personnel, and to change to a different lineup in anticipation of what Mexico will bring I think is a mistake. The only exception to that statement is that Jones and Bradley will have to keep tabs on Chicharito and keep him from getting too deep. They’ve seen him this season and Goodson and Boca just don’t have the speed.

    I really liked how patient the US was against Panama and Jamaica and how they just kept coming forward. I felt that Adu gave them an extra edge and that extra bit of creativity, but I think I’d still give Bedoya the start.

    I guess my big question is does LD start in the center or Does Dempsey?

  5. Kevin_Amold says:

    See you there. Driving from PHX Saturday morning.

    Come on you Yanks!

  6. MiamiAl says:

    That sounds like a dream weekend! You are going to put a few bets down on the USA beating Mexico aren’t you?

  7. Joamiq says:

    Guardado has been looking very good. Totally different game if he’s not healthy.

  8. Brian says:

    Haha yeah for sure!

  9. TxBuckeye says:

    So – which side will have more supporters at the Rose Bowl? El Tri or the Yanks? I’m afraid to say my bets are on a larger, louder Mexican contingent. Hope I’m wrong.

  10. Shark says:

    My daughter and I will be at the final too…looking forward to it…:) Go USA…:)

  11. Kevin_Amold says:

    I’m predicting 80% will be Tri supporters.

  12. Kevin_Amold says:

    Here’s a question that I’d like to take the pulse on. Can a game at the Rose Bowl between USA and Mexico really be considered a home game for the USA? I never understood the idea that the USA has “home field advantage” during tournaments like the Gold Cup. They aren’t at home, typically. They are travelling around and staying in hotels like everyone else. And they’re also outnumbered in stadiums when they play Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras or Guatemala. Or Spain.

    So how much of an advantage is having the Gold Cup in the US? I’d say minimal, but i’m willing to be convinced if I’m wrong.

  13. Goalscorer24 says:

    The US has to put full pressure on Mexico whenever they have the ball, if they bunker and give Mexico time on the ball Mexico will make them pay. Plus the US has to shoot from outside if they get the openings.

  14. tim says:

    Ives, any chance the game will be televised on FOX (rather than Fox Soccer)? I am hoping FOX will move the telecast. Thanks.

  15. Brian says:

    Guarantee it will be at least 70 to 30 in favor of the Mexican supporters. Probably close to 80/20.

  16. kfly says:

    Mexico, and it won’t even be close. I won’t go as far as 80-20, like Kevin_Amold, but it’ll be 70-30 for sure- and maybe worse.

    Who the hell scheduled a final that was expected to be USA-Mexico in a city just a couple hours from the border, and that has (correct me if I’m wrong) the highest population of Mexican immigrants in the country?

    Oh, that’s right- it was the U$$F.

    We should have the Gold Cup Final in Portland or Columbus, where we KNOW the US will have the majority of the fans.

  17. John H. says:

    This is the only Final matchup worth watching! I’m expecting someone on the USA team to go Beast-Mode and tear up Mexico =)

  18. cps says:

    I’m hoping for the same thing. It would be fantastic. I’m sick of the crappy concacaf feed.

  19. Brian says:

    U$$F. I like that. Nice one

  20. solles says:

    “peeking” at the right moment, eh? buncha pervert peeping toms…:)

  21. josh says:

    I have a feeling it may be Mexico’s year. While we have certainly looked better as the tournament has gone on, I still feel like the Mexican attack can unlock us. Whereas our attack isn’t strong enough to keep them back. I’m thinking 3-0, El Tri. I am definitely a USMNT supporter, and I will be cheering them on, but I just don’t think we have this one.

    Flame away if you must…

  22. Salifu25 says:

    US vrs Mexico Ha, what else could any soccer fan wish for in this tournament. Each team will be going into this game with revenge in mind. US will come with the 2009 5-0 trashing whiles Mexico will come with the memories of the day they fielded almost all their best players but still could not survive the USA test. in the end, the team with the best tactics and luck on their side will win.

  23. Bagdad Bob says:

    Dos Santos looks like a chick.

