It’s coming! The US-Mex preview: Your thoughts?

Battleground: Mexico

Battleground: Mexico

Nearly 1.5 miles above sea level.

Over 100,000 chanting fans clad in green.

Smog so thick it makes Los Angeles look like Montana.

A recent scare of epidemic proportions.

You think the U.S. only has to worry about the play on the field?

Each preview TSG let’s you know what we’re looking to see from the USMNT and after the game we review those comments and predictions.

We want your help this time. What are you looking for in this game? Is Clint Dempsey’s aggression a critical component for the U.S.? Who’s at the wingback positions and can they handle the Mexican attack? Will Timmy Howard be able to communicate with the backline? Who’s more instrumental for attack, Jozy or Charlie and why? Should Benny start (obviously we think so)?

Here’s all we know so far:  Jay DeMerit (63%) was your choice to partner Gooch in central defense for the clash.

We’ll take the best ones and incorporate them in to the piece. Thanks for reading!

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matthew N on 2009/08/06 at 11:31 AM

    Here is my hope for the starting eleven:
    Howard (obviously), Bocanegra/Gooch/Demerit/Spector, Feilhaber/Bradley/Donovan/Dempsey, Jozy/Ching

    So far, I am not impressed with Davies or Casey. Both have struggled to finish well and do not seem to create their own chances. I am also interested to see if Bob Bradley will earn his paycheck for once. Basically, this team has a great starting lineup but they don’t have any game changing players they can bring off of the bench. Feilhaber can be this player, but he really brings so much to the game that he should be starting. A few players I believe have this quality are Adu (defensive liability, hasn’t lived up to potential, but is aggressive and makes plays), Holden (haven’t seen him at the highest level of play but he is amazing in the MLS), Hejduk (not really an offensive player but a solid defensive leader who has a big heart), and Mastoeni (hasn’t played well as of late but still has a lot of tread on the tires so to speak). I’m not looking forward to seeing Damarcus Beasley or John Bornstein, both of whom seem to bring nothing to the table. DMB is clearly past his prime and Bornstein consistently gets beat and is forced to take terrible fouls.

    This US team definitely has the talent, and I think they are clearly a far superior team to Mexico, but taking someone to task in their own home is quite challenging. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a US loss here, but I am optimistic that the US will play well (assuming Bradley can manage to name a decent roster/startingXI).


    • Posted by Matthew N on 2009/08/06 at 11:34 AM

      I also agree that Dempsey’s level of play is a huge component of the US’s success. Lately, Clint has been looking like a meth head who hasn’t slept in weeks while other times he plays with the type of panache and aggression that he is known for. Since he is one of the most experienced players who often gets a touch in those amazing chances that Donovan creates, he needs to be able to make plays when we need him.


  2. Can someone please tell me which formation can mitigate the risk of Dempsey over-dribbling / turning the ball over in the middle of the field?

    My squad: Howard / Boca, Gooch, Demert, Spector / Donovan, Bradley, Clark, Dempsey / Altidore, Davies

    Subs: Benny for Bradley or Clark / Ching for Altidore /

    Finally, I know this a US soccer blog, but is anyone else interested to see if Vela and Gio can turn in decent performances again? These two guys seemed destined for European success two years ago and I had not heard from either until that Gold Cup Final.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/06 at 8:09 PM

      Yeah, it’s Dos Santos didn’t do anything last year at Tottenham and Vela has shown flashes but not consistency.

      Check out the preview post — I see Davies off the bench — thoughts?


  3. Posted by aupamexi on 2009/08/07 at 2:23 PM

    its funny how the excuses are starting… not blame smog and altitude, only 3 players on the mexican team play in Mexico City… the rest are in europe and other places in mexico/usa.

    So i guess being born mexican, you are immune to smog and high altitude?

    so its even…. its like the excuses the US media made for the loss 3-0 in Costa Rica… it was the turf…
    please only 4 costa rican players on the team also played regular football on that field.

    US excuse machine needs to stop… when you loss games take it on its terms…. not with crap.

