Friday Musings on the Gold Cup

USA.  USA.  USA.

We beat Honduras.   Again.   What have we learned about the US “B Team” – if we can call them that?   They are pretty good.   But, it’s Sunday against Mexico for the final where we’ll really learn something.  Watching  the beginning of  Mexico/Costa Rica was like re-watching USA/Honduras in fast-forward – more energy, more pace. Sunday will be intense for the new US players.  Sadly the crowd will not be pro-USA in Giants Stadium and the pressure will be on.

I’d be OK with ‘dos a cero.’   Again.  Good times.

There are already lots of player-raters out there, so I’m not sure I have too much to add, but  . . .

  • Stuart Holden has the US fan base swooning.  I think he will/should make a strong run at the first team for qualifiers.  (Have I joined the man crush?   I suppose so.)
  • I’m happy for Jay Heaps (as an unabashed Revs fan), he was beaten up over his first performance in the Gold Cup (mostly deserved) and has bounced back like the battler Revs fans know he is.
  • I never want to think Brian Ching brings much to a game.  But he does.  (Not sure if my bias is a remnant Revs-fan-fueled debates of “should be Taylor Twellman getting Ching’s chances with the Nats” days of the past.)
  • I wonder if Michael Parkhurst or his club FC Nordsjælland expected he’d see the field after getting called back in.   They are all probably just as happy he stays injury free.

Add a few countries, get a few fans . . .

What a world of difference an international competition(s) makes – attendances have been strong for both the Gold Cup and World Football Challenge.   However, do ‘we’ do all we can to use these games as a chance to build a “let’s go to the game” tradition that spills over into MLS?     Well, here’s a nice write-up from Goal.com on the atmosphere at last night’s double-header.   Lightning, rain, power outages and “extortion” (my word for $40 parking) weren’t enough to stop the fun.

Speaking of that parking cost . . .  Parking at a Chicago Fire game apparently costs $15 at Toyota Park which means the first-time Chicago-soccer attendees are incorrectly left with one more, pricey reason to not bother attending an MLS game.   Too bad . . .

I could get used to this . . .

Another competition . . . . another final.   Of course there is no comparison.  Of course the Confederations Cup was an unreal, unexpected and somewhat lucky run.   Of course the Gold Cup is stacked in our favor being played here in the good ol’ USA.   But I don’t care.   Arsenal fans used to have a shirt to the effect of “You win some, you tie some” during a crazy unbeaten streak they had a few years back.   Maybe the USA “Don’t Tread on Me” soccer theme will need the addition of “See you in the final.”

Never mind, I prefer the slogan we earned from last year’s Gold Cup.

“Champion.”