Calm down US Soccer fans
I don’t know if it’s just soccer fans or Americans in general these days but, well, these knee jerk hysterics depending on the latest result has got to end. Sorry but, yeah losing at the Azteca was a disappointment. But ya know what? We’ve never won there. Not once.
Yeah, we did manage a 0-0 draw qualifying for the 1998 World Cup and, over looked by the media at large, Mexico was held 0-0 in the semi’s of the Confederations Cup at the Azteca in 1999. Of course, it went down as an “L” because our friend, Mr. White, managed to find the net 7 minutes into OT. For the record, Mexico then went on to beat Brazil, yes the team who’d be World Champions 3 years later, in the final.
Notice something here? The Azteca is a tough place to play.
When Mexico hosted the World Cup in 1986, they played their first four matches at the Azteca. They then had to travel north to Monterrey to face West Germany in the Quarterfinals. Guess what, home field advantage lost. The Germans go through and end up losing to Argentina back at the Azteca (after a quick trip to knock off the French in Guadalajara.)
So you see…we were never going to win yesterday. No chance. The match was played in the hottest part of the day. Why else have such an early kickoff on a Wednesday? With this match, it sure won’t hurt TV ratings. The smog and altitude…well, they aren’t going anywhere.
Let’s not forget. The US has made sure to gain every advantage in their home legs but putting the home leg in Columbus in the evening, twice in February…well, how have the results gone? I’m going back to when the WCQ’s between the US and Mexico became meaningful. I ruled out qualifiers for 1982 even though the Azteca had just been opened and Mexico won 5-1. In 1986 Mexico were hosts so we didn’t play them. In 1990, Mexico was suspended for cheating. In 1994, we hosted. So, starting with the Steve Sampson era, here are the US – Mexico World Cup Qualifiers:
|04/20/97||Foxboro Stadium||1998 WCQ||2-2|
|11/02/97||Estadio Azteca||1998 WCQ||0-0|
|02/28/01||Crew Stadium||2002 WCQ||United States 2-0|
|07/01/01||Estadio Azteca||2002 WCQ||Mexico 1-0|
|03/27/05||Estadio Azteca||2006 WCQ||Mexico 2-1|
|09/03/05||Crew Stadium||2006 WCQ||United States 2-0|
|02/11/09||Crew Stadium||2010 WCQ||United States 2-0|
|08/12/09||Estadio Azteca||2010 WCQ||Mexico 2-1|
Looks to me like Bradley did just as well as Arena or Sampson and better than any previous US coach.
Ok, I get it, times have changed and the US is a (I’m guessing many would say ‘the’) power in the region. But we aren’t. Heck, how many of those micromanaging Bradley’s tactics even watched the match in ‘97? I can tell you were I was…and it was an amazing performance that day.
will the US win at the Azteca? Maybe one day. Who knows? Will Mexico beat the US on US (or foreign) soil in a WC or WCQ match? Maybe. But expecting things just because you want them doesn’t mean they’ll happen.
Perhaps Bradley could have made some better choices. I’m pretty comfortable with the believe that Klinsmann wouldn’t throw Bradley under the bus like Hugo Sanchez did to Ricardo LaVolpe…look where that got him. Sunil Gulati was reported as responding to a question about firing Bradley if the US lost by saying something like, “We aren’t Mexico.” Nice dig and very accurate. What’s it been, 5 coaches in 4 years or something. Way to build consistancy.
Even with the three points yesterday, it’s still an uphill battle for Mexico to reach South Africa. The US has already played Mexico and Costa Rica on the road. Mexico goes to San Jose next month to face a Costa Rican side who somehow managed to lose at home 4-0 to Honduras last night.
|Costa Rica||12||Mexico||@ El Salvador||TnT||@ USA|
|Honduras||10||TnT||@ Mexico||USA||@El Salvador|
|USA||10||El Salvador||@TnT||@Honduras||Costa Rica|
|Mexico||9||@ Costa Rica||Honduras||El Salvador||@ TnT|
Ponder this. With all the celebrating Mexico did last night, they next have to face Costa Rica at Saprissa. Then then come home four days later to face Honduras who will be sensing blood as they’ll probably have 13 points (after beating TnT at the Olympico) by that point and will still be ahead of Mexico even if they pull off the upset (yes, upset) at Saprissa.
We should have 16 points before we go to Honduras.
|Champion||Mexico||18||Costa Rica||23||US/Mex tie||22|
|3rd Place||Jamaica||14||US/Mex tie||17||Costa Rica||16|
While it sucks to lose to Mexico under any circumstances–did you know this is Mexico’s longest winning streak against the US in 10 years?–it’s only one game. One game we knew would be tough and we really never counted on gaining even a point from. Let’s look forward cuz we know Mexican fans still live in the past…and lets hope they do that against Costa Rica and Honduras so we don’t have to worry about our last two matches.
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