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Matchnight: USA-Mexico

Greetings from very rainy Columbus (4:35 p.m.). We're under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. So far, no lightning and light winds.

Still hours from kickoff and we've got news......

*The 20-man roster is now an 18-man roster: Forward Charlie Davies (five caps) and midfielder Robbie Rogers (one cap) have been scratched.

*As you might have read in the Chicago Tribune and Salt Lake Tribune respectively today, Soldier Field and Rio Tinto Stadium will host upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Chicago gets the June match against Honduras, SLC gets the September game with El Salvador. The final details have also been worked out for RFK Stadium in Washington to host the October match against Costa Rica.

I will be back with lineups later and keep you updated on weather alerts and delays, which could affect TV coverage.

WEATHER UPDATE
About two hours before kickoff, swirling winds whipped banners out of place and pounding rain created scattered puddles near midfield. Lightning followed a half-hour later and, as an eerie yellow glow filled the western sky and a rainbow emerged to the east, fans were instructed to seek shelter as a precaution.

Forty minutes before kickoff, an enormous mass is slowly approaching. It is the color of outer space.

USA LINEUP: Howard; Hejduk, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Pearce; Dempsey, Bradley, Kljestan, Beasley; Donovan, Ching.

MEX LINEUP: Sanchez; Osorio, Marquez, Galindo, Salcido; Augusto, Medina, Pardo; Ochoa, Castillo, dos Santos.

As usual, this is the place for pregame, in-game and postgame discussion.

By Steve Goff  |  February 11, 2009; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  Mexico , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: The Hejduk Incident

Comments

Thanks for all the work you're putting in today Steve.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

For the sake of all those who have traveled to Columbus, I sure hope this isn't a scratch.

Likewise, I hope the thunder and lightning and tornados and locusts and plagues of frogs and Alexi Lalas stay far, far away too.

Posted by: StevanF | February 11, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Davies as a scratch is a little surprising. I would have thought his pace could be very useful, especially as 70+ minute replacement.

Posted by: throwin | February 11, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

@throwin,

Not sure pace is gonna mean much if this turns out to be a puddle-fest. Steve, any idea if the scratches were due to injuries?

Posted by: Kenobi | February 11, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM

Wait a minute, I thought the Wizards were in Kansas City.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | February 11, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

No need to keep four forwards active, so altidore instead of davies. rogers has one cap -- no way he plays in this game.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

predicted from the beginning that Rogers would be scratched. Hope no tornados....sounds like conditions horrible...Beasley dosen't usually do well in this type of weather...maybe they should have kept Rogers!

Posted by: Beckster1 | February 11, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I can see why Davies got cut. Bradley doesn't expect to need to use many attacking subs, and Altidore is pretty fast as it is. There's also the option of pushing Dempsey or Beasley higher up if we need a 3rd person playing as a forward.

Then again, I also said that Davies had no place in the squad after his poor play against Sweden, so I could just be justifying my own feelings.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 11, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Rogers was the perfect roster addition: he's a local guy. That helps generate some coverage, an additional local angle. And you want to give him camp time so he's ready to contribute in less stress/intense/edgy matches than this one.

As for Davis, here's the deal--he doesn't see the field unless you take off either Donovan or Dempsey. Now, short of injury, can you think of any reason why the US would want to take either of those guys off the pitch? I don't think so.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I suspect Torres (if he doesnt start) and Altidore will see time tonight.

No idea on the 3rd sub.

Posted by: strago | February 11, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

As for Davis, here's the deal--he doesn't see the field unless you take off either Donovan or Dempsey. Now, short of injury, can you think of any reason why the US would want to take either of those guys off the pitch? I don't think so.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 11, 2009 5:13 PM

-----------------------------------

I hope you knocked on wood as you typed that...

Posted by: Kenobi | February 11, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

We're under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. So far, no lightning and light winds.

-------------------------------

Anyone see Lee Corso's car in the parking lot yet?

Posted by: CDRHoek | February 11, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Did someone say "thunder"?!

"Sound of the drums
Beatin' in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You've been
Thunderstruck!"

Posted by: joedoc1 | February 11, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I live pretty close to the stadium and the real ugly stuff blew through around 5:25. We should be ok for kick. As for pitch conditions . . .