  24. mikey says:

    They wouldn’t sell as many tickets in Oregon or Washington. The USSF is smart, have it close to Mexico duh. ;-)

  25. Good Jeremy says:

    Part of the idea though is to play games in neutral sites IE areas with high Hispanic/Carribean populations, which is mostly what we have done except for playing Canada in Detroit (to try and make it neutral) and playing at KC’s new stadium.

    While I don’t think the Rose Bowl will get a neutral crowd at all, I could see CONCACAF quickly moving the Gold Cup elsewhere for future tournaments if we scheduled games in our strongholds.

    It’s a necessary evil, unless you want crowds like the US-Czech crowd in the U17 WC in Mexico or the US-Guatamala crowd in the U21 cup in Guatamala (I probably got the age and country mixed up there but you see what I’m saying).

  26. Good Jeremy says:

    I felt the same way until Mexico’s last two games where they looked very vulnerable. If I were putting money on it though, I would pick Mexico in a squeaker. Our tendency to fall behind early likely does too much damage for our tendency to go into beast mode with out backs against the wall to make up for.

  27. GW says:

    How many tickets would you sell in Columbus or Portland?

    And I bet you there would be more Mexican fans in both places than US fans.

  28. Adam says:

    Jeld Wen only holds 18K and Crew Stadium holds about 25K. The Rose Bowl holds about 100K.

  29. JW says:

    We’re due for a set piece goal. I’m thinking it ends 2-2, Dempsey, Bocanegra, Chicarro, and Gio on the scoresheet… and penalty kicks aren’t worth predicting.

  30. Eric says:

    I just can’t believe the US Team and Mexican Team are flying on the same plane to Los Angeles.

  31. GW says:

    Mexico looked tired against Honduras. And now Guardado and Salcido are hurt and may be hampered or even out.

    Honduras, who I hadn’t seen this year, are big,strong, disciplined and unpleasantly ruthless. They dominated Mexico for stretches and might have won this game if they were just a little less careless with the ball and had a real goalkeeper.

    In the end Mexico were just a little sharper but had Honduras won it would not have been a big surprise.

    The US appears to coming on while Mexico seems to be falling back to the pack.

    It should be a pretty even game.

  32. GW says:

    Rafa, Agudelo and Ream are teammates at RBNY

    Dempsey and Salcido are teamates at Fulham.

    Donovan is something of an icon in Mexico

    Most of these guys probably know each other already.

    A number of the US guys speak Spanish and a number of the Mexicans speak English.

    What’s the big deal? They save on fuel.

  33. Mr_coolio says:

    He really does look like a girl

  34. marvin says:

    Tough match the boys will have to dig deep. The key is controlling the midfield and hit mexico hard on counters. Win or lose I will support our yanks.

  35. jai_brooklyn says:

    It’s going to come down to the US central defense. Boca has been a warrior for us but I think he has slowed down. Hopefully he can compensate with his experience. Both he and Goodson has to have a great game!

  36. Good Jeremy says:

    “Donovan is something of an icon in Mexico”

    lol yeah, after the dos a cero results and him peeing on the field at Azteca during warmups he certainly is.

  37. roger says:

    nailed it! All of Mexico’s attackers are faster than US central defenders, for that reason i’ll put my money on Mexico.

  38. Alex says:

    Dempsey will most likely start in the center. Donovan’s speed is better utilized on the flanks, on the offensive and defensive ends.

  39. Alex says:

    Dude.. Mexicans love Donovan. There’s more hate for Mexican players from US fans than the other way around, I think. I think this rivalry is getting “healthier”, though, as respect between the two sides grow. It will always be heated, and passionate, but respect is always a good thing to see.

  40. Josh says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t CONCACAF handle the scheduling? It’s their tournament, and so the games are scheduled where they’ll draw the most fans.

    There’s a reason the US never plays Mexico at the Rose Bowl during WC qualifying.

  41. Martha says:

    Him and Memo Ochoa could put makeup on and easily walk on the pitch and play for the women in the wc

  42. abc says:

    “Oh, that’s right- it was the U$$F.”

    Was it really? Or was it CONCACAF?

    If USSF could decide that the final would be in front of a US-friendly crowd, would other countries be okay with the US hosting the Gold Cup every time?

