Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

USA in Mexico City

The Americans arrived at Benito Juarez International Airport late this afternoon, heard a few shouts of "Cinco a Cero!" and made their way with police escort through rush-hour traffic to their hotel near Azteca in the southern district of this enormous city. No massive gatherings of Mexican supporters, no disruptions. Despite the feverish anticipation for this match, it is still a big, working city with 18 million people consumed by daily life.

Some thoughts from the USA delegation.....

Bob Bradley: "It's a game we all have been thinking about for a long time. We've tried not to think about it, but it's certainly a date that has been circled on our calendar. There are so many different parts to it: There is the history, it presents an exciting opportunity for us -- to be the first U.S. team to win a game at Azteca. There is the rivalry, which means a lot to all of us because of the passion of the fans on both sides. Then there is the part of it that it's a World Cup qualifying game. It's a great opportunity for us to move ourselves that much closer to qualification. It's a match that has all sorts of different things attached to it, but mainly from our end, it's the real excitement about being here and about going for it."

More below.....

Asked about his torrid form of late, Landon Donovan said: "This is clearly the best I have ever played. But I want to stress that it's not something to come in a stretch and then go away. This is me now, this is how I play. ... I have spent a lot of time working at it, working on myself, and it's nice to see it come to fruition."

Carlos Bocanegra, on Donovan: Since earlier this summer, "You could see he had a bit of a chip on his shoulder, and that's nice for us. When Landon is flying on the field, he brings the rest of the team along with him."

Donovan, on his relationship and interaction with Mexican fans: "It used to be a little intimidating, but what it is now is that I think there's just a mutual respect. When you walk into the airport, everyone is friendly, they take jabs at us when they have a chance, but they are respectful. On the field, I don't expect a lot of respect from their players or their fans, but they are not bad people. They are always friendly away from the field."

Bradley, on Mexico's tendency to play quickly and assertively at the start of games at home: "One thing that we've talked about over and over is how you manage early parts of the game. We need to be smart, we need to be discipline. It's a period in the game where, quite often, you're not going to win the game but you can, in a way, lose it. So your understanding of how to play your way into the game, how to manage situations early on, make decisions, get guys involved, and then from there, things just start to go further."

Bradley, on whether he will use the same lineup as he did against Spain at the Confederations Cup with Howard, Spector, Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Clark, Altidore and Davies: "It's always a nice thought to think that you have a lineup that if it works one day, all you have to do is run it out again and it works again. But if you take a broader perspective, we had a lot of good games in the last six months, games that have given us a real sense of our depth, of our talent. The only things that get factored in differently than when when we were in Blumfontein is what have guys been doing lately? It is an interesting time for a match like this because it's preseason for some clubs, in some cases following the Confederations Cup, some guys had short periods of rest, some had longer periods of rest and gone back into their teams. Schedules for clubs vary. The MLS guys have been busy in the most demanding part of their season. So we take these different things into account and find our best lineup."

Donovan, on Jose Torres bringing extra insight into the Mexican players: "He plays against a lot of these guys, so we will pick his brain and have picked his brain."

Bradley, on Torres's place in the program after not playing at Confederations Cup and not being included in the Gold Cup but getting the call-up here. Was he in the doghouse? "Honestly, I think 'doghouse' is pretty inaccurate. Everyone is going to look from the outside and come up with ideas. ... The timetable of any young player in terms of how quickly they develop, how quickly they establish themselves in teams, what roles they take, you can't always predict what the timetable is."

By Steve Goff  |  August 11, 2009; 9:13 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gulati: Bradley Is World Cup Coach
Next: Wednesday Kickaround

Comments

weird - it would have been so easy for bradley to say 'i just wanted torres to have time to get some rest and settle back in with his club team'. what he said actually sounds like he was in the doghouse

Posted by: joe_hill | August 11, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Bradley: I'm not telling you the starting line-up.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 11, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Mexico does love to come at you fast and furious at the Azteca. With the altitude issues, a team might think it best to conserve energy and pack it in. I think that would backfire, as it did with Brazil (both times). In this case, the best defense is a good offense. Put them off stride. Force them to be cautious.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I posted a lineup last week -- I'm guessing BB will be concerned about Altidore's fitness level. Dempsey might be off a bit, too, but I'm guessing he starts up top, allowing Torres a start on the wing. Feilhaber could get a start with Clark having just played Sunday night, but my hunch is Clark is slotted to play the first 45, and Benny to sub in for the second half.