Posted by: McBride33 | February 11, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I hate to ask this, but does Goff's reference to "could affect TV coverage" refer to a possibility of this match not being televised -- to the extent it ends up overlapping with the basketball game scheduled to come on immediately afterwards?

Posted by: kjm1971 | February 11, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Oklahoma/Baylor is on afterwards, I can't imagine that impacting anything.

Posted by: McBride33 | February 11, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

There's no place like home. There's no place like home.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 5:04 PM

Wait a minute, I thought the Wizards were in Kansas City.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | February 11, 2009 5:07 PM

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | February 11, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

If there is a significant delay, TV coverage might shift to another one of ESPN's outlets.
At the moment, everything is set to start on time.

Posted by: Steve Goff | February 11, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Looks as though the worst has passed through for right now...but we're still under a tornado watch. (I'm about 70 miles south [and a little east] of Columbus.)

Looking at the radar on weather.com it looks as though there's one other little line out by Huber Heights (north of Dayton, an hour or so by car from downtown Columbus)...then there's another band just east of Richmond IN (about 30 minutes behind that). So my guess is there'll be a bit of a rainy spell in the second half, a break, then more steady rain as 90 minutes approaches...but the winds will continue to howl all night.

Posted by: SportzNut21 | February 11, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up on a possible shift over to another channel Steve.
What a day.
USA!USA!USA!

Posted by: DadRyan | February 11, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

So Sven compares Columbus to Albania...too funy!

Posted by: Beckster1 | February 11, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Fans singing the National Anthem. I'm making progress!

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

would it kill some of the guys to sing?

Posted by: troy6 | February 11, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

We seem to be first to a lot of balls, but then careless in holding on.

Mex looks slow.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

notice espn listed castillo as valenzuela? i guess spanish nomenclature can be confusing...

Posted by: troy6 | February 11, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Bradley is a ball magnet 3 feet from goal!

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

take it any way we can get it!

Posted by: troy6 | February 11, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Great driving header from Gooch to set up the rebound...

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

funny how the coach's kid keeps scoring big goals

Posted by: benonthehill | February 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Mexico looks slow because they had to mow the field before the game started.

Posted by: skins1110 | February 11, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

This is probably the fastest 45' we've ever played.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

skins1110: bad form

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

You're right, I am sure some of them were messing up my order at Wendy's before the game, not mowing the field

Posted by: skins1110 | February 11, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

would have loved for Gooch to get that. He gets into their heads. Still, better anyone than no one.

Posted by: troy6 | February 11, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

""Mexico looks slow because they had to mow the field before the game started.

Posted by: skins1110 | February 11, 2009 7:59 PM ""

Hey, Skins1110. There is no call for that kind of comment. Leave it to your teenage friends.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

wow skins, even more offensive each time.

Posted by: troy6 | February 11, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Happy at the goal, but Bradley saved his own half of poor offensive play but solid defensive play.

The weather (too warm and humid for our Euro starters!) will be a factor if conditions change (rain squall) . . .

but with a lead and Mexico playing soft and with plenty (too many) players in their box, we should be good.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Very lame, Skins 1110. Insecure much?

Posted by: EssEff | February 11, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

did anyone seen the guy at the corner where Bradley went to celebrate. wearing a mexico shirt, took his shirt off and started weaving his shirt celebrating with the rest of us team. what a two faced mutha ******, oh well all mexicans are

Posted by: koolcaio | February 11, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Skins - stuff a sock in it. You are *way* out of line, and not remotely funny.

Posted by: glfrazier | February 11, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I for one, am surprised their is that much support for the Mexican team in Columbus.

Perhaps at Azteca, Sam's Army can lead us to the same!!!

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

there, their, su, sus . . .ya huey . .

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Dempsey's gotta do more. He's ineffective and turnover prone. I expected more.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

that's not a red. it's hardly a foul. he's out of his six yard box.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Not a red... in Azteca. A red everywhere else. No attempt to play the ball.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Studs to the knee isn't a red card? Well, maybe to Pele in 1965, but...