  43. Ike says:

    Not sure what type of women you’re into but he doesn’t look like a chick to me, maybe a really ugly one, but I can’t see it.

  44. Brent McD says:

    Heading up to the Rose Bowl from San Diego with 3 close friends and a bus full of US supporters. My first US/Mexico game. Absolutely cannot wait!

    I’m predicting a 90% pro-Mexico crowd, but the Yanks will represent.

  45. Ike says:

    I don’t think anyone does, but it still better than playing away @ Saprissa Stadium or the Azteca Stadium where the home team has a huge advantage.

    The opposing fans the USA has encountered in this tournament are not as bad as the ones it would normally find during the qualifying rounds for the WC. As you saw Vs Panama, Mexican fans actually cheered for the US.

  46. AJ says:

    Dude, you’re weak. People like you always whine about where the game is held. When Mexico wins, you will complain that it was because the game was in Los Angeles.

  47. Ike says:

    Not sure why everyone thinks Donovan peed on the field of the Azteca, it was the Jalisco Stadium where the US lost to Mexico 4-0 in an Olympic qualifier.

  48. ARTES says:

    I think that this match will depend on the lineup and attacking approach. The only team that tried to attack Mexico was Costa Rica and they opened some big holes for the Mexico midfielders and forwards. The U.S. will have to be patient and rely on the counter attacks which is where Altidore would have been handy. In the Guatemala match the Mexico defenders were pushing forward so much that Guatemala countered with more numbers than Mexico defenders on several occasions. The U.S. may be better able to take advantage of the counters. If the U.S. approaches this with an attacking mindset or they get behind it may not be pretty.

  49. sad says:

    Not in reply to Brian:

    Breaking News – Costa Rica defender Dennis Marshall was killed Thursday when the car he was driving collided head-on with a truck in a mountainous area near San Jose.

  50. FSegaud says:

    …and 90% pro-Mexico would be a great improvement in US representation in LA compared to years past where it was probably 97/98% pro-Mexico.

    Anyone thinking 70/80% pro-Mexico for this game will be greatly disappointed.

  51. abc says:

    “him peeing on the field at Azteca”

    Any evidence of this? If so please post links.
    Otherwise I’m pretty sure it’s the Mexican fans who piss all over the field at Azteca, by throwing bags of the stuff.

  52. Joe Quake says:

    Uhh… you mean Concacaf, right?

  53. Rlw2020 says:

    It’s technically a neutral venue

  54. JM says:

    Dude Mexico is playing in the USA!!! It doe not feel like Mexico, it does not look like Mexico it is NOT Mexico. What crowd advantage did Mexico reap on all of those Dos a Cero losses?

    Mexico played it’s best match ever In Germany 2006, vs Argentina. I don’t think the crowd had anything to do with that!!!

  55. Steve J. says:

    I don’t think Goodson has it in him to stop Mexico’s attack!

    i really don’t.

  56. Mark says:

    Both Dempsey and Salcido have been to each other’s houses and met each other’s families so don’t believe the hype!

  57. Eurosnob says:

    It’s not a track meet, it’s soccer. And they don’t have anyone as fast as Richards from Jamaica. Plus Mexico will have tired legs after not being able to take care of business in regulation against Honduras and having to play 120 minutes.

  58. KillerInstinct says:

    Actually, Mexico had the biggest fan base at the WC out of ALL countries invited (second being the US) and they were the only fan base to drown out the ridiculous humming sound of the Vuvuzelas, if that tells you anything

  59. Daniel says:

    It was at the Jalisco in Guadalajara. I did read this a long time ago. I remember the article said it was during practice and bathrooms were closed.

  60. Francois says:

    Where are people sitting for this one? Not to be creepy or anything, but I’m hoping to God that I’m sitting with fellow USMNT supporters. I’m sitting in section 4-L, if anybody else feels comfortable disclosing the information, I would appreciate getting a bead on what I’m up against haha

  61. KillerInstinct says:

    Sorry just noticed you were refering to the 2006 WC…my bad

  62. pancholama says:

    The incident where he pulled out his pistol and watered the hallowed turf, certainly made him an icon……an iconic voodoo doll that every Mexican fan wants to stick full of pins and burn.

