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

Reggae Boy Blues: A Guide to Worrying About the USMNT’s Disappointing Gold Cup Exit

July 27, 2015

“Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen. The United States men’s national team, which had reached the last five CONCACAF Gold Cup finals, fell, 2-1, to an active and inspired Jamaican team in last night’s semifinal in Atlanta. Their first home loss to the Reggae Boyz sends the Americans into Saturday’s sad third-place match against Panama, while Jamaica moves through to its first final against Mexico. Not winning the whole thing — let alone crashing out before the championship game — is an utter failure for the Red, White, and Blue. So, how worried should you, USMNT-adjacent person, be? Well, it depends who you are …” Grantland

Mexico advances to Gold Cup final after chaotic, ugly semifinal show

July 25, 2015

“Mexico is heading to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final, but not exactly in the most glory-filled manner. Despite having a man advantage from the 25th minute on, Mexico needed another late, controversial penalty call to force extra time, where it ultimately prevailed over Panama 2–1 at the Georgia Dome to set up a final against Jamaica on Sunday at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field. Andres Guardado, just like he did in the quarterfinals against Costa Rica, converted the late penalty and then another one in extra time to keep El Tri alive.” SI

Undesired third-place game still serves a purpose for United States
“There are two ways to look at Saturday’s Gold Cup consolation game between the United States and Panama. On one hand, it can be viewed as little more than an inconvenience, a match the players and coaches on both teams — having fallen short of reaching Sunday’s final in nearby Philadelphia — would just as soon not play at all. On the other, it’s still a chance for the sides to represent their countries, make a little bit of appearance money and, for the team that is victorious (after all, there must be a winner), an opportunity to end a disappointing, unfulfilling and ultimately unsuccessful tournament with heads held high.” ESPN

Diplomatic Relations: The USMNT and Cuba Play Soccer in a Changing World

July 22, 2015

“Ah, the golden summer of American footie rolls on. First, the women’s national team rampages across Canada, shutting out the world and ending up with individual covers of the same magazine. And now, the men are cruising through the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition — a tournament that, I will grant you, had eluded me for most of my career. However, it seems to be such a big-deal pile of initials that 40,000 people will show up in Baltimore on a day halfway between Gobi Desert and blast furnace to watch the United States dismantle Cuba, 6-0, in a game that ended for all practical purposes in its first two minutes. (The absence of any side from Central America in the doubleheader was said to have held attendance down.) No game seems as much like a mismatch as one that has the winning coach still warning his team about overconfidence a half-hour after the game is over.” Grantland

CONCACAF powers USA, Mexico find frustration in Gold Cup group play

July 17, 2015

“With the United States’ recent success against big-name international competition, the team and its fans could be forgiven for thinking the CONCACAF Gold Cup would be a breeze. The U.S. did win the toughest group of the competition, but the results were far from comfortable. A draw with Panama in the meaningless group finale followed one-goal wins over Honduras and Haiti that secured Group A, but the U.S. never looked entirely comfortable in its trio of matches. After smash-and-grab victories over the Netherlands and Germany in June, the Americans continued a troubling pattern of inability to dictate matches when opponents sit back.” SI

Altidore off of USA’s Gold Cup roster; Beasley among Klinsmann’s adds
“Time has run out on Jozy Altidore, whose recovery from a hamstring injury didn’t progress fast enough to warrant an extended place on the U.S. national team squad that will make a run at a second consecutive CONCACAF Gold Cup title. Altidore was among three players cut Tuesday by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who had the option of making up to six changes to his 23-man tournament roster following the conclusion of the group stage. Altidore will depart along with defender Greg Garza and midfielder Alfredo Morales. They’ll be replaced by veteran defender DaMarcus Beasley—who’s coming out of international retirement—forward Alan Gordon and midfielder Joe Corona.” SI


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