RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Podcast Open in Mobile App

« Winners of the NBA Draft | Main | Not All Athletes Are Created Equally »

US Beats Panama, Will Face Mexico For Gold Cup

The US exacted revenge over a Panama team that beat them in the early stages of the Gold Cup just a week ago.  Panama shocked a slow, seemingly disinterested American team 2-0, raising questions about the roster's makeup as well as Bob Bradley's future with the team.

Bradley made the risky decision to bring Landon Donovan off the bench, for the second game in a row, but it paid off as Donovan sent a pinpoint cross through the Panamanian defense to the left foot of Clint Dempsey, who punched home his second goal of the tournament.  Donovan also came off the bench against Jamaica after missing team practice to attend his sister's wedding.

Now Bradley faces a difficult choice.  Donovan is obviously one of the US's most talented and experienced players, with 134 international caps and 45 goals to his resume.  He also has extensive experience against a tough Mexico team that has been known to bully the Yanks.  The most logical, and safest, decision would be to start Donovan against Mexico.  But after two games of coming off the bench, two victories for the US, and his hand in the US's last two goals, the prospect of bringing Donovan in as a high energy substitute should appeal to Bradley.

As mentioned, this Mexico team that the US will face is stronger than in recent years.  Mexico has cruised through the competition, scoring eighteen goals and only allowing two.  Despite five the dismissal of five players before the start of the tournament, Mexico establishes themselves as the team to beat.

Keep a close eye on Javier Hernandez who will certainly give the US defense, that has struggled dating back to last summer's World Cup, fits with his flair and pace.  And although "El Chicharito," as Hernandez is fondly called, does not play over-physically, the rest of this Mexican side has shown grittiness and toughness.

A couple other key questions and sub-plots to examine in this championship bout:

  • Will Mexico appear laggard on the field after their overtime game against Honduras?  Or will enough time have lapsed for them to regain their full fitness?
  • The last match between these two in the Gold Cup? 2009, when Mexico beat the US 5-0 in the championship.  Mexico posted five goals in the final 34 minutes.
  • Although the tournament has been played on American soil, the final game will be played in the Rose Bowl, which doesn't exactly guarantee an American advantage.  Expect a mainly pro-American fanbase, but the Mexican supporters will be there in full force as well.
  • Was that really a Freddy Adu appearance against Panama?  And did he really assist Donovon's assist?  Bob Bradley has said that Adu is finding his form and performing at a higher level, so maybe fans can expect to see the once-phenom in the final.
  • Bradley heard the whispers for his dismissal turn more audible after the earlier loss to Panama, but a win against Mexico would essentially re-secure his job.  A loss keeps him in unfavorable territory.



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference US Beats Panama, Will Face Mexico For Gold Cup:


The comments to this entry are closed. Video Corner

MTR Radio: Click Below to Listen Online Now 24/7!

blog advertising is good for you


View My Stats