    I was born in the US and I am 100% a USMNT fan, but I grew up every summer in Mexico, and I have lots of cousins and uncles and aunts who are BIG el Tri fans, to the death. You don’t know how much BS I put up with growing up, before we re-named Mexico “dos a cero” for ten years running – and trust me Donovan is not well loved in Mexico.

  63. JOMA says:

    Well why doesn’t the US play 4-5-1 like Honduras? It created havoc for the Mexican midfield. Mexico ended up playing four in the middle versus Honduras five, because for the first time in the tourney Mexico came out with a 4-4-2 formation, so Giovani was playing deeper thus leaving a a hole futher back. Another thing to think is covering Marquez he was the orchestrator from the second half on. Every single Mexican ball went thru him.

  64. pancholama says:

    Mexico likes to play attacking football, and has taken a page or two out of the Brazilian book. Gio, Barrera and Guradado like to motor it through the mid-field and get the team on the move, in 5th gear, as often as possible, and they are also adept at changing the field with long balls to the wings. They use groups of three to attack on the run, or systematically down one side or another. They like to overload one side of the field with 5-6 attackers and work a short passing game to penetrate down the alley, or to the corner top of the box, and then filter through passes to forwards trying to beat the offside trap on a give and go.

    They are also generally more accurate with long balls, and better at controlling long balls with their soft and sure first touches than we are. As well, they tend to be more accurate with final touches, when making the little pass to the net – but they can be rattled, and do tend to lose their confidence when they go a goal or two down.

    I’m sure the US coaches are breaking down the Mexican’s attack and defense formations, and coming up with some alternatives for us to counter them.

    This will be a close hard fought match – I don’t think that one goal will win it. It will probably end 2-1, or 3-2 and it could go wither way.

  65. Brad says:

    Before the Mex – Honduras game I thought that Mex would roll over the USA but now I think it will be closer, but I still give the edge to El Tri, even though it pains me to say it. USMNT will have to play it’s best game of the tourney…

  66. Henry says:

    Its not going to be on the defense to stop the attacks. It will come down to Bradley and Jones. I think that they are capable of stopping Dos Santos and Guardado (if he plays)

  67. DC Josh says:

    Franco, thanks for getting the Mexican perspective on this game. Mexico have a slight edge in this matchup, but I expect a very tight game. 2-1 Mexico in overtime.

  68. David says:

    I would have to give mexico the edge in this game. They have two world class strikers. We have 0. We will need good defending and possession to beat MX. I they get 60% of the ball on Sat, we are done!

  69. WhiteHart says:

    I know Chicarito can be considered “World Class” but who else do you speak of?

    If you’re going to say Gio dos Santos, I’m not buying, unless you’re considering Dempsey a “World Class” midfielder..

    I honestly believe the only “World Class” player on the field when the 2 teams line up will be Tim Howard..

    Chicarito will soon be one, but I think it takes more than 1 season at the highest level to really be “World Class”

  70. David says:

    Mexico is our only competition to host the tournament. They have to get something out of the deal and this is it. The tournament stays in the US promoting the sport and Mexican Federation gets home field advantage and a big fat check. Everybody else…Ni voz.. Ni voto. The big boyz split the spoils.

    P.S. I like “U$$F” too. ;)

  71. Eric120 says:

    Let’s hope the USMNT is a little more mature than you.

  72. Frank says:

    Howard is not World Class. Chicharito is not world class but has world class finishing right now. Gio will be world class soon. Donovan could have been world class.

  73. PD says:

    at the risk of sounding like a cracker, the US Fans will be in all the good camera pan seats though….

  74. PD says:

    agreed. it’s at sea level, no one is gonna throw flares or urine on anyone, they’ll play on a respectable surface in semi breathable air. pro mexico or not, it’ll beat the alternatives.

  75. David says:

    I’m referring to Aldo de Nigris who has 30 goal for Monterrey in the last 2 years and 10 goal for Mexico in the last year. 4 of those goals came in this tournament. I agree that “World class” may be a bit much but he is a regular goal scorer. We have no striker like him.

