Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

BrazilFinal (Reuters)

Neither Brazil or Mexico have ever won the Men's Soccer Olympic gold medal before, but one of them will add that prestigious title to their trophy case when they square off in the Olympic Final today.

Brazil reached the semis on the strength of a win over South Korea, while the Mexicans pounced on defensive errors by Japan to book their place in the gold medal match.

In Mexico, Jose Torres leads Pachuca against Edgar Castillo and Club Tijuana in a match that U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann will likely have an eye on.

If you're craving some Serie A action, look no further than the Italian Super Cup, between reigning champion Juventus and Coppa Italia winners Napoli.

If you will be watching today's action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump):

MexicoOly (Getty)

TODAY'S SOCCER ON TV

8 a.m. - beINSport free web stream - Juventus vs. Napoli

10 a.m. - NBC Sports Network/MSNBC/Telemundo - Brazil vs. Mexico

1:15 p.m. - ESPN3.com - Dinamo Bucarest vs. Barcelona

2 p.m. - ESPN2/ESPN3.com - Real Madrid vs. Celtic

3 p.m. - Univision Deportes, beINSport free web stream - Paris St-Germain vs. Lorient

5:30 p.m. - Univision - America vs. Atlas

5:30 p.m. - GOLTV - Bahia vs. Cruzeiro

7 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Real Salt Lake

8 p.m. - Telefutura - Pachuca vs. Tijuana

8 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Tigres vs. Queretaro

8:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United

9 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids

10 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Monterrey vs. San Luis

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders

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115 Responses to Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Wendell Gee says:

    Bahia!

  2. chris says:

    What happens when i hate both teams

  3. Petaluman says:

    game on…wow 30 seconds in

  4. brant says:

    How ridiculous is Brazil’s depth? Their Olympic team has Lucas, Pato, Damilo and Hulk on the bench. Yeah.

    I hate cheering for Brazil to win anything (it’s like cheering for the high school QB and homecoming king to get a date with a sheerleader) but there’s no way I can cheer for Mexico in this one.

    Brazil’s got enough firepower that even spotting Mexico a 1-0 lead they could still win by 6. Let’s hope they do.

  5. Citronomics says:

    Well. I’m throwing in with Mexico today as a nod to our region. Like or despise em, as of late it’s hard to argue with their approach to player development and quality showing at youth international tournaments.

  6. Madaoua05 says:

    You speak of Mexico’s player development. I’m curious to know what they’re doing differently from the USA?

  7. T says:

    I’d never support Mexico, and I know they’d never support us to carry recognition for CONCACAF. They are supporting themselves by finding ways to improve past the rest of the competition in our region, and leaving us further and further behind if we don’t fix our development soon.

  8. Jon says:

    Bon Bradley coaching Brazil now?

  9. Jay says:

    Passion that’s what different. We as a country have no passion for the sport. Look at the dream team loaded from one to twelve with the best players in the world. And why is that, they play in the best youth leagues college leagues then pros. We don’t have that in soccer . If we win people cheer if we lose people move on to something else. Until the country has passion even hockey like passion we will lag behind good enough to compete but never to be great.

  10. Tyler says:

    Marcelo is shockingly lucky to not be watching the rest of this game from the locker room.

    He could have ended Peralta’s career.

  11. chris says:

    With that logic any tackle can end your career. The only thing shocking is how p*ssy the sport has become. This is a contact sport, you should expect to get hit

  12. SilverRey says:

    Is there any way we can create a Marcelo clone in time for 2nd round of qualifying?

  13. Mexico doing the same thing they did to Japan.

  14. Citronomics says:

    Ouch! Neymar gets clattered by the Mexico goalie who came out to and got there to punch away a cross.

  15. Jamie Z. says:

    Marcelo can’t possibly be as fat as he looks, can he? What is it with Brazil and talented, fat footballers?

  16. drew11 says:

    We have a CLUB THAT DID NOT EXIST 5 YEARS AGO averaging 40,000+ a game. That is not improvement & passion?

    You are leaving out how much has improved in the last decade to feed your bias.

    We are getting there but it is going to take some more time for the game to marinate into our culture. But it is happening!

  17. pete says:

    Game over!

  18. Tyler says:

    That’s the Brazil we know–lots of flash and little substance.

  19. RBNY blow says:

    CONCACAF.. look out World..

    LOL

  20. Citronomics says:

    Mexico striker left unmarked on a corner and buries it. Should be a frantic final 10+.

