Monday, June 27, 2011

Perhaps the US Women can win back some respect

In any other country a 2-0 lead in soccer (football, fusbol etc) means game over, stick 10 men in the box and play d, perhaps get a freak corner kick or header but go home with the hardware 2-1 and let the paramedics sort out the bodies outside the stadium. Not here, not in the US, and NOT in So. Cal. Only here could we have over 100k at the Rose Bowl, the majority going the way of the tri-colors, take a 2-0 lead only to give up 4 consecutive goals without any form of reciprocity. Mexico tooled the US again in the Gold Cup Championship game 4-2 to take the trophy again, this time in our own house. This was worse than the 5-0 loss because it proved that even when we catch a break we’re not good enough to hold on. It shows that even getting spotted two touchdowns we can keep them out of the endzone. It shows exactly how much we have fallen behind the top countries of the world, and Mexico is not rated in the top five. It also is a harbinger that we’ve got three years to do something miraculous before we get embarrassed again at the world’s largest sporting event in Brazil next time around. Fortunately, the US Women’s Team will be attempting to capture the World Cup this month in Germany. One of the favorites with a very winnable group, the US Women, unlike the US Men, are a side no one wants to play and handle their business on the pitch against teams they should beat and rest assured if you fall down2-0 to the US Women, your will leave with stadium with an L. So perhaps it will again be the women that get the respect (and the mojo) back for US Soccer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

US tries to change more than just Gold Cup history

The US grinded out a win over Panama 1-0, a side that previously beat them in the tournament, to advance to the finals of the Gold Cup on Saturday against Mexico. The Tri-Colors also struggled but scored twice in extra time to leave no doubt as they beat Honduras 2-0 for their path to the finals. The countries may share a border but to say that the US and Mexico are rivals in this tournament would be similar to comparing Ohio St. and Michigan football programs in recent years (although that may be subject to change) and the US hopes change their future as well. The U.S. and Mexico have played in the last two Gold Cup finals and split the two but the overall history has been one of domination as Mexico has outscored the US 14-1 en route to a 4-1 record. Additionally Mexico is undefeated in its last 11 Gold Cup games capped off by a 5-0 ownage of the States in last year’s final. To make matters worse the US will be without the services of Jose Altidore, the equivalent of their clean-up hitter, due to injury. So much like in the World Cup the US comes in as big dogs, but that seems to be when they do their best work and this is their first chance to make up for what many felt were failed expectations in South Africa after such a favorable draw. This would be an opportunity to take down a World Class opponent in a tournament they typically own and the type of statement that would build much needed momentum for the country’s program that has certainly lost its mojo after not reaching a lowered bar in 2010.