US 2 - 0 Mexico: Basking, Commentary Round-Up

Given a late yesterday night, today was always going to be hard enough. Then my kid came in the room at 3:30 a.m. coughing her head off, so I moved to the couch, etc. Let's just say concentrating is so hard today, I'm lucky I didn't miss the toilet when I sat down to business this morning.

But my semi-vegetative state did allow my the strength to read what everyone else had to say about last night's 2-0 U.S. win. So, I'll just post those, note the good stuff and crawl back in my hole. Starting with the pros:

Because I made Soccer Blogs my first stop, I started my day with Soccer by Ives, who noted a lack of sportsmanship out of the Mexican team. Between walking off the field without shaking hands and Oswaldo Sanchez's swipe at Eddie Johnson, yeah (all of which I missed...good one), it was pretty bad, bad enough to creep up in article after article as well as producing a stand-alone piece or two.

Andrea Canales actually improved on this general concept with a piece on Mexico's state of denial; they've got this weird gripe that we don't play the game "correctly," though it never seems to dawn on them that we probably don't see any reason to with Plan A working so well. Canales' partner as LA Soccer News, Luis Bueno, explored this team from the Mexican side on Sports Illustrated.

Turning to the U.S. performance now, there's a fair breadth of thinking as to how we did. On the "we won, but" side of the scales are pieces like Ken Pendleton's offering on, who raised some concerns about how much we rely on set plays and flukes to win. But the prize for dubious ardor as Jamie Trecker's mysterious assertion that "unlike England, who fielded a below full-strength side", there's nothing to say about that really. Another person moderately underwhelmed by the U.S. performance was ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, who took the psychological route to explain the win: we're just that far inside Mexico's head that they don't know how to beat us anymore. Against that, the "nice guys" of American soccer punditry - Grant Wahl and Marc Connolly - did their silver lining thing; for the record, I admire the hell out of both of them, but, dang, seems they could find the sunshine in Tartarus.

Moreover, what right do I have to quibble after the "6 Good, 2 Bad" post I banged out last night?

Moving on, I liked Grahame Jones' write-up for the LA Times. I think it's fair to say no one went as easy on Chris Rolfe as Luis Arroyave over on the Red Card; that's not to say he thinks Rolfe had a great game, but he's more generous than the flock, the majority of whom figured Rolfe looked pretty aimless out there. Also, there's plenty of other good stuff in his post. Another pro, the Washington Post's Steve Goff, did a fine wrap of his own; I think he was fairer on the players than Carlisle, but also noted that he was the only observer I've so far seen who kind of liked ESPN2's coverage last night.

Well, that ought to be enough...for now.

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