  21. T says:

    Mexico is absolutely leading the charge, they are like the poster boy for CONCACAF, along with Honduras.

  22. YO says:

    This is the last thing we needed, Mexico with a Gold medal.

  23. Darthspud says:

    As much as I hate to say it, Mexico’s future looks a hell of a lot better than ours. Just look at their international results since they won the 1st u-17. What has the US done in that time frame? 2nd in confederation cup and crashed out in how many international tourneys? Sucks, I know.

  24. Tyler says:

    Juan just ROASTED teammate Silva on the field for dicking around with the ball in the defensive third and giving up a counter attack. Screaming match that ends in coach pulling Silva and not even saying a word to him once off.

    So much flash, so little maturity. You see it all the time for United in the red cards and the rash tackles and the fights.

  25. Tyler says:

    Mexico has just erased Neymar from this match. Once again Brazil puts out a group of talented players, but definitely not a team. Neymar seems to play for Neymar and only Neymar.

    Pato is a talented team player and should have started.

  26. T says:

    We’ll get to there level in probably 2 decades. We just need to get our leagues developed correctly.

  27. T says:

    Oscar….

  28. Kosh says:

    Wow!!

    El Tri with the gold medal!!

  29. Kosh says:

    Yeah, I thought Juan was going to rip his head off.

  30. Kosh says:

    The difference for me was when we were on top Mexico was investing and developing their youth in a big, big way. The structure, politics and money of our youth programs undermined our status as the regions no. 1 – and like that we are now miles behind them.

    This is part of what JK is trying to fix, but our “I want it all and I want it now” culture and entitlement attitude does not see that. JK has a lot of work to do, more than the fans can appreciate and he’s getting no help – not only from the fans but the so called pundits and experts.

    I think we are going to have to study what Mexico did there and apply some of that to our developing systems. Right now, all we can do is qualify for the WC and get our youth teams equipped properly with the right minds, attitudes and hunger.

    Congrats El Tri.

  31. Alex G says:

    Same here, just pathethic

  32. Alex G says:

    dark day for the USMNT

  33. Kosh says:

    Just wondering, why?

  34. T says:

    You are right Kosh, when Mexico was second to us they developed ways to make their players better. Since we are now second maybe even 3rd in the region now, we need to stop giving Klinnsmann flack, because he’s trying to fix the development systems in our country that are well in need of overhaul.

  35. Tyler says:

    Definitely had that look in his eye. He was furious.

  36. SurfGuyI says:

    said in reply to Brant…
    Yea right.

  37. Brad2 says:

    I will never forgive Oscar for missing that wide open header.

  38. RNG says:

    Now we’ll have to listen to the Mexican fans for the next decade…

    On the other hand, they deserved it. At least they played as a team. Every one of Brazil’s players is worth more than the entire Mexican team, but they just don’t work together….

  39. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Guys, let’s keep this in perspective. They won a youth tournament.

  40. Eric120 says:

    Congratulations to Mexico. A job well done, and a well-deserved gold medal.

  41. MTgunner says:

    That we were unable to qualify for….

  42. Kosh says:

    I don’t think we are third in CONCACAF, I believe we are second (though a distant second). Fans might be confusing Honduras’ recent rise as a further drop to us but I attribute that to the Mexican surge effect – it’s so scary it makes everyone look much worse than they really are. LOL

    For me Honduras is where we were when we were on top – your golden generation arrives and announces your prowess on the world stage. I hope they don’t fall into the trap we did, which is milk that generation until they are in their early 30s without developing reinforcements in the pipeline to keep your domination intact. Honduras does not appear to have the infrastructure (the leagues and youth development) at the moment to make us no. 3. We do, in fact we are in a position to even vault Mexico and I am convinced we can do this as soon as just before or right after 2014. we just need to get our programs right and going.

    The first strike should be the next GC. Mexico’s A team will be coming off the CC (maybe even winning the damned thing…nah, Spain coming off this Olympics is going to have a thing or two to say about that) so that means we will be facing this very team that just won gold today. If we cannot beat those guys with our A team…well, then, perhaps we are no. 3 in CONCACAF.

  43. Rgodinez22 says:

    Let us also keep in perspective that Mexico beat Brazil today (a team worth millions and millions of dollars) with players that all play in the Mexican league.

    No matter how you look at it you cannot deny this as a great achievement for their country.

  44. beachbum says:

    Oh boy…for the first time ever the US owned the matchup with Mexico, did it for 2 cycles…and those years are the problem?

    bull crap

    Yes the development continues to evolve here, but the changes to US soccer development started before Klinsmann arrived, Reyna in charge of that and the soccer academies taking hold because of MLS successes financially.