    Remember most US goals come from midfielders. This is a big problem.

  76. PD says:

    as long as Jones and Bradley keep tracking back as they have I think they’ll be well prepared.

    I have actually been really impressed with the amount of coverage the back four have been giving to each other laterally (Boca’s nearly constant overlapping with ‘dolo and Lichaj) and the way Jones and Bradley have been tracking back. Very few brakdowns and very little space conceded at the top to the 18, which has in past years been a huge habit of the US. Provided they keep a high line that should really limit Mexico’s options.

    But yeah if any of those mexican forwards get in and one v one against Boca and Goodson it’s gonna be tense.

  77. PD says:

    seriously? in a shootout situation Advantage = Tim Howard.

  78. PetedeLA says:

    We’re very vulnerable just outside the penalty area. In every game you see 2-6 mistakes and a team like Mexico will punish us. We’ve looked pretty crappy on crosses coming from the opposition’s left side, too. Dolo is playing well, but he’s still guilty of lapses in concentration from time to time. Guardado will certainly play.

    The back 6 need to be completely focused for us to stand a chance.

    Man, I’d hate to be in their shoes.

    Mexico has 4 BIG TIME players up front. All the other teams have had just two at most.

    If we can stay focused we might be able to hold them for the full 90. Then our superior fitness may pull us through and we can win on a penalty or free kick situation.

  79. Tom L. says:

    I think Guardado is close to world Class and give Moreno a year and he will be as good as Marquez!

  80. Dan says:

    Absolutely! De Nigris is Mexico’s talisman. Would not be surprised if a European team snatches him after this tournament.

  81. Kejsare says:

    In 1997, Portland had US v. Costa Rica. Packed in 26k that was 95/5 US fans. 18k would be cake, and Portland has few minorities in the city and would likely be pro-US crowd for any CONCACAF nation, even Mexico.

    But a Gold Cup Final there is ludicrous.

  82. Shark says:

    Guardado…world class…now thats funny…the team he is with in Spain (Deportivo de La Coruña) just got relegated…and he was far from great…he only played 20 games for them and 26 the year before…..I love how the word ‘great’ gets thrown around….

  83. SuperChivo says:

    You guys are wearing Tri-colored glasses. The two teams are, as their rankings show, neck and neck with both have advantages at different positions on the pitch. I still believe that Mikey and Jonesy will dominate the center, forcing them wide where Lichaj and especially Dolo have been stellar. The good thing is that Mexico isn’t going to bunker and so we should get plenty of chances for both sides.

  84. Shark says:

    Yes Howard is world class..one of the top 5 keepers in the world and most ‘experts’ would and do agree on that…you may recall he won keerp of the compeition in the 2009 Confederation Cup…

    Gio world class really? Go tell Harry Redknap and Spurs that…he has been a huge failure in England…the best club league in the world…he can’t find a match and gets loaned out to a so-so club in Spain…and the year before to a second division team in England and to a Turkish team…yuup thats world class…

    Hernandez on the otherhand is an emergign super star and I would say is world class and is only going to get better…

    You sure you watch any of these guy splay Frank? I sure am wondering…:)

    Donovan is world class to….

  85. Kevin_Amold says:

    Dude, don’t call me dude….

    Mexico’s best match ever was a loss? Sorry, not buying it. I watched the match.

    My point is just that there really is not much of a “home advantage” hosting something like the Gold Cup, where everyone is playing at stadiums they’ve rarely if ever played before, no one is really living in their homes, and the host nation has no advantage in fan attendance at the final.

  86. Tom L. says:

    So you stuck your foot in your mouth huh?

    The two main reasons Depor got relegated was because both of it’s stars Filipe Luis (who then left to Atletico Madrid) and Guardado were injured for most of both seasons!!!

    I happen to think Guardado is playing his best form since 2006/2007!

    i repeat Guardado is close to World Class and will go to a much better team next year and deservedly so!

    …but you’ll probably find out Saturday

  87. joejoe says:

    “Portland has few minorities”…
    Great. I’m sure Portland will use that on their tourism guide.

