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Johnson Out, USA-Mexico?

USA forward Eddie Johnson is among five Fulham players on the transfer block.

Soccer America reports that the USSF is aiming to arrange a USA-Mexico friendly in February, joining a proposed match against Honduras in January and a soon-to-be-finalized friendly at the Netherlands in March. USA-Mexico = $$$.

According to a source, several cities -- at least one of which has hosted a USA-Mexico friendly in the past -- are in the running to stage the game. It would be the second game on the national team's calendar this year, following a Jan. 24 game against Honduras at Home Depot Center that has been reported in the Honduran press but not confirmed by U.S. Soccer.

By Steve Goff  |  December 9, 2009; 10:08 AM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , Mexico , U.S. men's national team  
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Comments

If the US and Mexico advance out of their groups in World Cup play, how soon would they meet in the single-elimination games?

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 9, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Dang it, Steven, you really need to include a disclaimer when you link to a story in the S*n. It pains me to give them any clicks:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_%28newspaper%29#Hillsborough

Posted by: EdTheRed | December 9, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I understand that these games bring money, but seriously, how many times do we need to play the same teams? I mean, between Gold Cup and Qualifying, we've played these teams too many times already. We need more friendlies against top tier teams and less friendlies against our neighbors to the south.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

They should bring that game to RFK, that would be a good chance we can get at least 20k US fans at the game. that way its at least close to 50/50 then chicago where its 80-20. I think the us and mexico need to advance to the final four for them to meet.

Posted by: Norteno4life | December 9, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

USA-Mexico friendly in Washington in February? Not going to happen. Stadium is too small, weather too poor. The purpose of the match is to make bundles of cash. Think Phoenix, Houston or California.

Posted by: Steve Goff | December 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Pretty sure the list of cities that have hosted US-Mexico *friendlies* in the last 10 years or so is Houston, Glendale, Dallas.

Calling Cowboys Stadium now.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | December 9, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

It really pains me to hear American Liverpool fans whining about the Sun. :)

Posted by: spidergoose | December 9, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Love the Sun. Clicked a bunch of links while I was there. Hopefully Eddie finds some playing time.

Playing Mex always wets the competitive juices, is easy to sell, and easy to arrange. I have no problem with that. It takes 2 interested teams to make a friendly.

Posted by: JkR- | December 9, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Mexico, Honduras, and Netherlands are fine for early 2010. For our warm-up friendlies in May/June, I vote for:

1. Ireland or Scotland
2. Egypt, Tunisia, or Morocco
3. Croatia or Bosnia

Posted by: Miles_Standish_Proud | December 9, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Can't we play a team that won't head butt us if we take the lead on them?

Posted by: GeneWells | December 9, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

How will playing possession oriented, short passing game teams like Mexico and Honduras going to prepare us for our group?

I understand the need for games against teams, but we need European teams, not the same Concacaf opposition.

Posted by: delantero | December 9, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Steve said it -- it's all about the cash. Gotta pay the bills for the USSF coaching staff after they tear up the hotels in Philadelphia at the NSCAA convention.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 9, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Algeria plays a lot like Costa Rica.

They don't have the speed that Honduras does, or the skill that Mexico does, but they've got a good short passing game and counterattack.

We also need to stop the myth that Slovenia plays like Croatia--they don't. Their style is much more Central European. Slovakia, Czech Rep, Poland, even Austria. Tall guys, tough tackles, teamwork--Germany lite.

Posted by: StanShmenge | December 9, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

So, five new kids on the block?

Posted by: Reignking | December 9, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, StanShmenge, that you know the playing styles of Algeria and Slovenia so well. Did you watch many of their games?

Posted by: WorldCup | December 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Interesting, StanShmenge, that you know the playing styles of Algeria and Slovenia so well. Did you watch many of their games?

Posted by: WorldCup | December 9, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

In some parts of the US, they actually show other teams much more than the US. Just saying.

As far as Mexico and Hondura, they are close, there is a ton of cash to be made, and most importantly with the possession style less chance of injuries. Most European nations play using brute force, although some have a higher technical level than others I suppose. :-D

Posted by: Barracudas | December 9, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I watched two Algeria matches--the last two against Egypt--and saw 4 Slovenia, the playoffs against Russia and two earlier on (online, obviously).

Algeria is a quick, skilled team that we could push around physically and beat in the air, I think. But they have a dangerous counter.

Slovenia is a tough, grinding team--they actually look a lot like that Slovakia friendly we lost despite having much of the possession.

I could see that happening again, unfortunately.

Posted by: StanShmenge | December 9, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe you write for the Washington Post and you are quoting a small pub who is quoting "a source."

And, to boot, you're taking that sources best content onto your site.

Are you kidding me?!

Posted by: mreese_1 | December 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be stupid, yes, stupid to play Mexico right now. There's literally no point outside money. We are still trying to fix problems at the back and up top, and Mexico would undoubtedly win right now. Don't need that hanging over our heads at the moment. Plus, who wants another double cleat in the gut right now?

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 9, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Calling Cowboys Stadium now.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | December 9, 2009 10:32 AM

Yep - Jerry Jones has already informed the sod farm that they're going to need some real grass that night.