    Frankly, Klinsmann needs to focus on the senior team’s results in WCqualifying and should be judged on those
    Hope that goes well!

  45. beachbum says:

    Congratulations to Mexico

    I hate it but they earned it

  46. Kosh says:

    LOL. Rafael just got booed during the medal presentation ceremony. As a Manchester United fan, I am taking some small, strange, sick amount of enjoyment from this – he has done his fair share of doing stupid stuff like that for us in the Prem. Now SAF has to figure out how to get him right for the upcoming season. he is young though, and hopefully this outcome and the backlash he is sure to suffer in Brazil (which will be a tad bit unfair) helps makes him the better player he can become.

  47. Austin says:

    this has been the worst year and a half for us in the usa vs Mexico rivalry in a long long time

  48. Illini says:

    “Its only a youth tournament” those words reflect all that is wrong in US soccer, if you embrace the sport EVERY tournament is important and worth to celebrate. Just watch Brazil’s players faces, its not JUST a youth tournament for them neither for mexicans

  49. Kosh says:

    ^^^ THIS

    + 1

  50. T says:

    Yep, but don’t worry at least the very least I hope in a decade we will be a very strong team, but to have a strong nat. team we have to have a strong league, with strong academies. Until then…. well we are Mexico’s doormat.

  51. Robert Daniels says:

    Bitter sweet…I hate Mexico, good for CONCACAF though.

  52. beachbum says:

    Agree

  53. T says:

    We accept losing easily, Mexico did not when they where losing to us. USSF needs to do something so that we can compete at the youth level and up. You play to win the game it is that simple.

  54. Benny says:

    Why? These are Olympic team’s not national team sides.

  55. martin says:

    it’ll probably be another 25 years before the USA wins a tournament (youth or not) besides the gold cup. the only thing that would quiet mexico fans to usa fans would be if the usa won a world cup. i dont think thats going to happen for another 50 years.

  56. Jeff says:

    A youth tournament? Its under 23… 23! Most fans are already complaining about players nearing their peak at 25-26 (I disagree, since I think players can be great well into their 30′s). How old is Messi? Aguero? Di Maria? Give me a break. We were pitted against players who will form the backbone of many of these country’s senior teams come 2014. If this were a u15, you’d have half an argument. But when you look at the field of play today and see that over 90% of the Brazilian team are starters on teams that play the Champions League, then you can’t possibly make that argument.

  57. Kosh says:

    Good points beachbum, but I gotta disagree with you on the JK thing there. It’s the old Bill Parcels argument of cooking the meal and being able to buy the ingredients (I probably got that wrong). JK can only go so far with what he has, and as Mexico is showing us adding more to what you have does wonders for the overall team.

    Yes, JK’s primary job is the first team but as in many other parts of the world the national team coach is also responsible for shaping and maintaining the steady flow of talent that comes through the pipeline. In this effort I have no problem with his approach and vision.

    No one is taking credit from Reina but to dismiss JK’s input is simply folly. The MLS is coming along but those academies are not where they should be (not a knock, it’s just that they haven’t been around long enough) – as you can see even in MLS, besides the odd standout like Najar and Lade, these guys need some more shine.

  58. T says:

    They should still stop giving him crap, do they expect the current senior team to be the business? Well, they shouldn’t our players have average talent, but have a never say die attitude, sometimes that’s not good enough. It is good that he is working with Reyna but we will not see the benefits until 10 years down the road.

  59. Spank says:

    I don’t know why people keep saying great achievement for CONCACAF and Welcome to CONCACAF! Mexico isn’t representing CONCACAF, Mexico is representing Mexico. Other countries aren’t’ going to say “hey watch out for those CONCACAF teams” they are only going to say watch out for Mexico. They are on a completely different level from the rest of our teams. And everyone knows it

  60. biff says:

    Rafael looking like a dork at the 0:51 mark of this video after the famous non-handshake game with Luis Suarez and Liverpool last year.

    link to youtube.com

  61. T says:

    Right, these youth tournament reflect the future of these national teams (as long as they keep developing) and as it stands our youth wasn’t even good enough to qualify. People need to hold the soccer people in our country accountable, we need to invest in our youth holding on the Landon and Dempsey forever will not save us.

  62. biff says:

    A referee got knocked to the ground today by a Benfica player in the first half of a friendly in Dusseldorf and the game was stopped.

