Sunday, October 11, 2015

USA falls to Mexico in extra time thriller, questions about Klinsmann's future arise

USA 2-3 Mexico
Defensive breakdowns, particularly among the full backs, spelled the USA's doom as they fall to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

It was not the best start for the USA. A defensive breakdown from Damarcus Beasley in the tenth minute led to the Mexican opener. It was Javier Chicharito Hernandez with the close range finish off the assist from Oribe Peralta, who shredded Beasley along his way to making the decisive pass.

The Americans responded well however and equalized after Beasley washed a free kick along the left flank in the 15th minute. Michael Bradley lofted a perfect delivery that found the head of Geoff Cameron, of all people.

Much of the rest of regular time was typical for the United States. mexico controlled possession, but had few chances to score. The USA was able to get forward a few times themselves, mostly in the last fifteen minutes. They also never threatened to find a goal.

It was in extra time that this match took off. Mexico started the flurry of goals int he 96th minute with a well executed passing play that ended in Oribe Peralta scoring through the legs of Geoff Cameron. Being forced to play with a strong attacking posture, the USA controlled much of the ball on the way to the end of the first half of the bonus period. In the second frame, Bobby Wood, who seemingly does nothing but score huge goals, received a picture perfect through ball from Deandre Yedlin and scored on a classy finish through Moises Munoz's five hole in the 108th.

At this point, it looked like America would go in for the kill. The crowd was on their side as they played with a renewed energy. They got a couple of almost chances before Mexico delivered the suckerpunch in the 118th of 120 minutes. After a semi-cleared free kick in Mexico's end, Demarcus Beasley threw himself towards a 50/50 ball and lost, leaving him out of position and unable to defend Paul Aguilar who came streaking in to blast a shot beyond Brad Guzan.

The USA had no time to mount another comeback.

So now we cue the increased talk about the future of Jurgen Klinsmann as the USMNT's coach. After leading the team through the group of death in the World Cup, he has seen very little to be positive about since. This is the latest of his failures, but I am not sure he is entirely to blame here. He made the correct subs in this one, especially Yedlin and Wood, who both made an immediate impact upon entering the match. He started the best 11 players he could. While it was Beasley's over aggressive play that caused a pair of Mexico goals, I don't think there was anyone who could have done better.

I don't think Klinsmann should be sacked, but if there was ever a time for it to happen, it's now. When you look back at his career, he has the team in the exact same spot Bob Bradley had them in when Klinsmann took over. They had just done well in the World Cup, had a disappointing end to their Gold Cup campaign, and missed out on the Confederations Cup after a sad run of friendlies. I think Jurgen has a plan to build the country into more of a soccer power that will take time. I am just not sure the fans are willing to wait that long.

MLS Bonus Score
Colorado Rapids 0-1 Montreal Impact
Didier Drogba scored a wonderful grew l free kick at the quarter hour mark to give the visitors the win. They are now only a win away from clinching an East playoff spot. Colorado, however, has been eliminated from playoff contention. 

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