Mexico 2 USA 1: Nothing Accomplished

12 August 2009

Fans of the Red, White and Blue went into the 'Showdown at the Azteca' thinking not only was a result possible, but that result would be a win. Yes, I said the US would lose 3-0, but the fact remains I never thought the US would get a result. When it's all said and done, the United States again show they are the same old same and lose 2-1.

Looking at the starting eleven, why on earth was Jose Francisco Torres left on the bench? I could understand leaving Altidore on the bench, as we were going to need someone to come on late in the game that could run on defenders. Mexico puzzled everyone leaving Vela on the bench in favor of Franco, but nothing out of the ordinary stuck out to me.

The opening few minutes were the only positive to the game for the United States: yet at the same time it was also the part of their downfall. Mexico was content to let the US run around and chase everything. They weren't expecting Landon Donovan to catch Charlie Davies on the perfect run to make it 0-1 in favor of the United States.

Mexico though did look to get down after the opening goal, but the United States were starting to show cracks in their game plan. While the US had two lines of four, the spacing was atrocious and too deep. Israel Castro took full advantage of the space and in a matter of only eleven minutes, the score was level and the United States was screwed.

People will debate when the legs went for the United States; I think they went in the thirty fifth minute. Mexico had all day to do whatever the hell they wanted. By the half, I was expecting Vela to come on for Franco. That, though, did not happen.

The second half started with Mexico dominating possession again and the United States doing whatever it could to defend. Javier Aguirre drew the first tactical move by bringing on Carlos Vela for Blanco. What does Bob Bradley counter with? Bradley counters by going 4-5-1 taking Ching off for Feilhaber and Ricardo Clark for Stuart Holden. Again, another wasteful set of substitutions by Bob Bradley.

It was obvious that the United States were happy to get a draw. By the hour, the United States had no shape, no form, no anything. The US had only one decent effort in the second half, and Charlie Davies didn't have the energy to get one yard forward to put his head to a Stuart Holden cross.

When you play for a draw, you are going to lose. Aguirre finished off his second half tactics lesson for Bob Bradley by bringing on Nevy Castillo and Miguel Sabah. Castillo frustrated the hell out of the Americans (and could have been sent off at least twice) and Sabah got into perfect position for the game winner. When it was all said and done, the United States was lucky to only lose 2-1.

As for the big picture, what exactly has the United States done this summer? While they made the Confederations Cup final, they ended the competition with more losses (3) than wins (2). They struggled to get results in the Gold Cup and were flat out embarrassed in the final. They were humbled at Costa Rica and struggled mightily against Honduras at Soldier Field. At Azteca, we were the same old flat American side.

Bob Bradley continues to prove how inept an in-game manager he is. To those who say he got his tactics right at the start I laugh in your face. All the early game running killed them before halftime. Why the partnership that proved a success at the Confederations Cup in Davies and Altidore didn't get more time together up front today was a joke. Why Jose Torres, who's played at Azteca more times than most of this squad put together, didn't start is a joke. Michael Bradley was useless today. The rate we're going we may as well miss the World Cup. It would be better than going three and out in South Africa. At least missing the World Cup may see the USSF to completely overhaul the entire system.

No the refereeing didn't cost the United States this game, the US beat themselves. Anyone thinking that needs to go find another blog to cry on.


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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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