I'm fine with it - will provide an intense warm-up, which many countries don't get in the run up to the Cup. What's the "home" attendance record for a US-Mexico match? this could break it.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 9, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Don't need that hanging over our heads at the moment.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 9, 2009 11:36 AM

So you'd rather go through the motions against a poor team and win a meaningless match?

I'm all for exposing any liabilities this Winter.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 9, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

But against our regional rivals who BS about how they are better than us even When we beat them 2-0? We won't gain or learn anything by playing Mexico right now. I'm all for playing the Netherlands, or more disciplined defenses from Europe. What I will Not be happy about is losing credibility in our region when we don't have to and we have nothing to win.

Unless it is our strategy to look as bad as possible pre-world cup to lower expectations.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | December 9, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Playing Mexico is a pure money grab.

We need teams who play organized, tight, and direct. We need to learn how to break teams down and defend against quick counters.

Plus, Mexico just isn't that good.

Posted by: delantero | December 9, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

There are 2 good reasons to play a Mexico friendly. First and foremost would be the gobs of cash the two federations could expect to earn. Second, the timing of the friendly necessarily means we'll be playing without any players who play in England or Germany. The Scandinavian-based players may be still be on break from their clubs, but most of the players would be MLSers. The same considerations affect any other country we might play. It's possible that some Scandinavian countries could send a decent team over here, but most of their best players would be unavailable. Really, the best competition we can find in February would be other CONCACAF sides.

Familiarity with the foe is probably a plus factor for the coaches. The real reason to stage this friendly -- besides the primary concern of raising money -- is to assess certain MLS or Mexico-based USMNT prospects such as Califf, Rogers, Holden, Marshall, Cameron, Ching, Torres, Orozco, and Castillo. Perhaps get a first look at Jeremiah White, who may be on his way back, or a Scandinavian-based player such as Marcus Tracy, or brings in Perkins, Goodson, Rolfe and Parkhurst for further looks. Maybe, Bradley even invites some young players including Pontius or Seitz. Or, maybe he gets a look at top college players, such as Bone, Opara and Duka.

Posted by: fischy | December 9, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

A USA v. Mexico friendly would be great. I was at that Gold Cup final in Giants Stadium (ugh) and it was an ugly scene if you are a USA supporter. I'd like to see us go up against them with a full team. However - due to the "friendly" label, it probably would not be "a" team vs. "a" team - but hopefully we can erase some of that 5-0 drubbing...

Posted by: PremSoccerShop | December 9, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

When could USA play Mexico at the World Cup? It's pretty simple:
If both teams top their group or both teams finish 2nd in their group: QUARTERFINALS
If one team tops their group and the other finishes 2nd in their group: FINAL

Posted by: la2stl | December 9, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Steve said it -- it's all about the cash. Gotta pay the bills for the USSF coaching staff after they tear up the hotels in Philadelphia at the NSCAA convention.

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 9, 2009 10:53 AM
==================

To those USSF staff coaches who may grade me at my B license course... I was just kidding!

Posted by: joedoc1 | December 9, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Not surprising that Fulham is now looking to unload Johnson as he never really was able to break into the 18 very often. I believe he saw very limited first team action during his almost 2 years there. Maybe he too needs to go to Scandanavia where he might get first team play and continue to develop. He's still pretty young. It seemed like he had a but of a resurgence this year but apparently did not show enough. The asking price might not find many takers at 2 million sterling.

Posted by: sbg1 | December 9, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

He might want to consider coming back to the MLS...

Posted by: alan19 | December 9, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

What's the "home" attendance record for a US-Mexico match? this could break it.

Posted by: Kev29 | December 9, 2009 12:01 PM


Just over 79,000 at Giants Stadium for the Gold Cup this summer. Houston friendlies in Feb. '08 and May '03 both drew around 70k.

Depends on the timing, but I'd say a game in Dallas at a

Posted by: HowdyDCU | December 9, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Cut myself off there...

Depends on the timing, but I'd say a game in Dallas at a stadium with a nominal capacity of 100k+ could certainly challenge those numbers.

Posted by: HowdyDCU | December 9, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Did the Hatfields ever play a "friendly" against the McCoys? What's the purpose of this? Is this USSF putting $$$$$$ ahead of player well-being and WWC preparation?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don't think we should play those ^$^$^$% except in blood matches.

Posted by: OWNTF | December 9, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

...Aren't we playing Korea in March too, or has that not been announced yet?

Posted by: B_A_ | December 10, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson sure could score goals back in the day. I don't understand the psychology of it well enough, but I wonder if his confidence and therefore goal scoring capabilities will improve once he gets to play again. We sure need someone with speed to take Davies' spot.

So I see Fulham dropping Johnson as probably good for Johnson, not the opposite.

One thing Davies did so well, that I don't know if Johnson can do, is make great first time passes -- think of Davies' pass to Donovan setting up Donovan's goal against, I think, Spain. That ability probably can't be replaced.

Posted by: tgrahame1 | December 10, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The USSF has to be in a state of total illusion. Why friendlies with known squads like Honduras/Mexica? Except for the gate receipts, these matches serve no preparatory purpose for WC 2010. Playing matches at home doesn't toughen the mental aspect of individual players. These two opponents are poor choices.

Posted by: juke2 | December 16, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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