    Mexican Media rips mexico all the time… for playing bad…. unlike the us media…

    Pound for Pound Mexico has more talent, US plays boring football… very machine like, no creativity, no real attack…

    Watch US games is alright here in plain view…

    I know you can never win a argument with a US Fan because patriotism has blinded so many of you guys…

    its good to be proud but there’s also a limit before it turns to stupidity.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/08/07 at 2:43 PM

      Hey…the US lost to Costa Rica 3-1…typical Mexican fans not respecting Lando’s brilliant penalty kick goal.

      (aupamexi…please note sarcasm…I had to argue something in your post.)

      Be it smog, altitude or turf, both teams play in the same conditions outside of the crowd. I believe Matt was just pointing out that in addition to playing good soccer, the Yanks will have other issues to overcome. The commentary wasn’t in relation to the Mexican side, just what the US is up against.

      What your post tells me is that the USMNT has progressed. In the past the talent level and quality of soccer wasn’t debatable between the US and Mexico, so it is nice to see that a Mexican soccer fan feels the need to stand up for his side.

      Regardless of the outcome the US will be in great position to qualify for the WC which is the real proving ground. As it stands RIGHT NOW, the only way Mexico may go the WC is if they buy a ticket.


  4. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/07 at 2:50 PM

    Aggressive response my friend, but glad you responded.

    Everyone I know of is affected by smog and high altitude. Just the Americans usually don’t take the field in those conditions that’s our contention as Mark pointed out.

    Pound for pound Mexico has more talent, you’re right….
    ….so it’s really a shame that they stink right now.

    Seriously, if the US had Dos Santos and Vela well we would certainly win more than the Gold Cup against up-and-comers.

    As for style of game played, cmon — that argument has been made for years. If you are going to call the US boring you might as well call Germany and England boring.

    I’m glad you’re impassioned fan for the 30th ranked team by Fifa — when they make it up to #12 — give me ring:

    Until that time, try to avoid tripping any more players.


  5. Posted by aupamexi on 2009/08/11 at 4:18 PM

    nobody cares about fifa rakings, espana was #1 but never has won the WOrld Cup and yet they are the best? Espana is a underachieving team like mexico, but with more talent.

    US cracked the top ten in 2005, they went to wc2006 and got punked like a ayso thats a lame reply.

    i do call england boring, germany on the other hand is been more creative, maybe ur confused and ur thinking about the Germans of 60-90s… the germans even in 2006 showed beauty.

    i grow up on this.. this is my game, i dont give a shit about baseball, american football, basketball etc.
    and i know many other real fans, are just like me..

    even if mexico is last place in the world, mexicans will still follow them, why because we are real fans. we dont change the channel to see how the yankees are doing.

    usa team is also learning to play dirty like everyone else. and who gives a give shit about pk donovan,
    racist, classless, unprofessional mls gaylaxy stiff.


    • Posted by Mark T on 2009/08/11 at 4:53 PM

      I find your last sentence incredibly sad and ironic — writing a classless statement deriding someone else for being classless.

      We appreciate you took the time to comment. Be passionate, be dissenting, but don’t be disrespectful. Consider this a friendly reminder and feel free to edit your post if you’d like.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/11 at 4:56 PM


      This is a warning for content of your post. If you post slanderous commentary–specifically calling Donovan a “racist”–we will not allow you to post here again. I don’t mean that rudely.

      We like and encourage “aggressive” and “controversial” commentary–there is a forum here for that.

      There is most specifically *not* a forum for baseless, slanderous commentary.

      With that said….

      If you don’t care about the Fifa rankings, then you shouldn’t care about the Gold Cup — period.

      Secondly, I could care less about what other sports you follow. That you don’t follow other sports does not mean that makes you some sort of soccer super fan.

      In fact I could care less if you switch a channel or not.

      The reality is that Mexico is failing miserably because they’ve made poor coaching choices and they don’t focus on their young player development.

      Playing “dirty” is a subjective piece of commentary — that fact that Aguirre tripped a player is a fact and that in fact it was a dirty play.

      The USA will have a very tough game on their hands tomorrow–and they are facing a Mexico team that is, like our boxer analogy, up against the ropes. In my experience, those teams win. The US will have a chance because of their form.

      Let’s talk afterward.


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