Plenty enough has been said elsewhere on the internet about the US Men's National Team's disappointing performance at Azteca earlier this week. Probably not enough has been made in the national media of the vomit-filled cups that were hurled (pun intended) at Landon Donovan while he was taking corner kicks. Real classy, Mexican fans.
But this is a DC United blog, so let me put it in a different perspective. I felt like what the US was really missing in this match was a Gomez. Or a Moreno. The US defenders were mostly solid, but every time they cleared the ball up the field, possession went right back immediately to Mexico. What the team was missing was a CAM or withdrawn forward who would be positioned immediately behind the front runners, and who could act as an outlet pass from the back, and then hold the ball up to start transitioning the other way. Mexico dominated our midfielders, but maybe having two defensive-minded central midfielders and two attack-minded wide midfielders was not the best strategy.
Here's some other quick observations from my viewing experience at the crowded Pour House:
- Only one person could be heard clapping after the Mexico goal. Clearly he or she had wandered into the wrong bar.
- Huge ovation after the Davies goal, as would have been expected.
- No one seemed to appreciate referee Roberto Moreno, as would have been expected. (Update: My blog post about him is still the top hit on google when you search for referee Roberto Moreno. It's going to take him a long time to live that match down.)
- When the camera showed Brian Ching starting to walk off the field, lots of clapping and cheers for "Jozy!" We were all disappointed to see Feilhaber and Holden standing up instead, although they both proved to be good additions.
- The second biggest ovation of the day came when Altidore entered the match. And then he proceeded to disappear.
- Nice little round of applause when mun2 showed the American troops in Iraq, but much louder boos when the soldiers started waving a Mexican flag. Funny how they didn't wave that flag until after their team was winning.
- DCU staffers were on hand with flyers, tshirts, stickers, and the actual 2008 US Open Cup! I grabbed a handful of wewintrophies.com stickers to post around town. One already made it into a restroom in the Ronald Reagan Building.
It was pretty cool actually to get to touch the Open Cup. I didn't find out until later that this was the first stop on the team's "We Win Trophies Tour", which is taking the Cup to bars all over DC for the next couple weeks. I definitely recommend checking it out.