    Referee knocked out during a friendly match
    link to youtube.com

  63. T says:

    I said the same thing earlier, Mexico is leaving us and the rest of in CONCACAF behind, they are ONLY for Mexico and Mexico’s success.

  64. beachbum says:

    Bradley had to deliver with the talent available…so does Klinsmann. We’ll see.

    I’m pulling for him of course

  65. Kosh says:

    Nah, not my line of reasoning – all tournaments matter. Why do you think Brazil wanted this so bad, to the point where Juan wanted to commit murder on TV (OK overstatement).

    My point was achievements like this by your rivals should do nothing more than spark the fire in your belly to top them. These guys are pros and they know you’re only on top for so long. But also as a pro things give you a reason to step your game up, make you better, make you hungrier and that is the response I want to see from the USMNT in response to this Mexico resurgence. This isn’t even out JK or any coach anymore, this is about going out there and making your opponent know that you have not and will never surrender the crown to them.

    If this is a dark day then it is for the fans, as we’ll have to deal with Mexican fan verbal beatdowns now – like we handed out to them when we were on top.

  66. Rlw2020 says:

    “his name is ORIBE PERALTA!” wow great game for mexico! USA be warned the “golden generation” is really good.

    I still think we (usa) have just as much talent and passion than ever but the rivalry is growing faster than we are! This is what international competition is all about, if your not going forward than you are going backwards; ex missing or not playing well at the Olympics, U20 WC, etc is unacceptable if anyone seriously thinks US Soccer will ever be something.

  67. Benny says:

    Congratulations to Mexico but the U.S. is not even close to being their doormat. It was a youth tournament. Waite unit qualifying starts and Mexico starts defeating the U.S. at home and away by a large margin and then Mexico can claim to be Kings. Until then, the U.S. has won the hex two times in succession.

  68. beachbum says:

    I’m not dismissing Klinsmann’s input just not gIving him the credit some want to, that’s it.

    When he earns it I’ll be the first to give it…and I hope sincerely he earns it, just like Mexico did today

  69. Benny says:

    Yes, true, but it is still a youth tournament. Congratulations to Mexico.

  70. beachbum says:

    I do NOT believe we accept losing easily…no way

  71. Benny says:

    No, beating them in qualifying would sufficient. This is a youth tournament. The best players do not play. Remember, we beat Mexico in an actual WC to advance to the quarter finals. I’ll take that any day.

  72. Kosh says:

    Ouch you just had to bring those memories back, didn’t ya, biff? LOL. Yeah, I’ve seen far too many of that kind of crap.

  73. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    Yes, a youth tournament. How many of the players at the Olympics are regulars for their full national teams? Not many. Naming a few exceptions doesn’t change that. I’m not saying it’s not an accomplishment – Mexican fans should be elated. But these guys saying that it will take the US twenty, twenty-five years to catch Mexico are talking straight out of their asses. We topped WC qualifying last time, and finished higher in the WC. We were up on them 2-0 in the Gold Cup final before we were forced to sub out Dolo, which destroyed our defense. Most importantly, no one has any clue who will be playing on either team in ten years’ time. Those players are ten-fifteen years old now, and we don’t know who they are. It’s absurd to predict that far into the future. (I know you aren’t, Jeff, just responding to others here who are.)

    When was the last time Brazil, Italy, or Germany won gold at the Olympics? I don’t know, but I can remember Nigeria and Cameroon winning since I’ve followed the sport, not to mention Ghana’s U-20 World Cup win a few years ago. Winning youth tournaments is not a harbinger for future national team success.

  74. Silversurfer says:

    Let’s not forget that this is the Brazilian team that dismantled the full US Nat team. Mexico deserves this. The rise of Mexico precedes Klinnsman but so far, JK has done little to deserve the accolades. Facts the US is going backwards and it is largely caused by a youth system that depends on guys with accents who tut tut and cluck and keep a strangle hold on youth development solely or their pocketbook. Until that stranglehold is broken, we will continue to be made up of soft prima donas, who lack the mental, technical, and physical toolsbto be successful at the international level. Mexico is now a team of hardened veterans who play for team and desire to keep their spot. Viva Mexico – it’s the only thing that will change the USSF

  75. brant says:

    no kidding – I *totally* whiffed on that one. I should’ve figured the Brazilian Curse of the Olympics™ would continue, but I really wanted Mexico to lose.

