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RICH FIDLER - Monday, July 27, 2009
The United States were defeated in the Gold Cup Final in embarrassing fashion on Sunday afternoon by Mexico at Giants Stadium, the worst home loss since a similar 5-0 drubbing at the hands of England in the mid-1980's.

Head coach Bob Bradley stayed consistent, starting the same eleven that defeated Honduras on Thursday evening in Chicago. Although the head coach had a larger roster as his disposal, he stayed with the same group that got the US to the finals.

Start's Clarence Goodson, Heath Pearce and and MLS-duo of Chad Marshall and Jay Heaps started in the back in front of Troy Perkins, who despite giving up five goals made a handful of terrific saves in defeat.

The first half was a mixed bag for both teams, neither appeared to come close although American midfielder Stuart Holden nearly put the US ahead midway through the half but his shot sailed just wide of Guillermo Ochoa's goal.

The second half was a different story as the Mexican's put together a stunning display, starting in the 56th minute when Jay Heaps collided with Giovani Dos Santos in the penalty area.

Jamaican official Courtney Campbell immediately pointed to the spot and Gerardo Torrado, the Mexican captain and midfield ace, stepped to the spot and drilled it past Perkins for the 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes later the Mexicans scored again, this time it was second half substitute Carlos Vela breaking through the off-side trap, after a flurry of action the ball fell to dos Santos who smacked the ball in to an empty net.

Bradley, sensing a severe change in momentum, immediately made a double-replacement as Kenny Cooper replaced Davy Arnaud and Santino Quaranta would come on for Logan Pause.

Unfortunately the flurry of goals would continue but this time the roles were reversed, as dos Santos would find a streaking Vela who had Heaps trailing well behind the play. Vela chipped the ball over an on-rushing Perkins to give the Mexicans a three goal lead.

Two final goals, one in the 79th minute from Jose Antonio Castro, and then a fifth from Guillermo Franco after Heaps was sent off for his second yellow card by Campbell, reducing the shell-shocked Americans to 10 players.

Prior to Sunday, the American's had held a stunning advantage over their southern neighbors on US soil. Their last loss was a 2-0 defeat in March of 1999, an eleven game unbeaten streak that was snapped in front of 79,156 on Sunday.

The teams will meet again in a little over two weeks for their World Cup Qualification clash. The United State's will bring a heavily European influenced roster to Estadio Azteca in Mexico City looking for the first win at the famed stadium.
Thursday July 30, 2009 9:28 am
I couldn't agree more with Joe. I was at the stadium wearing my US colors on Sunday. I felt like Dave Crocket at the Alamo. The American supporters were outnumbered at least 4 to 1. That’s 60,000 to 15,000.

Everyone reading this should ask themselves the question, why wasn't I there?

Maybe if the young group of players had been cheered on, the result would not have been so bad. Remember the score at half time was 0 – 0, and if Roby Roberts had scored things might have been different including me not being around to tell about it.

— Sante
Wednesday July 29, 2009 8:20 pm
the lose isn`t the players nor the coach`s fault .Did you see how many mexican fans were there ,which i`m sure many were US citizens as exlimey pointed out.just picture yourself in that situation playing in your country ,but the vast majority of fans are rooting for the opposing team and after going through that throughout the whole tourney.These players did their best in this tournament and i know these players get frustrated when that`s the case on home games,but can you blame them?i dont think so.I blame the lack of US supporters in this country.No country in the world lacks supporters as much as usa when it comes to national team games ,not just in soccer,but everyother sport as well and that`s the reason i find it hard to believe that this country is considered the most patriotic country in the world because it doesn`t show at all .at least in national team games
Wednesday July 29, 2009 10:08 am
In 2011 will the Gold Cup final be in Mexico because the won in 2009?
Tuesday July 28, 2009 2:36 pm
That the US has to play an away game in New York is outrageous. Sure, there were a bunch of foreigners supporting Mexico but you know darn well most of their supporters were US citizens or permanent residents.
I grew up in England, but since I became a US citizen I wouldn't dream of supporting them against the USA, my adopted homeland. Disgraceful.
Tuesday July 28, 2009 11:42 am
The lack of common sense in some of these posts is amusing, to say BB made bad roster decisions is almost laughable. He brought in some inexperienced players for this tournament and he stuck to his guns to see who might step up. Through this we found out a few things like Freddy Adu still needs some work, Jay Heaps sucks so bad it's not even funny, Stu Holden is legit, R Rogers needs a little work but has the ability to be special, Beckerman can be a back-up in the center of the park if need be, Davies is the man, Kenny Cooper isn't ready, Ching is getting too old to even do his hold-up job, Goodson can perform, Chad Marshall doesn't lose aerial battles and has some surprising speed and foot skills....I could go on.