Posted by: B_A_ | February 11, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

A studs up stab to the keeper's knee isn't a red? I mean, it wasn't as obvious as his WC elbow to cobijones, but that was an absolute no-brainer if the ref could see it.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 11, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

With Howard now on a cheap yellow and perhaps unable to take his clearances, a GK sub might be wise.


Sven is so toast....

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Ching looks sleepy now. Time for Jozy? Let's put this away...

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

I can start seeing why some of these guys are not getting as much time as we thought they should; their crossing and final ball has been woeful.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | February 11, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

crossing and final ball has been woeful.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | February 11, 2009 8:55 PM


Wow, you're not kidding. Awful, just awful crossing. And, way too casual once Mex was down to 10.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

""Not a red... in Azteca. A red everywhere else. No attempt to play the ball.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 8:39 PM ""

His elbow was down, he turned his back. Goalie is out of the 6 yard box and the offensive player was already in the air.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

So would all the Frankie "Hey Dude" posters step up to the plate and admit he's MAN o the Match!!

And Beasley wasn't so bad himself.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 8:59 PM | Report abuse

That's not what I saw delantero. Looked like he lined up a free shot, and took it. It might not always be called, but it's an easy call for a ref to defend.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Dos a cero....

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Mexican fans throwing bottles again... classy.

Gotta say, Delantero... if a flying kick to the knee, a la Chun Li, isn't a red card, I don't know what is.

Posted by: me_ahogo | February 11, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a win, but that was not a pretty game. We could not make an incisive pass in the final third--thank goodness MEX were giving the ball away as quickly as we were.
Bradley Sr. has to be happy that his boy keeps justifying his selection.

Posted by: glfrazier | February 11, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Not many chances to say this with CONCACAF refs so I'll take the opportunity to say this was well officiated except for the Howard yellow.

Posted by: benonthehill | February 11, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be rating too many players very highly, save for Bradley. Sacha and Clint were almost poor, IMHO. Ching did a job, that's about it. Pearce and Hejduk did well to add width, but were awful doing anything with it. Couple of dodgy touches from Gooch and Boca had me gnawing my beer bottle as well.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected replay certainly shows his cleats against Howard's shin.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that Rafa Marquez joins the list of "Poor Sportsman of Mexico."

Maybe Bradley's shot against Oswaldo "Pinche Cabron" Sanchez will have some effect.

Sven? Buy yourself a ticket to Scandinavia.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Bradley Sr. has to be happy that his boy keeps justifying his selection.
Posted by: glfrazier | February 11, 2009 9:09 PM

Bradley Sr. has to be happy that his son is the only one of class in that team.

Ching should never play for the US ever again. Completely useless.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | February 11, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

@delantero -- not even cleats against the shin. Marquez took a wicked, cheap shot. When they collided, Marquez whipped his leg around, kicked at Howard's knee.

Megaprops to the referee for spotting it. I think the only surprise Rafa felt was his surprise that he was caught.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that Rafa Marquez joins the list of "Poor Sportsman of Mexico."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rafa has been a member in good standing since at least 2002.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@delantero -- not even cleats against the shin.

Ok, already, I missed it. Shheesh.

Good, however pedestrian win by the U.S.

We'll have to do better to get out of group play.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

@delantero

I think rafa joined that club at WC 2002

Posted by: jezz | February 11, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

2 - ZIP...I just love that score. NEVER gets old!

That was a solid team effort. Few individuals stood out and some (paging Mr. Onyewu) just gave me agita. However, I'll give the guys a pass since this is the first time they played together in a while. They were out of sync at times, but still managed to look very impressive as a unit. Our mid field did dominate and moved the ball well. That whole dropping off the ball late in the half when you are a man and goal up was not smart - a better side makes us pay. But all in all, not a bad way to start the round.

Posted by: Kosh2 | February 11, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to do better to get out of group play.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 9:31 PM

Unfortunately, we probably won't. And that's the whole problem.

Posted by: vivzig | February 11, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Does Sven fly directly to Gatwick or does he go to Mexico City to pick up his stuff?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Time for the fischy ratings:

Hard to rate Kljestan and Ching. I heard rumors they were on the field for over 80 minutes. Didn't see any evidence of that. Could 2 players have played more invisibly?
The rest?