Posted by: fischy | August 11, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

SI.com said it best, he doesn't know what to do with Torres. If he did, he would have played him a Lot more.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | August 11, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

IF DON'T KNOW HOW TO WATCH THE GAME, BUT HAVE COMCAST AND LIVE IN D.C. READ THIS!!!

I live in the District and have Comcast cable (I believe that I have some sort of expanded digital cable package). Here's the channels where I expect to be able to watch the game:

* Telemundo (in Spanish) - channel 12

* mun2 (reportedly in English, albeit with Marcelo Balboa, aka the Idiot, calling the game) - channel 178

Based on everything that I see on my cable set-up, that would appear to work. Hope it works for you too.

And let's go U.S.A.!!!!!! Let's go for the jugular against El Tri and relegate them to the BOTTOM OF CONCACAF!!!! If we could eke out a win, or even a tie, the double whammy of solidifying our World Cup standing and devastating theirs would be so incredibly, indescribably, unfathomably sweet. (I'm not optimistic, but I am hopeful. C'mon guys, let's pull out this one.....)

Posted by: mannewskie | August 11, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

God bless those guys. I don't know how any of them calms their nerves. I'm sure everyone feels the buzz, it's ear-splitting now the night before the match. I wish I had the money to travel down there. I might not get any sleep tonight, but I'll be ready tomorrow at 4pm.

Posted by: adamsunited | August 11, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Steve, have fun!!! If we do win, or even draw, I expect Pulitzer Prize material from you. Sort of like the lead to the Nationals game column from the other day:

"In the coda of the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, composer Johann Sebastian Bach repeats the same chord sequence over and over again, leading the listener to anticipate one resolution, only to provide a tone completely different.

The only tones emanating from Nationals Park in the top of the first inning Sunday afternoon were the faded drones of an audience that had heard this composition too many times this season -- game begins, visiting team assumes a lead, game ends in dreadful fashion. Arizona leadoff batter Trent Oeltjen looped a home run into the Washington bullpen in right field on the day's third pitch, and the familiar chord sequence began.

But lately the Nationals have taken observers by surprise, operating in a rhythm foreign to those who have followed professional baseball in the District for the past four months. And they did so again Sunday, quickly erasing an early deficit and pounding the Diamondbacks late for a 9-2 win, the team's eighth in a row."

Not that it's relevant for this thread, at all, but please let your baseball colleagues know this article had one of the weirdest leads that I've ever read. Again, please match this if we win in Azteca.

Posted by: mannewskie | August 11, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Earlier I posted that Bradley would start the US vs. Spain lineup, but having seen Clark play 180 minutes in the last 5 days makes me think Bradley might switch it up. Feilhaber has been on a role, has been getting full 90s for his club, and has a brief, but impressive, history against Mexico. Then again, the chemistry of the team in those Spanish and Egyptian games is undeniable.

I can see it go either way at this point. Clark getting the start with a planned early substitute for Benny, or Benny getting the start with Clark bringing the energy off the bench.

Either way, I'm sooooo pumped for this game....

Posted by: psps23 | August 11, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Torres is a left-footed midfielder but I've never seen him play as a wide midfielder, but always as a central, pretty deep-lying distributor who links passes well.

I don't want to see Bocanegra at left back as that is a bit too defensive and we might need more speed there anyway. Bornstein is the only true left back on the roster and some folks say he's been playing poorly for Chivas. So that's the trickiest position to pick. If Spector can play out there (folks who follow him say he can) I'd start him there with Cherundolo on the opposite side and Gooch and Bocanegra in the middle.