What would have been the point in using established players here who need to be with their teams in pre-season after a fairly long summer already? To win the Gold Cup? This edition was absolutely meaningless in every way. Hopefully we will start to see Holden, Marshall, and Rogers at least find some camp call-ups for some WCQ and they can continue to try and find a first team roster spot. That is what this tournament was for as far as USA soccer is concerned. The fact that we made it to the final against teams that brought far more first-teamers than we did is commendable and shows the quality of some of our lesser-known players.
Tuesday July 28, 2009 1:10 am
Clark and Kljestan should have been called in for the final. Clearly.

Bob's decision to take Marvel Wynne to SA and then not play him was ridicolous. As a "project" right back with considerable potential, he should have been left off that roster in favor of gaining several caps at the Gold Cup. Despite his tactical deficiencies, he would have improved our backline with his speed. Mexico created at least a half dozen chances on our right side, because Heaps couldn't cope with the pace of their strikers. The national team shouldn't be in the position of giving average MLS players caps as some sort of lifetime achievement award.

What was the point of calling up Evans and then playing him out of position? If the point of the Gold Cup was to evaluate future prospects, then Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron should have been given a chance. It would have been easy to do so with the expanded roster.
Monday July 27, 2009 6:07 pm
oy vey. Shirt-tugging. Where to start with that?

FIFA has got to start handing out post-game suspensions for shirt-tugging in the box. That will bring it to a screeching halt. Goodson's case was ridiculous, but that stuff is routinely let go with a warning in current FIFA games. Team kits should not have loose shirts either. I have never understood that.

The same goes for dives.

These things are too hard to police real time during the game with the current size of the players and the speed of the game.

As for Campbell, remember that he interfered with 2 Mexican passes both of which resulted in turnovers to the USA in the Mexican half of the field. Once is luck. Twice borders on incompetence.
Monday July 27, 2009 5:49 pm
The penalty call was just ridiculous. Dos Santos clearly smashed Heaps in the face with his forearm, as they were both falling down. Campbell's name should be struck from the FIFA referee's list for 'A' level internationals. True, Heaps had a handfull of Dos Santos' shirt, but there was a similar play in the Mexican box later that showed a Mexican with a handfull of Goodson's shirt, clearly stretching the fabric of it at least a foot. That was clear grounds for the same type of call, but Campbell didn't give the penalty when the infraction was against Mexico.

The positives for the USA were the play of Rogers, Holden, and Goodson, who can look forward to spot duty during World Cup Qualifying.

We should have had better players selectable for the Final. I feel like US Soccer conceded victory to Mexico in this. Not the way we wanted to prepare for rolling into Azteca in August.
Monday July 27, 2009 3:51 pm
The penalty was a farce, BUT Heaps went low and started to tug Dos Santos' shirt. He smartly let go.

He did everything else wrong.

A defender should take the elbow and not shy away from the contact. That was amateur. You don't go down in your own box as a defender hoping to draw the foul. That's basic stuff. You let the ref see your blood or bruise as an indelible reminder of who is in the wrong and who is in the right.

What I don't understand is how a team at this level of play for the USA (B,C, Z team ... irrelevant), plays like it's 3 goals down when they are one goal down and completely surrender the midfield. Chasing the ball as a way to get back in a game is something that should be coached out of any player by the high school or junior club level.

As I said in another post:

There is no American who loves this game and plays or has played it at a competitive level in this country who could see this result and not be angered by it. When you put on that uniform, you represent this country. Get rough in the midfield if you have to, but free runs out of the midfield are absolutely inexcusable.
Monday July 27, 2009 3:49 pm
I would have summon this players: zizzo, simek, nimo if adu left and jeffrey, lets be honest our u-20's from Canada would have beaten both of them. We need a coach who has more vision, pride and ambition.
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