Sunday’s Gold Cup final between the
A few thoughts and observations about the game :
- It was evident almost immediately that Jonathan Spector was going to have a hard time marking Andres Guardado,
’s speedy winger. After being burned repeatedly during the first half, it was his failure to mark the backside that led to Mexico ’s goal just before the break. Mexico
- After a miserable first half Brian Ching had a great turn with a defender on his back that led to a foul in the box and the penalty kick for Donovan.
- Speaking of the penalty…I completely expected Donovan to be stoned by Mexican keeper Oswaldo Sanchez, who had been brilliant up to that point. In the past it seemed as though Landon lost that swagger and scoring instinct he displayed in the 2002 World Cup. He completely faked out Sanchez and proved me wrong.
- Donovan’s goal was followed by the game winner by Benny Feilhaber. He took an attempted clearance from a corner out of the air and sent it dipping over the defense and inside the far post. It was a amazing strike, and it goes to prove that we need more players playing overseas (Feilhaber plays for Hamburg SV of the German Bundesliga).
- It was great to finally see Donovan and Beasley playing well together (minus Beasley’s late choke job with the open net). It looks like we may be able to build a team around these two after all.
- The outstanding play of Carlos Bocanegra should not go unnoticed. He was not only solid in his marking but he routinely made up for the mistakes made by the rest of the defense. This guy seems like he’s been around forever but he’s only 29.
- Still no complaints about the job Bob Bradley is doing. Throughout the tournament he has mixed young talent with established veterans with considerable success. His attacking gameplan against
was both refreshing and successful. The Mexico was a few fairly easy (in Beasley’s case painfully easy) finishes away from breaking this one wide open. It will be interesting to see what he does in the upcoming Copa U.S. when he will be forced to use even more of his young and inexperienced players. America
- Lastly, just so you can get an idea of what this win means for the future, I wanted to explain what winning a spot in the Confederation Cup actually means. The tournament of eight is held every four years and is made up of the winners of each of the six FIFA confederation tournaments. The World Cup champion and host country are also guaranteed spots. The tournament is held in 2009, so this means we are guaranteed some amazing competition which will be perfect to prepare for the 2010 World Cup.