  76. Kosh says:

    Now if we want to keep things in perspective and a like for like argument, we did beat Mexico, handily if I may add, prior to the qualifying tournament – pure U23 to U23, head to head.

    Not saying that translates to how this would have gone down if we made the Olympics, or even trying to take anything away from Mexico as I give them full credit and congratulations for what they just achieved. Just saying that if one were to make the perspective argument that would be the one to make – that maybe the future is not as bleak as many are portraying here.

    Oh but at the moment we are a distant second though it not an insurmountable gap. We could close the gap by 2014 – we’ve got the tools. The question is do we have the fire?

  77. dan says:

    Mexico success has to do with player development… what specifically is Mexico doing well in their youth development? I believe U.S. focuses on competition – not on development, though it has just been the last few years, with the MLS involvement, that the “development” discussion is more widely discussed.

  78. Lorenzo says:

    We don’t have the dream team because we have passion neccesarily, we have the Dream Team because no one else really plays the game.

    Mexico being a top team should not be suprising. At 113 million people, the only other country larger than Mexico where soccer is THE sport is Brazil.

    With their population and devotion to soccer, their success up until this youth championships has been way underachieving.

  79. dan says:

    Congrats to Mexico!! shows their player development is still years ahead of the rest of the CONC. region!!

    The U.S. player development structure is still a work in progress – way to much emphasis in competition vs. player development, though it is improving compared to 10 years ago.

  80. Benny says:

    That’s fine, but let’s see what Mexico does during qualifying. They did not play that great against Guyana and had a difficult time against El Salvador. They are not as great as people think. Can they be very good in two years? Maybe… Maybe not. When they won the U-17 WC, everybody was saying the same thing and then Mexico barely qualified out of the semis on goal differential and the U.S. won the hex. I’m not taking anything away from Mexico but when people insinuate that this Mexican side is better than the U.S. because of a youth tournament, that’s not right. Remember, Mexico did not qualify in 2008 and they did not do badly. They came in second to the U.S. as they always do.

  81. NE Matt says:

    Changing gears from the gold medal game…

    Mikey Parkhurst had the game winning goal and added an assist in the 6-1 romping Nordsjailand (sp?) put on their opponents today

  82. bottlcaps says:

    7 Positives to take from the win by Mexico.

    1) Two US Citizens won a Gold medal in Men’s Olympic Soccer and 18+ in Woman’s Olympic Soccer.

    2.) Three of the six medals won in these Olympics were won by Concacaf teams.

    3.) 5 of the 6 teams who won Olympic medals were from the Pacific Rim.

    4.) The only teams to give the Brazilians a tough match were the Men’s Concacaf teams (Honduras L 2-3 and Mexico W 2-1)

    5.) Europe was shut out of Soccer medals…in EUROPE.

    6.)Concacaf teams beat Spain AND Brazil.

    7.) None of the Mexican Olympic team members are scheduled to play the US this week.

  83. Moe says:

    Mexico had 19 and 22 year old centerbacks and they held a forward group of Neymar, Hulk, Pato scoreless for over 90 minutes. Thats mighty impressive.

  84. Kosh says:

    All well stated points and I agree with you. as fans we like to measure things and because Mexico just won we tend to overstate their powers. Like I said below before qualifying our youth team creamed theirs. In the end the medal says otherwise but I agree we are not as bad as we are making things out to be.

    That said, I will take nothing away from Mexico. It was a youth tourney but it mattered, as Brazil showed, it mattered a lot. But I get what you’re saying and I agree with you.

  85. 2tone says:

    Thats also false. Basketball is second behind Soccer in international circles.

    We have some of the best athletes in teh world playing basketball, and Basketball is measured by atheltic ability.

    I agree that Mexico has grossly underachieved in soccer though. It’s really about time Mexico started to produce better National teams, considering the tens of millions of kids that play the game in Mexico.

  86. 2tone says:

    Sorry Mexico and the U.S. are the poster boys. Honduras has a decent team every once and awhile. Look at there recent U-20 team which lost to Nicarauga, and now Honduras will not be heading to the CONCACAF 2013 WC qualifying tournament.

  87. Lorenzo says:

    Well… look at the players we DIDN’T have at Olympic Qualifying. If we had all our top players at Olympic qualifying (Altidore, Gatt, Chandler, Williams, etc) we would be thinking a little different.

    Mexico is doing better, but if Chandler really is back with us, added to Cameron, Boca, F Johnson, J Anthony Brooks, Lichaj, Cherundelo, Goodson- we may finally have a rock of a back line, unlike the last 8 years.

