The Morning Wood: USA USA!

photo by Miguel Tovar

For the first time in the history of EVAR, the Team USA Soccerball Squadron went to Messico and beat the Messicans 1-0 in front of about 67,000 bemused Messicans at the colossal Estadio Azteca, seven thousand feet up in scenic Messico City, Messico. Don’t get too excited though, because David Sirota will gently chastise you. ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Tebow™, doesn’t seem to embed properly in WordPress, which got my panties all in a twist this morning. So, see below the fold for embedded highlights from the lovely people at the US Soccer Federation.

For 75 years, Real America’s best footy players have made the journey down to the Distrito Federal, and for 75 years the best they could manage was the odd draw to punctuate a steady stream of losses. Without their midfield fulcrum Michael Bradley and their top attacking threat Clint Dempsey, the USAers looked like losing again last night. HOWEVAH, the lethal Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez had an off night, ‘Merican goalkeeper Tim Howard made two world-class saves, and second half substitute Brek Shea unlocked the Messican defense in the 81st minute, leading to a poacher’s goal from Michael Orozco Fiscal.

Señor Orozco, a California-born defender who plies his trade in the Mexican League, is now probably the least favorite person in that nation of 150 million violent drug lords. Best of luck to you, Michael!

By the power of transitivity, USA is now the Olympic Soccer champion. Add some more gold medals to the tally to distance ourselves from the Red Chinese, for freedom!

LOL J/K you guys, that’s not how it works. The Mexicans are probably further along in the development of their players than Team USA; their junior players just won the Olympic tournament in London and they have creative attacking players like Chicharito, Giovani Dos Santos, and Carlos Vela. Provided they qualify, Mexico will be very nicely suited to the conditions at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and may be considered a dark horse to win the tournament.

Team USA on the other hand is just starting to exploit the enormous potential of its talent pool thanks to some sensible reforms brought by the national coach Jürgen Klinsmann and the steadily improving technicality and athleticism of its top players. FINALLY, Americans with the size and agility to be wide receivers or shooting guards are breaking into the top ranks of American footy, and two of them were on display in last night’s sweet, sweet victory. The aforementioned Brek Shea looks and plays like a left-footed Fernando Torres, which gives your correspondent a raging three-inch Teboner. He currently plays for FC Dallas but will be snapped up by a European side in short order. Defender Geoff Cameron just became the newest Major League Soccer player to be signed by an English Premier League club, joining Stoke City from the Houston Dynamo for a fee of $2.7 million. Against Mexico, Mr. Cameron played with confidence and power and snuffed out their attacking threat.

Haters, nay-sayers, and Messicans will all say that this was just a meaningless exhibition before the start of the European league campaigns. They will be right, but only about chronology. This win was a big psychological boost to the American players, and you could see it on their faces after the final whistle blew. It is the first big win for Klinzi as manager, although beating Italy in Italy was also an impressive feat. There’s something different about winning in the Azteca though; Mexico has only lost there nine times in 120 matches and they’re our only real regional rival (remember you guys, Canada is imaginary).

This glorious victory will give the ‘Mericans the confidence that they can go to hostile Latin American venues and win, which can be tricky in places like Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, not just Mexico. It is another small step towards Herr Klinzi’s dream of an American Soccer Power, a vision fully supported by the editorial board of this public trust.

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