  88. Shark says:

    Actually no I didn’t…you put your foot down your throat….he is no where near world class and he played on a bad Spanish team who got relegated….yeah I know he was hurt…but he has been their several seasons and were he world class he would have already been snapped up be real Madrid or Barcalona…were he world class he wouldn’t be on that team and teams from England and Germany etc. would be in to sign him…you will note they are not…so you might want to quit before you look even more foolish then already do…bottom line is he is not world class…just a nice player..which is okay FWIW…:)

    You can think all you want….bottom line is he not world class and never has been…

    Yeah I will see Saturday as I have tickets for the game…don’t hold your breath though on him doing anything world class…:)

    Are you an American FWIW?

  89. Shark says:

    Thank you…could not agree more..and spot on….

  90. USA Fan says:

    I hate Mexico and I obscenity in the milk of El Tri.

  91. Tom L. says:

    You mean B-A-R-C-E-L-O-N-A…

    How many players get to go to the two teams you mentioned?

    He just did do something World Class against Costa Rica, why shouldn’t he do it against the US?

    FWIW…My Dad’s from Spain me Mom Brit!

    Have fun in Pasadena, leaving tomorrow to spend summer in Cotswold. FWIW!!!

  92. MEX Fan says:

    Don’t complain when your @sses have to be escorted out of Azteca by the Police!!!

  93. Marvin says:

    You are VERY WRONG!!!

    Mexico is one of the best teams at coming back from a deficit. Off the top of my head-vs US Azteca WC qualifiers, and vs Guatemala a couple of days ago. Tell me what team consistently comes back from 2-0 deficits?

  94. Kejsare says:

    What, Portland is a top 50 city with the least diverse population. Can’t hide facts.

  95. Paul Thomas says:

    Los Angeles is Mexico’s second-largest city…

    Frankly, I’d be surprised if 10% of the fans there were supporting the USA.

  96. Paul Thomas says:

    Actually, the ELO rankings have Mexico well in front of the USA. And those rankings are, frankly, far better than FIFA’s.

  97. Annelid Gustator says:

    Madea goes to the Women’s World Cup

  98. PD says:

    Dempsey?

  99. Tyler says:

    Indeed. We all know that when it comes to in-stadium civility the Mexican fans are clearly lacking… Outside of football they’re extremely nice & hospitable but during the final they want blood and as us fans so should we

  100. Brett says:

    They certainly don’t “love” him, but there is a level of respect that he has earned because of his international career. Many of the Mexican supporters I interact with consider him a good player, but a mentally soft one who can be taken out of a game easily. They also love to point out his modeling photos and failed attempt at cultivating a suave persona (not unlike his compatriot Beasley).

    Mexico has its share of brutish supporters too. US players get pelted with trash whenever they take a throw in or corner kick. There is some measure of bitterness toward “gringos” but by and large Mexican supporters want the US to become a stronger rival, so they respect our players who play at a high level.

  101. Brett says:

    Correct. The opponent dictates strategy. Mexico will look to make every possession count, and they will expect to get some space to work in the middle third as we keep organized behind the ball. Mexico’s aptitude on the counter attack will influence us as well. We will look to stay compact and will likely try a lot of planned movements where we appear to be working the ball slowly and then play a long pass and hope for a transition play.

    Because of this, I think we will take the defensive posture and let Mexico be the aggressor in control of possession. If we deny the space to Gio, Barrera, and Guardado to pick out each other and get service in to Chicharo we can exploit them in transition, which is what I feel Bradley considers our best chance to nip a goal and park the bus. If we attack in possession, expect lots of short passes around the back to set up the diagonal loft to open up space for crosses, and don’t expect to see Bradley or Jones getting involved in the attack in advanced positions.

  102. Brent McD says:

    I’m in 3-L. Assuming that SE corner is where most US fans will be — those sections were part of the “USAfan” and “Stand” ticket sales from US soccer. Hopefully SA and AO will be tailgating on that east side (“bus parking”) and/or on the golf course.

  103. Brett says:

    I’m expecting an 85/15 split at best for Mexico/US support…so wherever you are sitting, you might want to bring a green shirt to put on just in case things get testy.