  88. 2tone says:

    Good win and deserved by Mexico. I really hope this puts a fire in USSF’s and the men’s programs bellies. Mexico didn’t qualify for the Olympics in 2008 and didn’t qualify for the U-20 WC in 2009. After that they rehauled things and made some serious changes. Now four years later Mexico is reaping those benefits from that overhaul.

    Hopefully the changes Claudio Reyna have insituted, and with the continued help from Klinsmann the U.S. men’s program will get back on track these next 4 years.

  89. louis z says:

    when does a youth team label end? U23 is pretty much as close as you can get to senior status, the advantage that Mexico had was they all played together for a while since just about all of them are from Mexico domestic leagues. Brazil is much better at the individual level but for this tournament they were at a disadvantage, I give props to Mexico for pulling this off.

  90. Jeff says:

    Completely inaccurate. First, I want to ask you why you think that a u17 squad will be lined up to take on senior squads a year or two after their championship win in World Cup qualifying? You obviously miss the point of what youth development is all about. No one, not even the most hardcore Mexico fan, thinks that a u17 squad will be given starting positions on the senior squad, if they clearly don’t have the maturity or experience to compete at that level. It takes time. 2005 was the START of Mexico’s efforts to begin developing talent and creating depth across the various positions on the field.
    Spain took years to develop their depth and it took several championship winning teams and those players to get playing time, maturity and experience to start filling roles on the senior team. Iniesta played in the youth squads as a 13 year old, but didn’t get called up to the senior squad until his early twenties.
    So, yeah, the Mexico squad of 2008 was weak. It was deficient. Why? Because it hadn’t benefited from the investments in youth since those players were still too young to be considered. But not anymore. And the US hasn’t done that. Oh, and by the way, every team struggles against El Salvador in El Salvador. But Mexico won. That’s more than I can say about the States. So, get used to being the new number 2, because the cream is finally rising to the top. It took time, but now we’re going to make it nearly impossible for the US to reclaim it. Good luck.

  91. louis z says:

    yeah, I thought about that too…I’m afraid I won’t see my USA win a WC during my lifetime since I’m already in my 50s

  92. Jeff says:

    I see what you are saying, but I need to point out that there are faults in your reasoning. 1) It is still too early for ANY teams WC qualifying to even know what their senior teams will look like. That is why this particular tournament is so important. Many of these players will be 23, 24 or 25 come 2014. This is a precursor to the qualifiers for all of the football conferences. As things stand, right now, most of the teams out there won’t field the teams that are currently their starting senior team in 2014. I think Mexico will have three or more of these players on that team. South Korea already had half of their actual starters play in this tournament. Uruguay, 5. Brazil, come 2014, probably around 6 or 7. You can’t take a snapshot in time today and think that the teams that you know now will be the same come 2014. In fact, follow who played in this tournament to know who will be starting in Brazil.
    2)The last qualifying for Mexico was marked by turmoil and showed the effects of change in their approach to how the senior team is managed and developed. You saw a changing of the guard, both on the field and in management. The old Mexico would probably have collapsed after going down 2-0 to the US. But this team, and the culture that is being developed from the youth teams on up was on display when Japan scored first in the semis. They never, ever, showed any loss of composure. They stuck to their game and worked back until they scored the goal they knew was coming. Same thing against the US. And let me remind you, Mexico lost Marquez and Salcido during that match. Dolo is important to the US; but Mexico losing its captain and other defensive stalwart was a MUCH harsher blow. But the team didn’t care. This is not your dad’s Mexico, this team has a completely revamped culture.
    3) And finally, the two last Olympic games were won by Argentina. With Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Mascherano and Riquelme. And Ghana is actually the best example of a team that invests in its youth. They would’ve been in to the semis of the last WC had Suarez not stopped the ball on the line with his hand. They were through on skills, but lost because Uruguay cheated. Oh, and remember, they beat the US handily. Whereas Nigeria has been marred by corruption and ineffective policies to support the development of their talented youth. You need to compare apples to apples, instead of coming up with arguments based on conjecture. This Mexico with a new culture and a different upbringing has beaten the US in finals 9-2 over the last 4 years. I agree, the old Mexico couldn’t have accomplished that. But today, they beat Brazil in a final. That’s the Mexico that you need to measure your progress against.

