Breaking News Update:
The USA lost to Mexico in Mexico City yesterday.
In other shocking items ripped from the AP wire and currently being set in 48 pt. "End of the World" typeface to be splashed across Page One of every newspaper in the free world: the sun rose in the East this morning, (excrement) flows downhill and Generalisssimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
...and we've still got hotter women, too.
Leave your dial right where it is for further updates as they happen.
Yeah, OK, so we lost. We hoped for better but since something like one foreign team has ever won down there since Noah hit dry land, it's not like it's a shock, or even particularly unexpected.
Torrado choking Feilhaber
..and then Castillo slugged him.
As for my prediction, I got it 2/3 right so, like a typical Mexico fan ignoring the facts, I feel completely vindicated.
I'll only say in passing that if my national team ever behaved the way El tri routinely does I'd list my enormous Uncle Sam hat on eBay, use my USA scarf to buff my car and find another country to root for.
Knowing their fans, of course, we all know that they aren't the least bit embarassed by the kind of behavior exemplified by the way a couple of them clawed and pawed the injured Charlie Davies as if he was a prom date. They never are.
The only thing I wish is that somehow CONCACAF could come up with a referee who didn't spend the entire game crapping his pants at the thought of that crowd booing him. Gutlessness isn't a trait one normally looks for in a FIFA official.
Actually of course, they originally had someone else assigned to the match but Mexico complained and whined and bitched until they replaced him with someone much easier to intimidate. The US doesn't try to manipulate the process like that, and it's a point of pride.
To me the officiating was exemplified at the end with Ochoa standing on the end line counting the crowd as the clock ticked away. No self respecting referee on Earth would have let him get away with that. Frankly, he probably expected to get a card or at the least a verbal warning, as the rules demand. Ochoa was probably as surprised as anyone that he didn't.
But we all know that Panamanian referee Jose Ballsfree didn't cost us the game. Yes, certainly, when the players know that the game official isn't going to protect them the way he's going to protect the opponent it's one more thing they have to battle in a situation where there are plenty of negatives already, but the bottom line is that the US didn't score the second goal it was obvious we needed.
When Davies hit the net early, the first thought that came to mind wasn't "Yay, we've won" but rather, "That's one. We'll need another". Unless the referee was on Mexico's payroll instead of merely scared to death, two was about what you figured they'd get before all was said and done. After all, Jay Heaps wasn't back there.
All I'd really ask of my fellow US fans today is that you not go overboard. Disappointing, yes. Unexpected, hardly. Mexico wins down there, we win up here. Been that way for a while now. Likely to stay that way.
All the talk this morning is how the US played for the tie. Well yeah. What did you expect? It's not like Bob Bradley invented the idea. That's what EVERYBODY does at that level and in that situation. Everybody. And it's not going to change.
We defended and played for the counter. In case you didn't notice, that's where the Davies goal came from. It's not like we then abandoned all hope of scoring and prayed for the clock to go faster. They kept trying for another counter goal. They just didn't get one.
Bottom line, we're still going to South Africa. Nothing about that changed.
And if by chance we should end up playing the Tri in Capetown or Joburg a year from now, the referee won't be some trembling coward, the crowd will be blowing those damn horns instead of tossing beer and garbage and the US, on a level playing field, will win easily because they're the better team.
In the meantime, our boys showed class and dignity down there yesterday and while I'd prefer they also showed some more midfield possession, I'm proud that they don't behave like our opponents did.
You tell me: would you be happy if the US won but our guys behaved the way the Mexican team always does, or would you be embarrassed, even angry?
Me too. And that's something else that just won't change.