  104. Brett says:

    They have 0 world class players and we only have one.

    If you feel otherwise, you are devaluing the label “world class”.

    If Chicharito is world class, then Dempsey is world class (Dempsey is better in the air, better at distance shooting, better on free kicks, has better ball skill, and both have similar scoring record in the same league). Hernandez could be a world class player someday, but he isn’t there yet.

    If Guardado or Dos Santos are world class, then so is Donovan. I consider Guardado and Donovan to be about the same level and the same type of player. Gio has the potential to be better, but he is still an average player and not “world class”.

    The truth is, Howard is the only world class player from both selections.

  105. Brett says:

    Nah. Two of our midfielders are also our best forwards. When we play 4-5-1 (4-2-3-1) goals from midfielders are expected. How many of Dempsey’s goals this tournament can you say specifically were scored from a midfield position? In reality, Dempsey plays as a freelancer and, especially late in games, moves into a forward position. I don’t fear Aldo De Nigris any more than other teams feared Herculez Gomez when he was the leading scorer in the FMF or Edson Buddle when he was bossing the MLS.

  106. Brett says:

    Those rankings make less sense to me than the FIFA rankings, honestly. Egypt ahead of US? Mexico above Portugal, Croatia, Uruguay, Italy, Russia?

  107. KC says:

    Mexico isn’t know to bunker.. the US does.

  108. Boca33-U says:

    FYI-

    Don’t ever go to a stadium in Argentina let’s you need therapy for the rest of your life!

  109. Shark says:

    Not many…but he isn’t even being courted by any English teams either…

    Altidore had a world class goal too…just sayin’…:) It doesn’t make either world class and that was my point…

    My mom is English…from Mansfield and I lived in the Oxford, Liverpool and Ipswich areas for 8 years as a kid…my dad American…you have fun too…great place you are going…

  110. TimN says:

    If you had asked me early on in the tourney, I would have said Mexico will win 3-0. However, as things have progressed, the U.S. seems to have found the right combination on the back line, and the adjustments in the midfield and up top after the Panama loss have greatly improved our play. I can’t imagine though that we’ll see Donovan come off the bench in this one like has in the last two. My projected line up and formation are below:

    —————Howard—————

    Cherundolo–Goodson–Bocanegra–Lichaj

    ———-Bradley———-Jones———-

    —–Dempsey—–Kljestan—–Donovan—–

    —————Agudelo—————

    I think we will see Bedoya, Adu, and possibly Edu come in as subs. Bedoya has the intensity, passing, and field vision to play well against El Tri, and Adu has the on-the-ball skills to be very disruptive to their midfield and create chances with Donovan and Dempsey like he did against Panama. If Jones plays well throughout, we may not see Edu.

    I predict a 1-0 U.S. win on a late goal.

  111. Paul Thomas says:

    Mexico beat Italy by one goal and lost to Uruguay by one goal… neither of those results suggests they’re out of Mexico’s league.

    Russia didn’t qualify for the World Cup because they got beaten by Slovenia, whom everyone around here loves to beat up when they’re slagging the quality of the USA’s group in last year’s World Cup.

    I’m not seeing the problem here.

  112. Dennis says:

    I remember a USA qualifying match vs Guatemala in Birmingham. AL

    The USA fans were badly outnumbered, by tiny Guatemala. A check in the parking lot showed that a very large number of cars and vans from Washington, DC, New York and Florida with tailgate parties of fans wearing the blue and white Guatemalan colors.

    My favorite though was in Chicaqo at the Gold Cup final; a girl was carrying a flag pole with both the Maxican flag and the Stars&Stripes; hedging her bets I guess.

    I’ve attended the last 3 GC finals and am sorry I can’t make the trip to the west coast for it. For those of you who will be there, yell 5 times louder to make up for the numbers deficit.

  113. Dennis says:

    Not sure it as an advantage, but it is clearly better than playing in Mexico city!

  114. Wm. says:

    This is going to be a great game. The US can pull it off, but even if they don’t it will be great experience for some of the young’uns as qualifying starts up next year. (The Rose Bowl should approximate an away game quite well under these conditions.)