  93. Benny says:

    Completely inaccurate? Nope. You are missing my point.People jumped the gun back then stating that Mexico was way better than the U.S. (meaning the national team) just by the fact that the U-17 won the WC. That’s ridiculous, Jeff. It is way too early to tell who will be better in 2 years for the WC. I think the U.S. will be fine. The U.S. will probably lose the friendly against Mexico and might in a big way due to the fact that many European based players are still in pre season mode. It also depends who will show up. Let’s see how Mexico does in the Cofed cup. I actually think they can do well.

  94. Jeff says:

    That game was a friendly and allowed Tena to field 6 players that didn’t make it to the Olympics. So, yeah. Good for them… but who eventually qualified and won the tournament?

  95. Jeff says:

    Did you even read what I wrote? I agreed that at the time it was an overstatement for anyone to measure the success of a nation’s senior squad and whole football program based on one u17 team. However, that’s not what has occurred. They are consistently developing talent at all levels which are beating out the teams from traditional elite countries in nearly every tournament they’ve participated in since 2005. It takes time to see the fruits of these long term processes develop, and they finally are. Has the US done this? No. That is the point. I have nothing against the US, but if you want to actually improve you need to understand what you are facing up against. And that is a Mexico football program that is showing that these youth and new football culture are now changing the team that you once knew into a much more talented, cohesive, level headed and effective team. Same thing happened in Spain. Same thing is happening for Japan and Korea in their federation, and for Ghana in Africa. Smart investments and clear vision and culture pay off.

  96. so.... says:

    Wait didn’t this same Brazil team beat the us team a month ago in the states?

  97. Benny says:

    It just makes you wonder what the U.S. might have done if that last second gaff by Johnson did not occur, a team that beat this Mexican side in a friendly right before qualifying. Yes, it was a friendly but everybody played hard and to win. Honduras gave Brazil a terrible time with only 10 men, so playing against a Mexican side was not going to be easy. Mexico got some breaks and took advantage and that’s what you have to do. The Brazil side was their own worst enemy fighting amongst each other on the pitch. Whenever Brazil loses its cool, they are their own worst enemy. This Mexican Olympic side is not as good as the Mexican national team and the Mexican national team did not play that well against both Guyana and El Salvador despite winning. The U.S. did not do that much better but both will qualify for the WC. I still think the U.S. will win their group for the third time. But in the end, it does not even matter. The goal is to qualify and to peek right before the WC. National teams are completely different than an U-23 Olympic side. The WC is still 2 years away, some teams hit their peek two years from the WC and then flop in the WC and some teams hit their peek right before the WC and end up doing well. The U.S. is still in transition, and I believe within two years we will see a quality side. Congratulations to Mexico, a country with a rich culture and nice people. But when it comes down to soccer, their number one sport, I hope they lose every single game, unless it benefits us for some reason. That would probably be the day they lose on purpose. Congratulations to Mexico’s Olympic side but we will give them hell in qualifying, because it is a different beast all together.

  98. ted says:

    Whos are the 2 US citizens in the MEX squad? Or are you bsing?

  99. ted says:

    The US did not beat THIS Mex u23 squad, why do here keep making things up, read Ives’ tweets once an awhile.

  100. Wendell Gee says:

    The claim that no one else really plays basketball is extraordinarily ignorant.

  101. Adam M. says:

    Mexico win by playing steady defense, but their talent is far inferior to Brazil. Brazil will never win a major tournament outside their region if they continue to use two defensive mids (same applies to US), a matter made worse with three our attackers. They will always have one crap game out of four playing that way, and leave limitless room for the kind of errors made today. Nano is repeating Dunga’s mistake. For US fans, note that if Mexico can beat a Brazil playing defensive mods, how will the US do employing the same strategy with far less talent than Brazil, much less Mexico

  102. Silversurfer says:

    Please explain to me what you and the experts mean when they say we need to focus on development not results. That’s simply a cop out. What they should say is we were beaten and so I’ll make up an excuse.

  103. Nick F says:

    Miguel Ponce is one of the two…i’m not sure who the other would be.

  104. Napper says:

    He means that, in the US, youth soccer is dominated by club teams that prioritize money and wins over player development.

  105. CplDaniel says:

    But nobody else pays (rewards) players for their dedication and development in basketball the way the NBA does. If Americans had a reasonable chance of say $3k-$150k a week like in many smaller nations (or here in other sports) than we might make the chosen path of children and young adults more soccer-friendly.

  106. Benny says:

    Yes they did, give or take a few players. Bye.

  107. Benny says:

    I do not need to read it.

  108. alboy says:

    mexico only played with local mexican league players. only gio dos santos plays in europe.

