USA still can't beat Mexico at the Estadio Azteca, even after a one goal lead.
So, who's to blame?
BLAME THE REF
I thought the cards were inconsistently given, although it wouldn't have led to anything substantial. No one deserved a send off. Yes, I think Nery Castillo deserved a yellow after the Davies incident, but so did Feilhaber.
However, the ref had nothing to do with the result today.
This usually follows the blaming of the referee. I don't think there's a grand conspiracy against the US in CONCACAF. There's way too much money to be made by CONCACAF in the United States. Why do you think they have the Gold Cup here every time?
CONCACAF assigns the referees, yes. I don't think they've ever screwed the US over with a referee assignment. If you want to argue about the competency of referees in the region, take that up with the national associations who train and develop referees, not CONCACAF.
BLAME THE COACH
There's lots of Bradley haters out there, I'm not exactly sure why. Is he the best coach in the world? No. Has he done a good job in charge of the US national team? I would say yes.
I'm not the biggest fan of Bocanegra on the left. In this game, I think he was the best option we had. It's a position that is a weakness right now. If you have a kid, teach him to play left back.
I thought he had a good, balanced group on the field. I don't believe it was his call to park the bus after the Davies goal. The team began to play scared and couldn't even complete a pass. Ching was wasted up top, because we couldn't even find him so he could hold the ball. We were not able to relieve the pressure in the first half, and the goal was always coming.
Things seemed better in the second half. I think he did the right thing with Altidore. Jozy was never going to be able to go very long in this game, he hasn't been training consistently and didn't have 90 minutes to give. The Holden sub was the only one I wonder about, I don't think it worked very well. I believe the idea might have been to go to more of a 4-5-1, but it never worked out that way.
Again, I don't think Bradley is the best in the world, but I think he's doing a good job overall. Definitely good enough to get to the World Cup. Who would you replace him with right now? Dominic Kinnear will end up being the coach of the US national team, but bringing him in now wouldn't change things very much. Give him the team at the beginning of the cycle so he can start to build his own team. Right now is about knuckling down and getting the necessary results to qualify for the World Cup.
At the beginning of the hexagonal, who thought we'd beat Mexico in Mexico this time anyway?
Unfortunately, Mexico was the better team today. That's okay. It was a game that they HAD to win, while it was a game that we never counted on winning.
Personal thoughts on the game:
- Too much whining about the refs by the announce team of Schoen and Balboa, I think that might be coloring the fans' opinions.
- Definitely a big game feel to today, I love these types of games...
- Donovan needed to see the ball more. Beautiful pass on Davies' goal.
- The altitude/smog definitely took our legs away as the game went on. Bradley really didn't have much else he could do with the calendar on this one. Can't blame him for going into the DF at the last minute. At least we didn't pull an Argentina in Bolivia type of fiasco...
Come see me if we don't make it to the World Cup or go 3 and out in South Africa and then we'll talk...