Archive for April, 2015

USA – Mexico: The U-23 Edition

The US U-23 side took on Mexico’s U-23 side last night at the Home Depot Center in preparation for Olympic Qualifying in a match full of adrenaline and energy. At halftime the match was 0-0, but in the second half it was all about 1,2,3 for the young USMNT.

Uno A Cero…

Dos A Cero…

Y Tres A Cero!

Whatever coach Andi Herzog said at halftime worked. His side came out aggressively and played significantly better than they did in the first half. Perhaps bringing on Christian Dean at center back for Walker Zimmerman was the key, as the defense looked much more steady with Dean and Shane O’Neil playing together. Mario Rodriguez caused tons of problems for Mexico up top, making a great run to put away Luis Gil’s inch perfect ball to open the scoring, and barely missing a second when he beat multiple defenders and the keeper but was unable to finish a tricky opportunity. He and Jordan Morris were both very dangerous up top, and look to be a formidable pair when Olympic Qualifying starts. It’s possible that Morris has become Mexico’s boogeyman, scoring against them both at the senior level and U-23’s in a span of only 8 days.

Cody Cropper was huge in goal, coming up with multiple big stops, starting in the first minute. He alone helped keep Mexico scoreless on at least three occasions. Luis Gil caused problems for Mexico out of the midfield, playing a few marvelous balls. He looks to be a solid leader for this side going forward as they continue to prepare for qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The US finished the match with four yellow cards, while Mexico somehow ended up with zero. Some dubious refereeing at times in the match, and I was expecting one of the teams to finish with ten men, either the US to get a second yellow or a straight red for a Mexican player based on the intensity of the game and the overall level of chipiness. Fortunately the US worked through the inconsistency and kept their composure to pull out a nice win. Full match highlights in Spanish are below.

Dos A Cero Continued

Late to the party, but a couple brief thoughts:

Ventura Alvarado got his first USMNT start in basically the most pressure packed non-World Cup game possible for a US player and looked great. Hoping to see him and John Brooks paired together at some point before the Gold Cup this summer.

Swagudelo is back. Juan Agudelo looked like a man on a mission against Mexico, and if he can keep it up the next couple months, he could be a great option up top along with Jozy and ArJo. His touch was just so smooth. Depth is good, especially at striker. Nice work from Jordan Morris too, you can see what Jurgen sees in him.

Jürgen Klinsmann’s lineup choices and tactics are specifically designed to drive US fans on the internet crazy. Sometimes you think he has no idea what he is doing, and other times you are amazed by his genius. Could he be doing the greatest job ever of trolling a fan base as the manager of the USMNT?

DeAndre Yedlin may be learning how to defend properly at Spurs. That is a scary thought.

It’s insulting that US Soccer would be willing to play a match on that pitch. The fans and players deserve better. Stop looking for the most $$$ and start actually looking at the quality of the pitch. It’s 2015, not 2007. You are relevant and important now US Soccer, and your fans know better. Knock that shit off.