Defense: Hejduk played perhaps the best and gutsiest game I've ever seen from a US defender. No goals for him, but worthy of MOTM consideration; Boca had a mixed game. Pretty solid after that early blunder that nearly cost us; Onyewu -- As ever, looked better on set plays than on defense, but he's getting better. Fewer fouls and he's winning balls; Pearce -- well, at least I knew he was on the field. His touch sucks, but his defense isn't too bad. I guess Rodney Wallace won't be ready for 2010, huh?

Midfield: Beasley -- Hard to believe he didn't get a yellow card, if only for accumulated fouls. However, he stretched out the defense, and served up a nice corner, without which we don't win; Dempsey played tired, but his skills showed on several forays. With better talent around him, might have produced better chances.

Forward: Donovan -- Sublime. Gimme ten more like him.

Subs: Clark not in enough to really comment, though he could have been sharper;
Altidore -- could've been much sharper, but on the goal, you really see the potential

Goalie: Howard -- Undeniably, the better goalkeeper. One of his best games. Flawless, even. I keep saying I wish Friedel would un-retire, but a few more games like this, and I'll keep my mouth shut.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

We'll have to do better to get out of group play.

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 9:31 PM
-------------------------------------------

Unfortunately, for CONCACAF, we don't have to do better to get out of group play. Few, if any teams will create better or more chances than Mexico did. And, we're going to find it easier to score against the other sides. There may be a bunch of 1-0 wins, but the US will get the #1 seed out of CONCACAF, playing just like that.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

@delantero -- I think I misunderstood. You meant group play in South Africa. I have to agree. Not impressive enough to advance there.

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

2-0
Just enjoy it before fretting about a tournament that is 16 months away.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Fischy: you'll get your chance to see another US keeper against El Salvador...who are going to be hungry if they actually finish dropping three points to the JackWarners in San Salvador...


never mind, Romero with a brace in the final 8 to split the points. but still...

Posted by: joshuaostevens | February 11, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

So what's the over-under on the number of days before Maldito Baldito Sanchez hangs up his Mexican National Team's GK gloves? That second goal from Bradley was a HOWLER reminiscent of Zach Wells.

Posted by: Juan-John | February 11, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Portsmouth is probably more appealing to a Swede, anyway...

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Portsmouth is probably more appealing to a Swede, anyway...

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 10:00 PM

Sven's a better club coach than a national one. Does that mean that if Sven goes, Scolari comes in for Mexico?

Posted by: RedDevil1 | February 11, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Too bad that Rafa Marquez joins the list of "Poor Sportsman of Mexico."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Rafa has been a member in good standing since at least 2002.

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 9:31 PM


No, Marquez was born a dirty cheating bastard.

Posted by: mcontento | February 11, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I just went to the bathroom. Its a floating Marquez.

We owned them this game, from start to finish. The only chances they had were off mistakes by our D.

WE OWN YOU, MEXICANT!

Posted by: Hoost | February 11, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Ummm....When we beat them in the Azteca, we can talk about "owning" them...

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Mexico had their chances and has superior technical skills (not in great evidence tonight) but we're the better team. Victory in Azteca is the next milestone.

I totally missed Howard's yellow card, not sure how, but certainly other than (possibly) that the game was very well reffed. I too didn't think it was a red card at first but one boot was definitely up w/ malice replays showed. Let's give credit to the refs, the players decided this one.

To all those who've ragged on the coaches' son, suck it. The boy has been awesome the past year and a half. Nice for Mexico to perhaps have a second bete noir developing besides Donovan.

Our midfield, while hardly superb, is definitely making strides. That portends well for the future.

Tim Howard is THE MAN. Best player the US national team has ever fielded.

Defense could've been better but you can't complain too loudly about a shutout.

Cannot wait to see what Altidore looks like down the road. All indications are the man has a nose for the goal.

Last but not least, I totally don't get all the Donovan haters. He's perhaps the best field player we've ever had. Yes, we all wish he was Maradonna but c'mon, we've never had a better forward.

Sayonara, Mexico. See you in the WC, if you make it.

