Tonight was the coming out party for this next generation of Mexican stars. "El Tri" pummeled the United States 4-2 in front of 90,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to win their second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup and book their place in the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Not only was it impressive to watch Mexico take apart the US, but for them to do it in the circumstances they did was even moreso. The US stunned the favorites with two quick goals to take a 2-0 lead that should have made Mexico panic. But they did nothing of the sort. Mexico was already controlling play and generating more chances at that point and rather than change what they were doing, just kept attacking and eventually it paid off. Over the last 60 minutes of this game, Mexico flat out dominated.
The US was certainly not helped by the loss of Steve Cherundolo so early, especially when his replacement, Jonathon Bornstein was absolutely skinned for the second goal. Overall, the US back four was a mess all night. It was hard to figure why when a RB in Cherundolo was injured, that Bradley brought on a LB in Bornstein and forced another LB in Lichaj to play RB. Especially when he’s got an EPL experienced RB in Jonathon Spector sitting on the bench.
It remains to be seen what if anything US Soccer takes from this. This is two Gold Cups in a row that Bob Bradley’s squad has been embarrassed in the final of their home federations’ tournament. This tournament is important and this year was doubly important because it meant a place in the Confederations Cup. Of course, after the game the Fox broadcast chose to praise Bradley for the few positive decisions he made and highlight the "positives" the team will be able to take from the tournament. I dare you to find another country in the world that fancies themselves a serious soccer power that does that after a defeat this bad.
US Soccer now needs to decide whether this is good enough for them. They were embarrassed again by their only rival on their continent.
The US is now firmly the #2 team on their continent and Mexico has made a serious statement of intent to the rest of the world. Six players on this senior team were part of the squad that won the under 17 World Cup for Mexico. They will be very scary going forward.