  109. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I think you misunderstand me, Jeff. What I’m saying is that, as you said, we can’t conjecture, by which I mean that we can’t take an Olympic win and assume that it will translate into World Cup success in two years. As you point out, Argentina won the last two golds – look how they fared at the following WCs. Two quarterfinals, two losses to Germany. As Americans we would be happy if our team did that, but it really isn’t terribly impressive, especially for sides that have real aspirations of winning it. And I have to disagree with you about the Gold Cup. I don’t remember who replaced Salcido (who I rate) and Marquez (who I really don’t), but I doubt that the drop in quality was as severe as it was going from Cherundolo to Bornstein. (And I’m no Bornstein hater, but Mexico ate him for lunch when he came on.)

    As for the Uruguay-Ghana thing, he cheated and he received the appropriate punishment. That loss is squarely on Ghana. They couldn’t convert the penalty, and then they couldn’t get it done when the game went to penalties. Suarez is a punk, but that loss is on Ghana’s shoulders.

  110. SurfGuyI says:

    Very Very sweet that both Gold Medals came from CONCACAF countries!!!!

  111. SurfGuyI says:

    Very very sweet that both teams that earned Gold medals are from CONCACAF.

  112. Jeff says:

    I don’t think that winning the world cup is the only measure for success. Of course every team wants to win the WC, but just because a team doesn’t win it should not translate to their football standing, players or skills being subpar. Only one team out of 32 contenders wins it. There have been many amazing teams who didn’t win that tournament. I would be happy with Mexico being considered a firm contender and having deep runs into future tournaments. Would it be great if they won it? Sure. But right now I am happy with them being respected, producing quality talent, have players in the best teams in the world and for other teams dreading facing them in a tournament. Argentina may not have won the WC since ’86 and the Netherlands may never have won it, but they produce some of the greatest players out there and are always favorites . Sooner or later, like with Spain, they may win it again. But if I were Argentine, I wouldn’t be too sad to know that my team was made up of Messi, Higuain, etc. The football world is only going to get more and more competitive and the field is leveling out; for Mexico to be considered one of the top teams is an accomplishment in itself.
    And for the Gold Cup, the fact that a team has to make two substitutions early in the first half will always have a big effect on the tactical options that a team has as the game progresses. When Torres Nilo and Reynoso came on, most Mexicans were dubious. Reynoso may have good positioning, but he is slow as hell. And Torres Nilo was green at that stage. So it was a gamble. But it paid off, because Mexico has developed depth. And that is my point. Mexico has worked on having talented youth to replace the old guard made up of prima donas who didn’t have the character to work as a real team and turn over the difficult scoreline that this new team faced in that Gold Cup. Its not a deficiency of the US squad as much as it is a strength of the Mexican squad to do what it did.
    And come on, a penalty is a crap shoot. If you are condoning cheating as a reasonable tactic for poor teams to come up above skillful teams, then that says as much about your perspective of football and sports to make it clear that you don’t value true player development and are only looking for cheap one off wins. That doesn’t make for a lasting football program.

  113. GW says:

    It is fairly simple.

    Mexico has a thriving professional league, whose top teams spend a lot more money on their players than MLS does. And these teams have a better system of developing young players.

    If you are a Mexican kid and dream of being a pro there is a very clear career path for you to follow.

    while there is plenty of interest in American sports Mexican kids have only baseball as serious competition. And if you follow the history of El Tri recently, they have gotten a lot more serious about taking advantage of these built in advantages.

    Their national teams seem to play together more than ours does and since almost all of their players play in Mexico they have a great familarity with one another and how they play.

    If MLS teams were serious about developing local talent and keeping Americans from going abroad to play, that would increase the numbers of US players available to the talent pool. However, that might take a little time and USMNT fans can barely remember past the last game so don’t hold your breathe.

    The USMNT is a very together squad but they are not as cohesive as the Mexican squad seems to be.

  114. GW says:

    You are getting a little over the top here.

    This was the Olympics not the World Cup.

    The Brazilian Olympic team is their third or fourth string. By the time the World Cup rolls around this entire squad, with a couple of exceptions, could be replaced by better players. In fact they could probably do that tomorrow.

    Mexico did a great job and deserved their win but they played about as well as they possibly could while Brazil came to this tournament way overconfident and that did not sink in until the end of this game.

    In other words Brazil is capable of playing a great deal better than this and right away while this is best you will see from this particular Mexican squad.

    What is interesting is how this Mexico will look integrated with their senior players. Success does not always survive the transition.