USA vs. Mexico, 2007

Thursday night at The University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona the United States’ Men’s National Team defeated their arch rival Mexico 2-0 in Bob Bradley’s second game as the interim head coach. Landon Donovan had 1 goal and 1 assist, Jimmy Conrad led the defense, and Tim Howard pitched the complete game shutout in goal.

Thoughts from the game:
Jonathan Bornstein is a solid left back: I’ll admit that before the Denmark game I had no idea who Jonathan Bornstein was. When I saw that he was in the starting lineup against the Danish I figured it was because Bradley was rewarding him for being the 2006 Rookie of the Year in the MLS. However, after watching him the past two games I am pretty impressed with his play. Although Bornstein is young and inexperienced, he is confident and willing to attack opposing players. Bornstein’s ability to make plays in the offensive third of the field will solidify his chances of staying with the national team.

Man of the Match
: The best player in the game tonight was without a doubt Jimmy Conrad. The U.S. was without experienced defenders Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, and Eddie Pope (recently retired), and the team desperately needed someone to step up and guard Mexico’s play makers Jared Borgetti and Cuauhtémoc Blanco. Conrad consistently denied Borgetti the ball and physically manhandled the hot-headed Mexican striker. Conrad’s header in the second half sealed his campaign for man of the match. Along with Bornstein, Conrad might be the key ingredient to a solid back line for the men’s squad.

Mexico can’t coop with the success of the U.S.: U.S. vs Mexico has always been a heated rivalry, and Thursday night was a typical battle between the two teams. Mexico brought thousands of loyal fans to the match and a squad loaded with their best players from the 2006 World Cup (Rafael Marquez, Oswaldo Sanchez, Borgetti, Blanco). The first half saw little action between the two teams, but the second half was full of heated moments. Conrad’s early second half goal seemed to deflate the Mexican team and their fans, and Donovan’s break away goal tipped the Mexicans over the edge. After Donovan’s goal Oswaldo Sanchez sheepishly attempted to slide tackle Eddie Johnson when he was running across the field to congratulate Landon, and after the game the Mexican team refused to shake hands with the U.S. players and coaches. Why were the Mexicans upset? Simple. Mexico cannot coop with the fact that they can no longer dominate the U.S. in “futbol.” The United States has always dominated Mexico in baseball, basketball, and track/field, and soccer was the only sport that Mexico could win. However, the recent US-Mexico matches have shown that we have caught up to the Mexicans, and we can consistently beat them at their national past time.


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