  115. Eric says:

    I’ll be there! Looking forward to a great game with some lively crowd support from both sides!

  116. Anthony says:

    Javier Hernandez scored twenty goals in his first year anywhere other than Mexico for the Premiership Champions and European runner ups, had Dimitar Berbatov benched, and for country has been unstoppable scoring against everyone including France and Argentina in South Africa…but he is not World Class… sheesh!

  117. Jorge Pedroso says:

    In stadium Civility???

    As in Baseball and Football or just soccer? Please clarify.

    Did all of the American fans come back in one piece from their Azteca experience?

    Has there ever been an American fan hurt in Mexico attending any sports event?

  118. danny says:

    I agree with the pressure comment. The U.S. can force turnovers and counter- that’s their best chance of scoring. The longer the game goes on as a tie or a U.S. lead, the greater the advantage it is to the U.S. The key, as usual, will be to not get behind early, especially in the first half. If that happens, Mexico will loosen up and possess the ball more. They seemed tight and feeling the pressure of high expectations in the last two matches. The U.S. has possessed the ball much better recently so it will be interesting to see how much possession they get against Mexico. With the U.S. peaking at the right time, I predict a final score: USA wins 2-1 in overtime.

  119. Zoti says:

    We were outnumbered 70-30 at Giants stadium in 2009, what do you expect in LA?

  120. Zoti says:

    Richards may be fast but he also can’t dribble the ball and something which Mexicnas are very adapt at.

  121. Marco Spindola-Guert says:

    I always thaught Donovan a World Class player and I’m Mexican so what’s the problem? Tim Howard World Class keeper, amongst the top ten in the world, so what’s the problem?

    BUT a player that scores twenty goals for the Premier League Champions and runner-up European Champions, is World Class too my friend. And maybe Dos is not World Class, but he had Messi riding the pine for a year while he was at Barca. Maybe a story he can tell his kids.

    And Dempsey? So why isn’t Salcido World Class? Different positions same club. He was champion with PSV back to back, has played Champions League and UEFA.

    To say that Howard is the only world calss player from both teams would be admissible to some, if it weren’t for the fact that one Rafael Marquez is there also!

  122. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Costa Rica fans wouldn’t make the same impact as Mexico, the difference in the populations of the countries will tell you that. Though I will grant you that Portland would be a place to shoot for a USMNT game.

  123. marco says:

    El Tri 4 USA 1
    US gets two red cards, Jones and …………..

  124. Kyle says:

    That’s if he passes the drug test.

  125. Brent McD says:

    screw that! there will be plenty of US supporters who’ve got your back. wear your red, white and blue with pride

  126. Brent McD says:

    more likely Rafa gets a red card. doesn’t he try to injure a US player every time we play? i’ll predict another
    DOS A CERO!

  127. Dude Abides says:

    I am in 4-H, will be wearing a Donovan Jersey and USA flag, and screaming my A$$ off.

  128. go away says:

    You’re such an annoying simpleton!

    Just like the food served in McD’s!!!

  129. Brent McD says:

    the truth hurts, eh? ;)

  130. Francois says:

    Hell Yeah boys!! I’ll be wearing my Dempsey away jersey with a SA scarf and letting the Mexico fans have it. DON’T TREAD ON ME!

  131. Francois says:

    The food at McD’s is annoying simpleton? Maybe you should re-think your attempted insult. You should take heed to your name and ‘go away’.

  132. GW says:

    Maybe not but they think enough of him to feature him in commercials.

  133. GW says:

    “Yes Howard is world class..one of the top 5 keepers in the world and most ‘experts’ would and do agree on that…”

    That is very,very debateable. Maybe top 20, or top 15. How often do you hear about any top team wanting to buy him?

    “you may recall he won keerp of the compeition in the 2009 Confederation Cup…”

    That was in 2009 before he had a pretty shaky 2010 World Cup.

    Howard is a very good keeper who periodically loses concentration at bad times. Keeper is not necessarily a problem spot for the US but it would be very good if someone would challenge Howard for the US job as he gets complacent with his “automatic” selection.

  134. GW says:

    If you get goals why does it matter to you where they come from?