Thursday, February 08, 2007

USA 2, Mexico 0

Last night, Sherstin and I along with Matt Hansen went to a soccer "friendly" between USA and Mexico here in Phoenix. Why on earth they chose to play Mexico in Phoenix is beyond me. Before the game, reports said that it would be a pro-Mexican crowd so I was naively hoping for 60-40 in favor of Mexico. Try 80-20. Of the 64,000+ fans in attendance, more than 50,000 were cheering for Mexico. It was totally different from the USA vs Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier in Salt Lake. Not only were there more fans with green jerseys, but they were certainly louder. Anytime a US player would line up for a corner kick, he would get rained on by drinks from the stands. It was nuts, but the US won 2-0 continuing their dominance over their bitter rival here in the US. In fact, Mexico has not scored a goal on US soil in nearly eight years. US keeper Tim Howard deserves a lot of the credit. With the shutout he lowered his career goals-allowed average to 0.58 per 90 minutes, the lowest in team history. He had a great game. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Mexican keeper. The posters for the game had the catch phrase "Come see the beautiful game get ugly." It certainly did. After the second US goal Mexican keeper Oswaldo Sanchez tried to cheap shot Eddie Johnson of the US. He stuck out his foot to trip him as he ran by, even the though ball was already in the back of the net. After the game the Mexican players stayed true to form by not shaking hands or exchanging jerseys, something they have failed to do the past several times they have lost to the US. It was a ton of fun, though, especially with the atmosphere the Mexican fans brought. Matt said "I've never wanted a team to win so badly." I know what he meant. As we were leaving the stadium, the Mexican fans were still blowing their horns, pounding their drums and waving their flags. Imagine if they had won.

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