Otherwise, assuming everyone's in good form and healthy, start the same lineup as against Spain in the Confed Cup. They will probably feel the need to attack first so hopefully Jozy or Donovan or Dempsey or Davies (or some combo of the aforementioned) can catch El Tri with players too far upfield and do some damage in the 1st half.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 11, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if it's the whirlwind trip to Nashville and back in the last 24 hours, or the storm I sat through at softball work tonight, or the 100 degree heat/humidity I stood in for hours today at football, but I'm coming down with something. WebMD called it "Azteca-phis", whatever that means. Apparently they believe it's what killed of the Aztecs, so I'm concerned.

Also, here's a nice little interview with Eddie Pope at some Stadium with the same name:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4392032&categoryid=2731137

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 11, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Otherwise, assuming everyone's in good form and healthy, start the same lineup as against Spain in the Confed Cup. THEY will probably feel the need to attack first so hopefully Jozy or Donovan or Dempsey or Davies (or some combo of the aforementioned) can catch El Tri with players too far upfield and do some damage in the 1st half.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 11, 2009 10:37 PM
**************************

Sorry to quote my own post but by THEY I meant the Mexican team not the US attackers.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | August 11, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4392492&categoryid=2731137

Here's a pretty candid Q&A from Sportsnation with the currently en fuego Landon Donovan

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 11, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

You'd want the most experienced pros out there to start. Knowing Mexico and their tactics, they will try to get Altidore and Clark (if he starts) red-carded and we will end up with 10 guys the rest of the game. If this doesn't happen, expect them to pass the ball around holding it and making us chase them; the young guys won't know better and chase but the older ones won't fall for it.

Posted by: Charisma_Man | August 11, 2009 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link to the interview with Cowherd JfATLish.
Someone send CC a Sounders jersey!
Go USA!

Posted by: DadRyan | August 11, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Damn, the fever has hit me now. It's building, man. DadRyan, I think I need to roll one just to calm the nerves, dude. I dunno, we have the talent and confidence like never before. But, the question is, which US player gets the red. You know some bogus red is going to be given to us.

Posted by: EssEff | August 12, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Have they announced who will ref the game?

That will determine if players are taken out of the game from injuries or red cards or a mixture of both.

This is one game where the ref should be and deserves to be the highest paid person on the field.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 12, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Roberto Moreno is the ref!!!

There is a man with DC United history...

http://dcumd.blogspot.com/2008/10/referee-roberto-moreno.html

I'm not going to miss this game for the world. I'll predict a minimum of 2 US ejections.

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 12, 2009 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

This is the ref you were also very critical of (I don't think you have ever called out a ref as badly before or since)...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/soccerinsider/2008/10/united-cruz_azul_the_aftermath.html

Posted by: Southeasterner | August 12, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

"It's a game we all have been thinking about for a long time. We've tried not to think about it, but it's certainly a date that has been circled on our calendar?"

bob "i'm not sure what it is that I'm doing" bradley - you have been thinking about it but you're trying not to think about it? Aren't you the coach and supposed to be preparing for the game rather than waking up one morning, looking at the calendar, and realizing that it's USA / Mexico day?

Unfortunately, it sounds to me like a team intimidated by playing in Mexico. Perhaps hoping that it's a snow day and the whole thing gets postponed.

This is not a fortuitous sign.

Posted by: diego_r | August 12, 2009 1:06 AM | Report abuse

probably not the best place to ask, but does anybody know any places in berlin, germany where they might show the game? i really dont feel like watching it on justin.tv again...

Posted by: rademaar | August 12, 2009 4:34 AM | Report abuse

Enjoyed the Eddie Pope interview. He is still the best defender the US has ever had, and will always be one of DC United's own. Great in the air, had a silky touch with he ball at his feet, and he could and did mark the best strikers in the world completely out of matches.

Come to think of it, he looks relaxed, rested, and still in shape. Come out of retirement, Eddie! ;-)

Posted by: Ron16 | August 12, 2009 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Hey gents and ladies, look at the date I'm posting this on.

