Two Niños Héroes Help México Destroy Team USA

No, not Juan Escutia and Fernando Montes de Oca, but wunderkinds Carlos Vela (below left) and Giovanni Dos Santos (below right). Boy, the look on Troy Perkins’ face just summarizes the second half Team USA had.

Vela Dos Santos

AP

Finally, after 10 agonizing years of Mexican fútbol futility on U.S. soil, El Tricolor de todos los Méxicanos got over their bitter rivals from the North, with a 5-0 drubbing in yesterday’s Gold Cup final due largely to the efforts of these 2 blossoming stars.

Something has been wrong with México since the conclusion of the 2007 Copa América, I believe now that that something has been swagger.  Well, even though this was neither America’s or México’s main team, I believe this win gives my countrymen a great big boost of confidence.

While there are a million things I can say the best course of action is to let these glorious highlights speak for themselves,

I will reiterate something I shared with my compadres who I watched the game with.  I like the chances of Gio and Vela delivering a World Cup title to México, but one thing at a time.

Next up:  August 12th at Azteca where Team USA has never beaten México, and where I can assure you that the Star-Spangled Banner won’t be sung by nearly the amount of people who sang México’s national anthem last Sunday at Giants Stadium.

Giants Stadium will now be known as Azteca North. Here’s a shot from Sunday:
Azteca North

AP

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México Actually Wins a Penalty Shootout

Mexican fans you know the routine. In an elimination match, you better hope that El Tri wins in the first 90 minutes or if not then manages to put the match away during the 30 minute overtime, why?

Because as all of us know, Mexican fútbolistas are inept at taking penalty kicks. The memories are many and are painful.

There was the ’86 World Cup quarterfinals when ze Germans bested México 4-1 in a penalty shootout. While it’s easy to blame then Mexican goalie, Pablo Larios, let’s keep in mind that his teammates couldn’t beat the German keeper. [Let’s not even mention Hugo Sanchez’ annulled goal, grrrrrr]

Then there was the ’94 World Cup Round of 16 against Bulgaria. Even though, yes Mexican keeper Jorge Campos (below right) could have better lived up to the hype his ridiculous jersey’s generated, his teammates wilted at the 11-meter dot and couldn’t buy a penalty kick. The Bulgarian keeper was the Germans and my countrymen’s penalty takers were the French.
Jorge Campos

On a lesser scale there was the harrowing loss to the hated Argentines in the 2005 Confederations Cup. In that case, my countrymen made their kicks only to have national team luminary Ricardo Osorio miss a sudden death penalty kick.

My point with all this historical hash is that my countrymen have shown an iniquitous ineptitude to execute penalty kicks and/or block them. What do you expect when your goalies’ height haven’t even come close to 6′? (This is slowly changing)

All that changed last night when my native land’s 11 bested Costa Rica in a penalty shootout in the Gold Cup Semifinal.

The frustrated/jubilant thoughts of a Mexican after the jump…

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This Should Drive any Fútbol-loving “Minuteman” Bonkers

No, I don’t refer to the usage of a Spanish word in reference to the group of ‘concerned’ citizens which has done so much to bolster US-Mexican relations (below).

MinutemanAP
Where’s the love?

Rather, this is in reference to the fact, that as of right now, the highly-anticipated World Cup qualifier between US-México on August 16 will not be aired in English in these United States.

Which, for this transplanted Mexican, is not that big of a loss, and this for a variety of reasons. First, ESPN would have been the channel to air the match and we don’t have cable. Secondly, even if we did have cable I’d much rather watch fútbol on Spanish television.

Whether it’s Telemundo with Andrés Cantor or Univision/Telefutura with Pablo Ramírez and Jesús Bracamontes, the Spanish guys call a much better game than anything ESPN can put together.

As for my monolingual fellow fútbol fans who are trying to get a petition going to get the game in English. What in the world for?

Telemundo will carry the game and none other than Mr. Cantor will provide exciting play-by-play. Granted, it will be in a language you won’t understand but who’s counting? Spanish is everywhere you turn and give or take 50 years, oh never mind.

Besides, events like Tim Howard’s bellyaching (gloriously captured below) back in February are much more colorfully presented in Español.
SOCCER-WORLD/

Yes, I know Rafa Marquez is a dirty player, and hit Howard. However, I also know that the replay showed that on this particular play, “El Pato” Howard as Univision’s Pablo Ramirez so lovingly calls him, hit Marquez hard on the back. Rafa gets tossed, Howard stays in the game, oh well. I won’t get into how Giovanni Dos Santos was dragged down in front of the U.S. goal.

As far as August 12th is concerned, to paraphrase an infamous movie character, soon we will reveal ourselves to the Norteamericanos, soon we will have revenge.

