The USA-Mexico soccer rivalry mirrors immigration debates raging in the U.S.

October 7, 2015

“Surprise, surprise. Another soccer game between the United States and Mexico is on the horizon. On October 10, the two teams will contest a one-game playoff for the right to represent CONCACAF in the always super competitive Confederations Cup, the tournament, hosted by the next World Cup host nation (Russia), that pits regional champions against one another. But do we really need another U.S.-Mexico game? With so many Gold Cups, what is the need for this brand new ‘CONCACAF Cup’?” Fusion

Tactical choices in the center key to USA-Mexico CONCACAF Cup playoff

October 5, 2015

“Neither the United States nor Mexico heads into the CONCACAF Cup match in an ideal situation. Unrest has been the theme since the Gold Cup, with Mexico battling–yet appearing to narrowly avoid–key injuries sans a full-time manager and Jurgen Klinsmann still with some calls to make in regard to his first-choice lineup. Through the chaos in each camp, the key on Oct. 10 will likely be each team’s defensive approach. The finer details—player selection and formations—could change, but the broad strokes should remain the same because coaches don’t have time to drastically change now.” SI

Gritty comeback win over Peru gives USA a foundation to build on

September 8, 2015

“In sports, team identity can be a tricky thing. What do you want to be about? What are your fundamentals? Your bedrock? And do you achieve the defining characteristics that you’ve set out as a goal for your outfit? Jurgen Klinsmann announced some audacious plans when he took over the U.S. men’s national team in 2011. He wanted nothing less than for the U.S. to become a proactive team that initiated the attack against elite opponents and made them react. That kind of transformation takes time, of course—lots of it—but it doesn’t mean you have to throw out all the good things that defined the U.S. team pre-Klinsmann.” SI

Klinsmann faced with several options in picking U.S. roster for friendlies

August 29, 2015

“So much for the best-laid plans of national team managers. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann desperately wanted to avoid a playoff for CONCACAF’s spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup. So he selected a Gold Cup roster stocked with veterans and promising younger players—the best available, he claimed—who comprised a ‘very, very strong group that can win this prestigious tournament.’ It failed. The U.S. was 2-0-1 but unconvincing in the continental championship’s group stage.” SI

Is CONCACAF its own worst enemy?

August 7, 2015

“Congratulations CONCACAF! You finally get to sit at the big kids table in international football. After years of fighting and scratching to gain even a crumb of recognition from football fans across the world, the region of North and Central America and the Caribbean finally has the world’s attention. One would think that the region would be jumping up and down for joy with the Women’s World Cup and Men’s Gold Cup having finished and with Tigres playing in the Copa Libertadores final. But with the officials being carted off to prison and the shining light of the United States dirtied by its own internal issues a time for celebration is now a time for concern.” backpagefootball

Mexico is the most talented team in CONCACAF and finally showed it in the Gold Cup final

July 27, 2015

“Mexico is the champion of the 2015 Gold Cup. Well, Mexico and the refs. Some spectacularly bad refereeing helped El Tri make it to the final, but once there, it finally put on a show, beating Jamaica 3-1. This was the tournament in which Mexico proved itself. More than booking its spot in the Confederations Cup playoff, the Gold Cup was a showcase for El Tri’s absurd amount of talent. There’s no longer any doubt which team in CONCACAF is the most talented. In fact, the gulf between Mexico and the rest of the region may be even bigger than we previously thought.” Fusion

USA, still confident, knows there’s work to be done after Gold Cup finish

July 27, 2015

“The U.S. national team was well past writing a storybook ending to this disastrous CONCACAF Gold Cup when DaMarcus Beasley, 33 and a veteran of four World Cups, stepped to the penalty spot hoping to keep his side alive in Saturday’s bronze medal game. Even victory over Panama would not have obscured the disappointment of the Americans’ two-year decline from unbeaten regional champion to this consolation match played at half-empty PPL Park. But a Beasley miss, on what was probably the last touch of his historic international career, would be cruel salt in the wound. It would have been too much.” SI


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