Posted by: KireDCU | February 11, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Does Bob Bradley have any more sons?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | February 11, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah I forgot, skins1110,

as everyone else has advised, and I am not a PC guy by any means, bad taste. I think of the Mexican people and I think of family, church (I'm an atheist) and hard work. If you consider Mexicans as simply manual laborers you really need to get out from under whatever rock you crawled out of more. 'Nuff said. Granted I think it's totally without class to not shake hands, not sure if that happened tongiht.

Vamos United! Vamos USA!!

Posted by: KireDCU | February 11, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Good, tight game. I was mentioning to my friend that USA vs. Mexico games are never 5-3 or 4-2, and it's usually 2-1, 2-0, or 1-1.

I missed Howard's yellow. What happened? Was it a worthy yellow?

Posted by: redskinsux | February 11, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, KireDCU.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 11, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Howard was 'slow' to out the ball back in play after the red card. He's developed a rep for that, unfortunately...

Bit soft...

Posted by: JkR- | February 11, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Team played well over all-especially on defense and in the middle. I was not impressed with the outside backs and feel Bradley made a mistke by cutting Rogers who could have been dangerous on the Crew field-especially in the second half when needed. Glad to see Mike Bradley have a solid game and not get any dumb cards on dumb tackes.

Posted by: TomR143 | February 11, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Skins110 is over on the Caps Insider, and guess what he is posting; more crap. Except, bloggers over there haven't really said anything to it.

Posted by: redskinsux | February 11, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Just wondering what ya'll thought of one particular play -- unfortunately, ESPN's live shot was out of position and too far away to see, but I was thinking the US dodged a big bullet in the 65th minute. Goff writes about how dos Santos couldn't put away the cross during the mad scramble in the box. I didn't see who was the defender he raced by, but it seemed to me that dos Santos was pulled down from behind. The ball went to a Mexican player -- maybe the ref was playing the advantage to an extent in letting the play continue -- or, maybe he didn't see a foul...but I thought a penalty kick might have been warranted. Your thoughts?

Posted by: fischy | February 11, 2009 11:08 PM | Report abuse

""Forty minutes before kickoff, an enormous mass is slowly approaching""

Was Drew Carey, Seattle owner, landing?

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

“I wanted to apologize publicly to my teammates, and to the coaches and to the administration and to the fans and to my country,” Marquez said later.

You are a great player, Rafa, but where's the apology to Timmy Howard?

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Mexican assistant coach slapped Frankie after the game here is the video

http://www.univision.com/content/videoplayer.jhtml?cid=1835906

Posted by: mattgs84 | February 11, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

If CONCACAF had any b****, they would dock points to the Mexican Federation; we all know better though.

Posted by: RedDevil1 | February 11, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Totally Awesome. Instead of tripping on the typical examples of Mexican players and their staff being sore losers I'll complement that highlight reel. Thanks for the link:-)

Great coverage Goff. Thank You.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 12, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I watched the game in a Starbucks (thank you Slingbox) in northern California (on a sales trip)- I had to apologise to the rest of the patrons after I cheered too loudly after the first USA goal; then left and drove to Sonoma for the night-and when I went to a great Italian restaurant for dinner my response when the Mexican waiters asked me how I was doing was "dos-a-cero" :)

Posted by: targetmedia | February 12, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

That link took me to game highlights, try this one: http://www.univision.com/content/videoplayer.jhtml?cid=1835906

Can someone who speaks Spanish please summarize what they're saying on that clip?

Posted by: edgeonyou | February 12, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

"You are a great player, Rafa, but where's the apology to Timmy Howard?

Posted by: delantero | February 11, 2009 11:28 PM"
--------------

@delantero: There was one very brief shot of Rafa putting his arm around Timmy after the foul. Yes, it was a hard foul. Yes, it deserved a red card. And yes, Rafa owned up to it -- both to his fans and to the player against whom the foul was committed. (And I'll admit, after seeing his Barca goal this past week I'm kinda willing to give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt.)

Posted by: Juan-John | February 12, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

@edgeonyou -- I'm not sure which clip you want translated. Probably not the highlights, based on your comment. The Donovan interview: Donovan was thrilled with the win. Great way to start. They didn't play pretty, but they played with more heart than the Mexicans. Mexico played well in the first half, but wasn't very dangerous.

