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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.
Monday July 27, 2009 3:09 pm
Well anyway you look at it, 5-0 is an embarrassing loss. We should never lose to ANYONE at home this badly... and against Mexico it's just that much worse. That said, I think Dos Santos should have been carded for his elbow to Jay Heaps head, rather than rewarded with a PK! But I said well before this match that Bradley needed to bring in a few of his stronger players, notably Steve Cherundolo at RB (Note, Heaps didn't manage to finish the match).

I'd say the only players likely to see much action in the upcoming Qualifiers from this group would be Ching and Holden... possibly Goodson if there was an injury to one of our CB's. This was a game that we just plain lost, Referee's call or not, and after it was 3-0, they just didn't seem to be able to pick up their act and fight for a goal or two for respect... this WAS our "C" team and in the end it showed.

Now we have the prospect of having to go down to the Azteca and play the Mexicans who are now at least a little less in fear of the States... I doubt that they will be too cocky, but it would have helped if they hadn't pounded us this this time so badly. And speaking of that match, it now seems that it won't be readily available in English, as ESPN/ABC dosen't have the broadcasting rights, so many people won't get to see it unless they have Telemundo... how US Soccer could have let this happen is beyond me, this is THE MATCH, this is THE RIVALRY... that this could happen is simply absurd!
Monday July 27, 2009 2:54 pm
This is the second consecutive final where the US team literally collapsed in the second half. At the Confederations Cup, it was easy to explain at first. Brazil is just better, technically, physically, and mentally. While Mexico brought a decent team to the Gold Cup final, it isn't a 5-0 better team than that US side. This points to a deeper rooted problem in roster selection, playing time selections, and tactics. Javier Aguirre also out-smarted Bob Bradley at half-time, just as Dunga did at the Confederations Cup to take advantage of Bradley's earlier errors and known inability to make rapid adjustments. For example, Robert McKiernan (in previous comments) was surprised that Ricardo Clark was not called up for the final. So was I. Would a midfield of Beckerman and Clark have melted down? I think not. How much blame do the individual players need to assume? Depends on the player. Out of this entire roster, I feel that only Ching, Perkins, and Conrad are deserving of future consideration for the WC2010. None of these players are a lock by any stretch of the imagination, but these three are worthy of consideration.
Monday July 27, 2009 12:39 pm
No Confeds Cup berth because the next one is 4 years away and there will be another Gold Cup in 2 years time.
Monday July 27, 2009 12:31 pm
I heard the ESPN commentator say that there was no Confederations Cup berth at stake this time. How come?
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