It's here.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | August 12, 2009 8:02 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know the deal with Mun2 on Cox in Fairfax area? I see the channel on 210 and 422, but if there's a free preview it's not active yet. Do you have to call to activate it? There's always Telemundo as a back-up, but hoping that Mun2 comes through....

Posted by: speculation | August 12, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Anyone know what channel RCN has the game? Thanks

Posted by: DCUfan1 | August 12, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Que sera' sera'!
Whatever will be, will be
We're going to beat El Tri'
Que sera' sera'

Posted by: fischy | August 12, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Torres is a left-footed midfielder but I've never seen him play as a wide midfielder, but always as a central, pretty deep-lying distributor who links passes well.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane

I've seen him play both for the US -- and he was fantastic in the middle, forgettable on the left. Well, not forgettable, because his play led to an early goal on the road versus...Honduras?

Posted by: Reignking | August 12, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

US Soccer has kindly provided a web page with all live coverage options:

http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2009/08/Live-Coverage-Information-USA-Mexico.aspx

Posted by: addick | August 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

probably not the best place to ask, but does anybody know any places in berlin, germany where they might show the game? i really dont feel like watching it on justin.tv again...
Posted by: rademaar
===================

There isn't a Hooters in Berlin? Crossing it off my vacation list.

Go into a sports bar and say "If it weren't for us, you'd be speaking Russian. Now turn on the game."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Steve's article in today's Post.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 12, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Southeasterner:

I don't have the link, but Moreno was actually appointed as a replacement to Joel Aguilar of El Salvador.

Why was he replaced? The article I read pointed out that he was the official in the fractious Mexico-Panama Gold Cup match that saw Aguirre kick Ricardo Phillips.

For what it's worth, I have little faith in Moreno. That said, I don't think he's biased. To successfully convey bias as an official requires a higher level of skill than Moreno has, to be perfectly blunt. I predict both teams will be unhappy with major decisions. It's a lot like when DCU is given Okulaja as a ref; you just hope his biggest mistake goes against your opponent.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | August 12, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"There isn't a Hooters in Berlin? Crossing it off my vacation list."

There's one in Dusseldorf, Bochum and Neunkirchen, though, 270. Don't give up hope.

Posted by: delantero | August 12, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

There's a Hooters in Medellin. My friend just went to the opening.

Posted by: Reignking | August 12, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Go into a sports bar and say "If it weren't for us, you'd be speaking Russian. Now turn on the game."

Posted by: I-270Exit1
=========================-
Actually in Berlin, they did speak Russian until "Gorbachov tear down this wall..." 1985ish. Hows about: You wouldn't be able to drink Budweiser if it weren't for us now turn off the Germany match so I can watch a CONCACAF match.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | August 12, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

@I-270: last month marked the proud opening of a hooters in tiergarten (its kind of like central park), only a few steps away from where obama gave his speech last year. i doubt if they have american tv though, as getting a bunch of germans to watch a football match at 10 at night is certainly not the problem in this situation.. i'm half wondering if those mega sport betting places might have it on satillite..
anyways at least i will be able to watch my second favorite international team pick up three points today...!

Posted by: rademaar | August 12, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Go into a sports bar and say "If it weren't for us, you'd be speaking Russian. Now turn on the game."

Posted by: I-270Exit1
=========================-
Actually in Berlin, they did speak Russian until "Gorbachov tear down this wall..." 1985ish....
===

Only in Ost Berlin.

Posted by: mason08 | August 12, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"@I-270: last month marked the proud opening of a hooters in tiergarten"

Wunderbar. Now I can visit Germany. Fra"ulein, ein Bud Light bitte. Hey. Hey! Put me down! What did I say wrong?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | August 12, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see that my post is still the first hit on google when you type "referee roberto moreno". It's going to take him a long time to live that one down.

Posted by: DCUMD | August 12, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

VAMOS MEXICO A GANAR WHICH MEANS I AM
PRAYING FOR A MEXICAN VICTORY
VIVA MEXICO....VAMOS MEXICO

Posted by: lcastelain | August 12, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company