The US and Mexico Appear On Different Pages Now

The US and Mexico Appear On Different Pages Now

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 4, 2012
  • Brazil, Edgar Castillo, Features, Giovanni Dos Santos, Javier, USMNT

Neymar and Brazil struggled to get by a tough Mexico defense. (PRESSWIRE)

If you follow my tweets you probably realized something yesterday afternoon, I was at Cowboys Stadium to see Mexico take on Brazil. A massive pro-Mexico crowd was on hand (the largest soccer crowd in the Texas history) to see El Tri down Brazil 2-0 thanks to two first half goals by Giovanni dos Santos and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

I made sure to get home early enough to see the US take on Canada as well in a soccer filled day. The US ended up drawing Canada to round out their three friendlies with a 1-1-1 record. They’ll begin World Cup qualifying this week but I couldn’t help but think it, the US and Mexico are on totally different levels right now.

Unfortunately for the US, Mexico’s level of play is certainly higher at the moment.

I know we shouldn’t read totally into friendlies. They are what they are and aren’t certainly a great barometer of how good or bad a country really is or isn’t here but in one day I was able to see both US and Mexico in back-to-back games. The level of play was certainly different on some parts of the pitch while it was what you’d expect elsewhere.

While Jurgen Klinsmann is building his core team as he likes to call it for the next couple years, Mexico certainly has their team for this World Cup round and possibly the next. With a U-20 team that is doing well and a U-17 team that recently won that World Cup, Mexico is build more for the future than we are at the moment.

Yesterday’s play against Brazil showed that.

Brazil played a squad that had plenty of young talent as well, one that will be seen in a few weeks at the London Olympics. Young exciting talent like Hulk, Neymar, Lucas, Marcelo, and Thiago Silva. The talent is definitely there for Brazil for the future and I’m sure by the time the World Cup comes around in their backyard, they’ll be the favorites.

But Mexico’s talent level is impressive. El Tri had a game plan and stuck to it to perfection. They allowed the Brazilians to dominate the possession and played for the counterattacks. Sure enough the first chance they got, dos Santos bagged the game’s first goal. Sure, it was a cross or even a lucky strike at best but one that made the highlight reel as a goal.

The second goal, a penalty that Chicharito scored, also came off a counter. Mexico handed the high press of the Brazilians far better than the US were able to a few nights ago in Washington, D.C.

Klinsmann still finding his roster

Edgar Castillo and the US struggled against Canada. (Getty Images)

Here is the thing for me under Klinsmann. I have faith he’ll do great things for the US team but right now, he’s still got a long way to go to figure out what talent he does have here. His lineup choices have been weird since day one and last night in Toronto was no different.

I still see no need for a player like Jose Torres out there at the moment. He does add space to the wing and gives you some decent pace along side it but other than that I saw nothing else yesterday evening. A player like that needs to produce chances for himself and for his teammates and he did none of that.

On the flip side Mexico has that kind of talent

It may have been a counter attack from El Tri but it was one that was effective thanks to some quick pace on the wings. One thing I noticed early on that when Mexico got the ball yesterday again Brazil, they were quick to spread out. Both goals came from quick play to the wings that found a player in the penalty box with a chance to score. One went in and the other resulted in a penalty kick.

The US didn’t bring any of that kind of play to the table last night in Toronto. Either it was the Canadian defense stepping up to prove themselves or it was just a lack luster effort from the US attack.

High pressure, medium pressure both result in issues for the US

Brazil brought the heat at FedEx Field while Toronto’s pressure was more of a two-thirds kind of thing at BMO Field. Either way, the US midfield was gobbled up due to this pressure. Something that Mexico will certainly provide from their midfield and defense as well.

The US struggled at handling this due to the high tempo game they want to play right now. Canada easily could have had three goals last night and were unlucky not to get at least one here.

The Canucks finishing was their doom last night while teams like Mexico and Brazil will certainly have no issue finding the back of the net when they get the open chances.

Klinsmann has to find some balance in the tempo of his team’s game and find the right players to handle the pressure from the opposition. The last two US games were simple a bad result due to poor strategy.