México Dominates Guadalupanos

No, not the followers of my native land’s most famous idol (below),
Virgen de Guadalupebut rather the team from the tiny French region of Guadeloupe.

Granted, such domination only earned my paisanos only a 2-0 vic.

As much as I’d like to hem and haw over México’s inability to trounce the representative team from a tiny archipelago that isn’t even a member of FIFA, I won’t since a win is a win and said win gave México first place in 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup’s Group C.

The tone of this post will be positive, why? Because noted Mexican whipping boys, Gerardo Torrado and Miguel Sabah scored the only goals in the match (Torrado’s strike was a golazo).

I have been known to  anguishing over the decision to give Torrado the Captain’s armband.

Dude just makes too many mistakes with the ball. His passes are errant, turnover is his middle name, ok ok I’ll stop, gotta stay positive. As for Sabah, he’s new to El Tri and he’s wasted more scoring opportunities than, oh never mind.

On a positive note, it is becoming obvious that every time midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos touches the ball, something magical has the potential to transpire. He is a bona fide playmaker, now the only thing that stands between 2-0 victories and 6-0 beatdowns is a competent man or two up front to consummate the opportunities Gio generates.

By the way, it’s about time to see goalkeeper Memo Ochoa make the type of save during a match that he only makes in Allstate commercials (around the 0:31 mark),

How weird is it that the altar at the beginning of the commercial could easily be one dedicated to the idol at the top of the post?

México-Panama: A Study in Scarlet

Red Card

A Gold Cup match between the national fútbol teams of México and Panama was scheduled last night in the fair city of Houston.

What ended up transpiring was a brawl. A brawl to the tune of 4 red cards being doled out by the ref. One of these red cards was ‘earned’ by Mexican head coach, Javier “El Vasco” Aguirre. His antics deserve a post unto themselves and here’s an excellent one:

Javier Aguirre channels his inner Woody Hayes

If Aguirre coached Team USA he’d be fired already for his act (see Woody Hayes and Ohio State), let’s see how the FMF (México fútbol’s governing body) responds. He supposedly didn’t mean to kick Panamanian player, Richardo Phillips. Here’s a story on Aguirre’s apology, if it can be called that.

Phillips, upset that the opposing coach kicked him, retaliated by pushing Aguirre and was also tossed as a result. Phillips didn’t want to leave the field because he was afraid of getting pelted by the mostly Mexican crowd. His fears were well-founded since he left the field under a cascade of beer, water and who knows what else. Stay classy, paisanos.

The cage match ended in a 1-1 tie, which is a result which Panama is more than happy to walk away with, at least according to budding Mexican star, Giovanni Dos Santos who alleges that “Panama only came here to provoke us.”

Look, I like Gio, he seems like a nice kid who has all the talent in the world. However, at some point the excuses have to stop. Truth is, El Tri hasn’t looked good since the 2007 Copa America. Maybe because of the parade of coaches or because the players don’t have as much quality as we’re accustomed to seeing from México.

Not only is my native land not showing good fútbol form, they are quickly solidifying their reputation as a dirty team. To this fan, this is actually more than a concern than the technical deficiencies of the squad.

México’s Nigerian Nightmare Signs with AC Milan

Oguchi Onyewu, the man who has done more damage to México since Gen. Winfield Scott, has been signed by AC Milan, one of the premier fútbol/football/soccer clubs in the world.

Whereas Gen. Scott stormed Chapultepec Castle and unintentionally gave us Mexicans one of our most beloved, if not over-romanticized,heroes, Onyewu, Team USA’s world-class central defender, has been terrorizing Mexican strikers and forwards since 2004.

Here he is abusing another one of my native country’s over-romanticized heroes, striker Jared Borghetti,
Oguchi Onyewu

Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

Onyewu, who is of Nigerian descent, has been a huge reason why México has not figured out Team USA in nearly a decade (at least on American soil).

While playing with the Rossoneri will make Gooch (as Onyewu is affectionately called) even more formidable, and this bodes ill for my beloved Tri, the signing is well-deserved. His recent performance in the Confederations Cup (especially against Spain) showed that he is world-class.

México 2, Belize 0: Mini-Flags, Plastic Shofars, and Meximullets, Oh My!

Went with my pops and my youngest sister to last Sunday’s World Cup qualifying match here at Reliant Stadium between my beloved Tri and Belize. Took my trusty Kodak Z740 and took some shots of the game.

As to El Tri’s performance, they did not play as well as their talent level would suggest. Yes they did win, but their inability to finish around the box was glaring. Arsenal wunderkind Carlos Vela (below) played up front for most of the match and missed a clear put back.

Vela did redeem himself later by nudging in a rebound off a free kick for Mexico’s first (and winning) score. Here he is celebrating that score with some of his teammates,

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