Reaction: US v Mexico 8/12/09

Not going to spend too much time discussing what happened earlier today but just a few quick thoughts for now.

Overall, I think the US looked ok, they came out playing well and took the game right too Mexico. They kept the midfield battle pretty even and looked up to the task for the first 10'. Davies' goal was very well taken off a very nice move in the midfield from Donovan; great touch and a perfect ball. Davies took it in stride and finished calmly and clinically.

Thats about where the positives ended as right after the goal the US basically decided to pack the back and attempt to hold off Mexico. When the US has gotten up against some of these teams they aren't supposed to beat, this has been a popular style this summer and they have had trouble with the lead in these games. They must work on improving if they plan on using it further.

Some people are opposed to this style and while it frustruating to watch a team you are rooting for play against this style, it can be an effective way to win the game. See, Chelsea v Barcelona Champions League 2010 Knockout Round, or, 2006 World Cup Champion Italy.

It worked against Spain b/c they were able to play as a team and didn't get solely defensive until 75'. Against Brazil, they tried to do it for 60' and gave up 3 2nd half goals. Against Mexico, they seemed to try it for almost 80' after the goal. They didn't get more offensive even after Mexico tied it, saying basically..."we would be satisfied with a tie."

They lost their midfield form when BB pulled Bradley and Clark way deep and parked them directly in front of the CBs. They were totally taken from any possession role either as any time a defender found themselves with the ball it was usually sent almost aimlessly upfield, trying to find a fwd. Even when a fwd was able to win the ball up front they had very little support.

In order to pack the back effectively, you must have players closing down the ball immediately and your CMs should be trying to avoid letting the opposition get close to the box, rather than being parked directly at the top of the semi circle. A series of quick, accurate, and sometimes long passes can result in dangerous attacking chances.

Davies, Altidore, Donovan...have the speed and attacking style to be effective offensive players for this style, Brian Ching does not. Even when he does get up in the air and win a ball, his distribution was off and he had no one coming up to support him.

The introduction of Feilhaber and Holden helped spark some offensive work but BB still had Michael Bradley playing too deep, basically positioning him out of the ability to make any contribution. That ball from Holden which Davies came so close to putting away was brilliant. Their other chances were limited to a few corner kicks.

There were some instances when they were able to push up field, using quality/under control play from the backline but, even then, the proposed solution seemed to be a final long ball into the box. The US was caught standing around too often and had no sense of attacking purpose or form for almost the entire remaining 80'.

The final goal was well taken by Miguel Sabah but the only one with a chance at it was Tim Howard. From that range, it would have been a brilliant albeit not impossible save; it's tough to say, but thats what you sign up for 'keep.

We now see why the US is 0-23-1 in the Azteca. It is a difficult and hostile place to play, but the US was in great position early on. They gave it a great effort but unfortunately couldn't pull out the point they would have been satisfied with.

As I said prior though, this kind of result should not invoke too much hostility towards the team or their progress this summer and prospect moving forward. They have improved and have been in position twice to come up with massive wins. Use the lessons learned to continue that improvement for the next 10.5 months. Also...make sure you qualify.

Others thoughts...


  1. Davies looked great..he attacks the goal which is rare on this team...davies altidore and donovan are the only ones who get the ball and attack the goal...i thought the defense played well onyewu is a beast back there, as well as howard...why is ching starting, what does he bring to the table? its very frustrating watching the cheap mexican style. was the near side line judge paid off, made some very questionable calls all in favor of mexico. the offsides on the goal taken away was highly questionable. i think feilhaber and holden need to see more playing time before world cup cause i think they can help a sometimes lethargic midfield. watching ching do nothing is almost as frustrating as watching the grimmy mexican team play dirty as hell all day..including trying to pick up an injured player.. what are they thinking. donovan tries to take a corner kick and gets pelted with drinks and programs..if we did that here we would be in jail for the evening..

  2. As a U.S. team fan I dont want to give weak ass excuses like the previous post did. We all know that in soccer the better team doesnt always win the game...but in this game...the better more aggressive team did win. Bradley did put in ching which I thought was a stupid move but the Mexican team was far superior. What I think we need to work on is to stop thinking like little bitches and recognize teams that win. I give my respects to teams that come from behind to win like that. Great Game!! and we're still in the running to qualify....

  3. OK, I'm gonna try not to bitch so as not to offend US fans like the last poster. Mexico prob deserved to win, they were the more aggressive team for a majority of the game, however, when a US player went down with an injury in the middle of the second half, 3 Mexican players went and started trying to yank the guy up, one even pulling at his neck. Apparantly they were afraid the US was stalling. This is unbelievable to me, considering the Mexicans are notorious for stalling, which BTW they started to do immediately after they took the lead. The guy that grabbed the US player by the neck should have been thrown out of the game, you can't do that. Just my 2 cents, at least the Mexican coach didn't kick any of our players dribbling near the sideline.

  4. ok yall are just mad because MEXICO kicked usa's ass twice hahahahahahahahahahah mxico #1