My brother will be along later with the traditional TSG review to today’s game.
If you read the 1st half notes posted less than 1 hour ago, well tear them up or just reverse them completely.
Here at TSG we support the USMNT, but we don’t pull any punches. If there is a player or coach to call out, we do it–in the spirit of providing good commentary to our readers and fans.
Take this away from today’s 5-0 drubbing by Mexico, it was a positive moment for U.S. soccer.
Today’s story, and don’t let ESPN commentary or Fox Soccer Channel (Fox announced: “this will taint the U.S.’s progress in the Gold Cup”) announcers tell you differently, is how a young, inexperienced team hung with the A team of Mexico for one half in front of an overwhelmingly pro-Mexican crowd at Giants Stadium.
For a team of youngsters to come together and play so confidently in the 1st half is THE story. Remember, this is a team that needed a late strike from Stu Holden just to beat Haiti a few weeks ago.
In the 2nd half, Mexico came at the U.S. with experience, momentum and national pride on the line and though our game Gold Cup squad couldn’t diffuse the onslaught, chalk that up to lack of experience and only lack of experience.
Though it was late in the game you know what was great? Brian Ching, arguably the best U.S. player on the day, rallying the squad. And you know what else I liked, 3 yellow cards (and subsequently a red for Jay Heaps) to Ching, Kenny Cooper and Heaps to end the game. While that may not be the best sportsmanship, it smacks of pride. Pride for their team and embarrassment of being demolished; it shows fight.
As a fan, I thought that U.S. soccer had fallen to the ultimate low when Tim Howard’s head was stepped on last August in Guatemala and no one came to his defense for the U.S. team. That was a team, and game, where you questioned the heart of everyone but Frankie Hedjuk. Or remember just a few weeks ago on the opposite side of the equator when the US team had to be nearly shamed into a solid performance against Egypt.
I didn’t see that today — I saw fight and a good future for U.S. soccer. I saw pride in the jersey the entire tournament.
Tough game team; great tournament. The fans appreciate it Team USA.
And kudos to Mexico, you played exceedingly well tactically and skillfully in the 2nd half. You deserved the win.