Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why Mexico Will Destroy the US on Wednesday, and be World Cup Champions in 2014



As an American Outlaw, I bleed red white and blue.  Mexico are our biggest rivals, and it is a very passionate one.  The two teams are the powers of CONCACAF, we share a border, and they absolutely hate eachother on the field.  Since their first meeting in 1934, Mexico has dominated this rivalry sporting a 33-15-12 record in 60 matches.  However, since 2005, the teams share a 4-4-2 record against eachother, proving the intensity of this rivalry.  The last time these two got together was August 10th of last year when they drew 1-1.

But the match everyone remembers is the Gold Cup title game only a month and a half before in the Rose Bowl in front of 93,420 fans, 70% supporting Mexico.  

The main story leading into the game was the resurgence of Freddy Adu.  Having seemingly disappeared from the soccer world, he was a shock substitution in the semifinal vs Panama, and immediately made an impact.  His scintillating pass to Donovan who found Dempsey for the only goal of the match earned him an unexpected start in the final.  

All looked great when the US sprung out to a 2-0 lead behind Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley strikes within 23 minutes.  However, six minutes later Pablo Barrera tallied and Andres Guardado struck seven minutes later to go into halftime level.  The second half would be some of the most intense football I've ever watched.  Five minutes after the break, Barrera got his brace to make it 3-2.  Both teams looked poised to win it in a tight back and forth game, before Gio Dos Santos scored one of the goals of the year, and maybe the most famous goal in Mexico history to date to ice the match and break the hearts of the Americans.  The match ended 4-2.



Why Mexico Will Be Dominant


SUCCESS:  Mexico came out of "nowhere" to beat mighty Brazil in the Olympics.  Now, of course, that is at the U-23 level, and I do believe Brazil has lost much of it's dominance.  But, the country is riding high off a Gold Medal, a Gold Cup, and a Pan American games title all within the last 14 months.

COACH:  Ever since Jose Manuel de la Torres took over in 2010, he has led Mexico to an utterly ridiculous 16-4-2 record in international matches, only losing to Brazil and Colombia.  

YOUTH:  In addition to the U-23s winning the Olympics, the U-17s have won the World Cup in both 2005 and 2011, and the U-20s came in 3rd, losing to Brazil.  

EXPERIENCE:  Since 1994, the Mexicans have made it out of the group stage every single time in the World Cup.  However, they have yet to the quarters since 1986.  Chicarito, Dos Santos, Hector Moreno, and Barerra have all got a World Cup under their belt.  Andres Guardado will be 27 in 2014, and it will be his third.  This combined with the youth and elder statesmen Rafa Marquez, Carlos Salcido and Gerardo Torrado could spell danger for any team standing in their way.

PASSION:  The fans are some of the absolute best in the world.  Anytime you walk into the Azteca, do not expect to win.  They are loud and passionate, they literally live and die with El Tri.  They are extremely well-traveled as well, and bring hell to any stadium, anywhere.  The players reflect that passion on the field as well, always playing their absolute hearts out. 


US-MEXICO PREDICTION

While at times Jurgen Klinsmann has looked like he knows what he's doing, he is still swapping through different lineups every game, developing players rather than going for victories.  To his credit, he posts an 8-3-5 record, however, there is no excuse for only winning 3-1 against Antigua and Barbuda, and drawing 1-1 against Guatemala in World Cup Qualifiers.  When the US played Brazil, they were absolutely smacked.  It was men against boys.  When Mexico faced off against the 5-time World Cup champs, they got out to a 1-0 lead before narrowly losing 2-1.  It was a highly competitive match, and Mexico has gotten better since.

This match is in the Azteca, and the Mexicans will be loud and proud.  The US has been absolutely dominated in Mexico, sporting a lifetime 0-1-23 record there, and hasn't scored more than one goal since 1949 (The three times they did, they lost 6-2, 7-3, and 7-2.)  Nothing is going to change Wednesday night.

MEXICO 4
USA        1



7 comments:

  1. If the US was fielding an equally experienced team against Mexico, the result would be much different. Only two defenders for the US has more than 5 caps (Castillo and Johnson). Klinsmann's selection will have more of an impact on the result Wednesday than Mexico's brilliance.

    And with regard to Mexico going forward, Rafa Marquez won't be a part of the World Cup squad in 2014. Maza and Morena are much better playing with each other than either is playing with Marquez. Rafa hasn't played consistently for his club for more than a year and opinion within Mexico is split on him. Youth is much more important than either Marquez or Torrado.

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  2. Experienced players like Marquez and Torrado are phenomenal to have for the younger players to look up to. If you've ever played sports, you would know how much of an impact veterans have, leaders or not. They have skills and world experience that they can share, and for a Mexican side with some of the world's best youngsters... this is such a gift.

    As far as the US goes, yes. If it were a WCQ and not an international friendly, the match would be closer. (I would still have it 2-1 or 3-1 Mexico at the Azteca.) The US is nowhere near as deep, and it'll show.

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  3. The US lineup has been announced. The defenders are obviously the weak link. As always.

    Howard; Beitashour, Cameron, Orozco Fiscal, F. Johnson; Beasley, Jones, Torres; Gomez, Boyd, Donovan

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  4. Let's see if I can be pedantic on the internet, too..

    Marquez is not a role model. He's lazy and is often caught out of position. He can play a decent ball forward in MLS but he was exposed multiple times in the Mexico game against Colombia. If you watched Mexico play or have ever talked to anyone in Mexico, you'd know that Marquez has become more of a liability on the field than an asset. As for the whole leadership role, if you want to waste a roster spot for a major international competition on a "locker room" guy.. go ahead. These "younger players" aren't 17. They are full professionals who know as well and demonstrate better on the field the hunger and motivation that any leader could impart upon them.

    The experience of Mexico's current batch of players under 30 is much more valuable. Players who have played internationally and can still hack it at a high level (unlike Marquez). Torrado will slow down in two years' time and his harrying style of play will become less effective. Younger players (Jonathan dos Santos, Jesus Molina, heck even Israel Castro or Olympic sensation Jorge Enriquez) can do the same thing and by 2014 they will have time to build up whatever an "elder statesman" can bring to the table.

    With regard to the U.S. lineup you posted, did you put Beasley as a center midfielder in Klinsmann's 4-3-3? lol

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  5. That's Klinsmann's lineup. Not mine.

    Bottom line is that Mexico has an abundance of talent and hard workers. They almost have too many options, and de la Torres seems to know exactly what he's doing with them. Whether they keep the older guys around ... only time will tell. Either way they will be a tough out

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  6. Klinsman isn't even fielding a team to win. He's testing the young blood. I don't know that it's bad strategy, long term. But I still don't like it.

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  7. I think JK does not realize the enormity of the rivalry. Going into the Azteca, you need to field players, it's not a match to give someone their first start/cap (Beitashour.) A beating in front of that crowd will demoralize the team going back into WCQ's.

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