Bob Who?

All I can say is, it's a damned good thing that it was just a friendly and, as a result, nobody really cares that the officials stunk the joint up. If that result had actually mattered, Emergency Rooms and Psych Wards all across the country would be jammed this morning with babbling, incoherent, frothing at the mouth soccer fans who have been deemed a danger to themselves and/or others.

Fortunately, however, this is not the case and so we can focus on the real loser last night: Michael Bradley.

While Pops was in the Middle East trying to nail down a job with The Pharaohs - after six years at the helm of the US Men, Poor Bob had to go 8000 miles away to finally get himself a nickname, although I'm not certain that "Sam the Sham" hits exactly the note he might have wanted - his son managed, fairly or not, to give some weight to all those nepotism comments we've been seeing for the last half decade.

Because a very funny thing happened last night:

A former MLS coach who automatically favored anyone who played in Europe, particularly the Bundesliga, was replaced by a former Bundesliga coach who turned the team around by taking out some Bundesliga players in favor of three MLS kids who proceeded to run El Tri off the pitch.

And just to take the top down, hit the open road and see what this new comment system can really do when you floor it, let me just add that while the contingent that made the worst showing was the 1Bund group (Bradley, Jones) the second worst was the guys from the Mexican first division.

Maybe they were in awe of the opponent, I don't know, but Castillo was the worst player on the field by a good bit and Torres had an awful first half (in fairness, he seemed more comfortable when Rogers came on and he got moved inside); only Orosco managed to look like he belonged and we've got better options a that spot.

But it was the kids, Agudelo, Shea and Rogers, MLS guys through and through, who came into the match and took the thing over.

Yes of course Torrado committed an obvious sending-off offense when he cynically brought Rogers down; it's not even worth discussing. Ditto at least one and probably two unawarded PKs. Simply unarguable.

It's also absolutely true that a drawn match in a friendly where neither side is at full strength isn't the signal to haul out the Kool Aid pitcher and start chugging, but US fans can be forgiven if they feel like taking a couple tentative sips this morning, and the main reason is actually the same reason it's been for ten years:

Landon Donovan.

Playing in the middle - you know, the spot that Michael Bradley formerly occupied - behind a bunch of rabbits, the man sliced and diced Mexicos' previously intimidating back line and had them looking up at the clock praying for the whistle for most of the last 20 minutes.

He's simply the best American field player ever and running him up and down a sideline was always idiotic. That alone was good enough reason for Sam the Sham to hit the road.

Now some people will argue that the US only started playing well once Mexico started subbing, which is certainly true, but since a) Dos Santos was one of those subs and putting him in isn't really the same thing as waving the white flag and b) they didn't change a single defender, it's a pretty weak argument.*

(* As Buck said to The Bride: "Please stop hitting me". I'm wrong here.)

As for Michael Bradley, he actually does have a future with this team but not as an attacking mid. He was always miscast in that role and Sam did him no favors by sending him out there. He's a ball holding d-mid and a decent one, but running the attack is simply not his thing, and one big reason his father is in Cairo today singing "Wooly Booly" is that he never figured that out.