Saturday, June 25, 2011

On Tap: Gold Cup Final

Bringing you the most ridiculous moon-sized trophy since 1991
Figured I'd be a little early on this guy since, y'know, I think it may be a big deal somewhere.

Of note: the US is 7-1-1 against El Tri on US soil in the history of the rivalry. The one loss is the 2009 final, which still sticks in the craw of a number of fans who watched a B side (arguably a C side) face Mexico in a Gold Cup final that awarded bragging rights and little else. This year, a Confed Cup berth is on the line. Plenty to play for.

I was asked earlier this week what I thought. I've read a few position-by-position breakdowns, this one by ESPN jumping off as the most obvious. It is more nuanced than it allows. My most obvious observation is that I think the US has the advantage in center midfield with Mexico owning the edge on the wings and up top. Both will attempt to force the game into those respective sectors. Bob Bradley will no doubt understand there is a tactical angle to be played through Jermaine Jones and Mikey up the center, while Mexico will look to push outward toward Barrera and Dos Santos or Guardado, whomever is healthiest, and then on toward Chicharito, who will likely be the most dangerous player on the field all night. Like I said before, though, don't overlook Aldo de Nigris. Very dangerous player.

If this rivalry has proven anything, it is to not bet against the US on home soil and, on a macro level, to not bet in general. There have been times when Mexico has thundered in and faltered and vice versa, so I'll avoid outright predictions. It is a positive for the US that they play on familiar ground in front of what should at least be a relatively split crowd. It is a positive for Mexico that they likely possess the better side. How that plays out tonight in Pasadena? The beauty is in the unpredictability.

- This is becoming a habit
- Ives Galarcep waxes poetic on the last 10 years of the rivalry
- This is Chicharito's first USA showdown, and Landon is sandbagging already
- Get ready for the Dos Santos Swivel
- Guardado and Salcido still aren't for sure
- There are finals and then there are Finals
- 90,000+ in attendance... what's not to love?

Watch out El Tri!

- Will Parchman


Matt said...

No shame in that loss. Mexico was the better team. And we already knew Bornstein wasn't the answer.

I think we learned a lot from this GC. And, man, Freddy looks a lot smarter out there. Glad to have him.

Greg Seltzer said...

Frankly, I don't think the problem was Bornstein as much as it was Bradley throwing on an ice cold Bornstein that hadn't played in eons.

What else did he expect from that?

Will said...