United States entered the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final vs. Mexico as 93,420 packed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The United States (nicknamed Sam’s Army) scored first with a header by the coaches son Michael Bradley which was delivered on a corner kick from Freddy Adu in the 8th minute. Fifteen minutes later Landon Donovan scored to put the Americans up 2-0 and full control of the match.
Although up 2-0, USA lost top defender Steve Cherundolo to injury, the Mexican made a substitution in the 28th minute to attack the USA defense and one minute later in the 29th minute Mexico scored to make the match 2-1 and equalized in the 36th minute to match it a 2-2 match entering halftime.
By the way one of the most entertaining first half of soccer I’ve ever seen.
Mexico scored in the 50th minute and continued to control the tempo of the match. After the USA missed a few chances to score on a Freddy Adu free kick and a Clint Dempsey strike hitting the crossbar. Mexico sealed the deal in the 76th minute with an jaw dropping goal from Giovani dos Santos, “Spanish announcer really enjoys the goal”.
Few things for some non-traditional soccer fans following United States should realize:
*Mexico was the favorite and better team, point blank
*A 2-0 lead is the scariest lead in soccer because a team tends to let up and the other team attacks, much like getting a 20 point lead too early in an NBA game.
*Freddy Adu was the best player on the field for USA tonight, he had something to do with both goals, the young man is getting his confidence.
*Clint Dempsey is a fun player to watch, when he scores he normally does some kind of hip hop form of expression i.e. Tony Yayo hand wave to face, and Yung Joc Its Going Down arm dance, (He did that in 2006) the kid plays with heart and is fun to watch.
United States has a good team, but German soccer legend Juergen Klinsmann said it best when talking about the state of USA soccer during a 2010 World Cup telecast explaining how Americans kid that play soccer aren’t coming from the inner cities which produce the best athletes. Rather kids that are from wealthy families play soccer for leisure. Meanwhile in Europe, South America, and Africa soccer is the only source for the poor to escape poverty in many cases and they carry that mentality as professionals. It’s hard to be the best in the world in a sport when our best natural athletes may never touch a soccer ball.