If you're asking about the incident by the dressing rooms -- they describe the US players going down the hall. Then Paco Ramirez -- Sven's assistant (I guess he won't be getting the top job, now) -- step in front of Hejduk. They say they don't know what what was said, but when Hejduk tried to get around Ramirez, Ramirez slapped him. Then, someone in a red shirt -- they're speculating that it might be Ching -- shoves Ramirez. Several people try to intervene, including Mike Sorber, and the police, while Ramirez appears to be still be looking for Hejduk, to continue whatever it was.... Was there anything else you wanted to know?

Posted by: fischy | February 12, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Maybe some confusion as to who slapped Hejduk -- whether it was Ramirez or Guille Franco, who was standing next to him. Franco is the one who seems to be looking for a fight after Ramirez gets shoved. Other Mexicans who got involved: Francisco Torres and another assistant, Alberto Aguilar. Torres was telling the police to keep their hands off him and Ramirez

Posted by: fischy | February 12, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

it was a game played in less than ideal conditions by a team that hasn't had much time together. if we make it to WC 2010, the team will have much more time to congeal and become a cohesive unit. there were lots of flashes tonight, but the pieces never quite connected - i think the wind and wet field affected the game more than it seemed on TV.

it seemed like the entire offense flowed through Pearce and Hejduk most of the night. Frankie was great and Pearce was just OK, but the central midfield was lacking in the build up. Kljestan was definitely the invisible man. Ching needs service and he didn't get it, so I can excuse his no-show to some degree. Beasley has the potential to be a top-tier guy and i think riding the pine in Glasgow has hurt him (same probably goes for Edu) - he had some really nice moments tonight.

Bradley probably deserves more praise and more excitement from the fan base. he's 21 and playing (regularly) in the Bundesliga. he seems to step it up in the big games. he could end up being a very special player for the U.S. for the next decade. i think i will spend a lot less time worrying about Freddy and some of the other guys and more time enjoying Bradley's development.

as for Mexico, i was really shocked at their lack of skill, imagination and urgency. this was not the team i'm used being made anxious by. their tactics seemed non-existent. they will be lucky to qualify if that is how they are going to play. is Sven the problem? i don't know. this seems to be the trend for this Mexican team lately and it may be more than a coaching change can solve. perhaps a win in Azteca will be attainable this time around.

in summary: not the prettiest game, but like the rest of you, i will happily take it.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 12, 2009 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Howard's yellow: Whenever it is towards the end of a game and someone from the team leading starts a run-up to take a goal kick, then stops and retreats, refs will hand out a yellow for delay. Once you start moving forward to take the kick, you best keep going. Howard should know better. As much as I hate seeing him get a yellow for something like that, I don't fault the ref.

I also want to give the ref kudos for the red card. Like some, when I saw it live, I thought it was only worthy of a yellow. But after seeing the replay, a red was definitely the right choice. On a ball over the head of the keeper the Mexican player gives a karate kick to the back of Howard's knee while in the air. Definitely malicious intent.

I imagine we will look back at this game wishing all the CONCACAF refs are this good!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | February 12, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

i think the wind and wet field affected the game more than it seemed on TV.

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As someone who watched the match from section 222 at Crew Stadium, I agree wholeheartedly. Fifteen minutes prior to the match's start time, the wind and rain was flying in sideways. Not angled - sideways. Merely standing in the face of it required effort and the top deck of the stadium itself was shaking. While the wind calmed to a more pedestrian 25-35, mph during the match, you could still see the effect that it had on play. Notably, any ball that was hit towards the southwest (Right hand side when looking at the field from the technical areas, and the camera?) corner in the air hung, and would sometimes be blown back. This came into play on a clearance early in the first half, where a US defender was lazy in attempting to clear the ball into touch only to have the ball come down right next to him. Any other ball would be curved away from that direction, but since the wind was gusty, there was a large degree of uncertainty on how much the ball would be curved. On several goal kicks by Sanchez, the ball got away from him and was blown directly into touch. I was somewhat confused by the Mexican's insistience on playing a very direct game.

Posted by: mason08 | February 12, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

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