Thursday, February 12, 2009

Let's Not Bury The Lead, Frankie (Updated)

Well, this is quickly getting around, but there was a little dust up between Frankie Hejduk and Mexican assistant coach Paco Ramirez after last night's 2-0 win by the U.S.

The disturbing part is that Ramirez waited for the US team to come off the field to do this. So, he had ample time to cool down and think about what he would (or wouldn't) do. The exchange, fortunately, doesn't get out of hand, partially because the slap is a bit girlie. And Hejduk, to his credit, totally downplayed it. His assessment of the situation:

I was just trying to pump the crowd up. I was actually saying, 'Fuck yeah!' I think they thought I was saying, 'Fuck you.' It was a misunderstanding and I can see why they would be a little bit upset if they thought I was saying the other one, which I wasn't. At the end of the day, no one was hurt. There was a little love tap and that was it. I still have my face. No damage done. It was fun. That's just how emotional this game is and that's how passionate they are about their sport. It was none of their players -- I want to make that clear to everyone.

As if the U.S. Mexico rivalry needed to fuel its fire any more.

Still might be some fallout from the match, though. Sven-Goran Eriksson still has his job as of right now, but even the English press was speculating that a Mexican loss would send him back to the EPL and Portsmouth.

As for the soccer itself, yes, the U.S. got off to the best possible start to World Cup qualifying with its 2-0 win but most of the UF post-game discussion wasn't about how strong the US team was, but about how inept the Mexicans looked.

Kljestan was invisible, Onyewu and Bocanegra both looked shaky at times, and God love Frankie Hejduk, but for all of his effort charing up the right, he served few good crosses, and had about 4 studs-up tackles that, had they been a half-second late, might have spelled serious problems for the U.S. and nullified the man advantage.

Bradley, Donovan, Beasley and Howard were the only ones who probably had good performances.

Point being: we weren't sure if a victory off such mediocre performances says more about the state of US Soccer or about Mexico.

[Update: It appears that Sven is staying. FMF president Justino Compean said Sven Goran Eriksson will remain in charge of the Mexican national team: "I completely support Mr Eriksson. We have a commitment to be in South Africa and we will be in South Africa."]


Anonymous said...

"I completely support Mr Eriksson. We have a commitment to be in South Africa and we will be in South Africa"

But why? The World Cup isn't even going to be in South Africa.

Ibracadabra said...

haha + 2

(1 for the SA comment, and 1 for still having the time to post your comment on UF the morning after managing your squad to a loss against a bitter rival)

Andrew said...

It wasn't the best US performance, but Mexico's play was uninspired. SGE should not bear the blame for the players' performance.

Helen Keller would have had more of an impact on midfield than Kljestan.

Mike Georger said...

"Time running out for Sven as Mexico crash"

Soccernet, ignoring the vote of confidence, shocking.