Category Archives: Hot Goalie List

What?! You think this is a game?!!

maza_bird

Yep. That’s kinda how we all feel, Maza.

Yesterday, during the hexagonal kickoff match against Jamaica in Estadio Azteca, Mexico put on such a lackluster show and failed to capitalize on its home-field advantage. You’re playing in the clouds practically (7,900-foot elevation)!! MAKE THEM RUN.

It got so bad that fans started booing our own team and cheering every time Jamaica had the ball. I’m sure the captain didn’t appreciate any of that.

We scraped by with 1 point, by the grace of God. Read:  By the blessings of Jesus.

Jose de Jesus Corona was the one person responsible for keeping Mexico, the regional leader, from falling oh-so-hard from grace. Aside from that spectacular diving save, Chuy had a few more moments where he punched out incoming shots and smothered balls during one-on-one breakaways.

Good stats, of course, for any goalie. But not when that goalie represents a team that has been on the rise. Get your shit together, guerreros. This isn’t a game anymore. It’s a fight to the World Cup.

PHOTO: Mexico captain Francisco ‘MAZA’ Rodriguez flipped off camera while Corona gives interview. Irony, here, is that Corona is the loose cannon you should watch out for off-field antics.

Hexagonal resource: Mexico trading cards

Today is the official start to the CONCACAF Hexagonal — the Road to Brazil 2014. The six regional teams are all facing each other over the course of the year in their qualifying run toward the World Cup.

February 6 Matches

Honduras – United States
Panama – Costa Rica
Mexico – Jamaica

Unless you’ve been following every single move the Mexican teams have been making these last few months, today’s game will offer some familiar and newbie faces. Well-known players include CHICHARITO, Giovani DOS SANTOS, Andrés GUARDADO, Maza RODRIGUEZ, Aldo DE NIGRIS, and Carlos SALCIDO. Of course, my boy Chuy CORONA will also be keeping riff raff out of Azteca’s nets.

But the squad that’s playing Jamaica also includes a ton of young blood that has been called up to the main team. There are handful of U23 players who debuted during 2011 Copa America (and some who were suspended during the prostitution robbery mess). Plus, some members were part of the winning squad during the 2011 Pan American Games, and 2012 Toulon Tournament. And, by my count, there are nine Olympic gold medalists. I’m surprised they found room on this roster for Chicharito. What am I saying? There’s always room for Chicharito.

So here are my trading cards for four players. A few I know you’ve seen before and will likely see play today. Some may be brand new information. I’d do more, but who has that kind of time. Perhaps over the course of the games …

♦♦♦


Age: 22
Plays for Villareal CF, Spain’s Segunda Division
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2011 Pan American Games, 2011 Copa America

♦♦♦

Age: 23
Plays for CF Monterrey, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2011 Pan American Games, 2011 Copa America

♦♦♦

mfabian_tc

Age: 23
Plays for Guadalajara, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2012 Toulon Tournament, 2011 Copa America*

♦♦♦

csaucedo_tc

Age: 31
Plays for Tijuana Xoloitzcuincles de Caliente, Liga MX, Apertura champions
Mexico: Played 45 minutes during Jan. 30 friendly against Denmark

Jesus saves


By now, you should gather I have a slight crush on one Jota Jota Corona (here too and here). And if you don’t know, now you know:  José de Jesús CORONA has been Mexico’s go-to goalie for some of their last international games, including Sunday’s friendly against Brazil and today’s first World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Guyana.

He’s done a bang-up job of keeping the riff-raff out of the net — punching, diving, deflecting, saving. Yes, Jesus saves!

(PS, I used to have a really cute cartoon t-shirt of Jesus as a goalie in my ol’ AYSO days. Not the above, but you get the picture… and no, it didn’t give me any special skills when I had to play goalie. Man, I sucked.)

Back to present-day Jesus. Yes, he saves!! …Unless, it’s an auto goal.

Oops.

Look, not everyone’s perfect. I’m just happy he had enough sense not to head-butt his teammate for that deflection. I’ve waited a long time to see him with the main selection, and I’ll be the first to hunt him down and kick him if he effs it up for me.

Damned if I see Ochoa against El Salvador on Tuesday.

PHOTOS: “Jesus saves” t-shirt design from here and Jota Jota Corona celebrating during Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Guyana.

For the love of thigh

Well that was a disappointment. Depending on who you ask, yesterday’s first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich didn’t go as expected.

Because I have a shirt that says so, Iker is my guy and I’m a Real Madrid fan. If you know the rules about CL play, then you know that though RM lost 2-1 to Bayern, they’re still in the hunt. If you don’t know the rules, then study up. Game 2 is next week. And the first game between Barcelona and Chelsea is today.

Let’s have some words about Cristiano Ronaldo. Did he forget something? Like playing well and scoring!! And given that Bayern was attacking like mad, a couple of goals would have been nice. (Thanks, Mesut!) Was there something wrong with Ronaldo’s mighty thighs? Did they not want to be in the spotlight??

As of late, Ronaldo’s taken to showing off his musculature after scoring a goal. (See photo above.) Maybe he had an unsightly bruise that he didn’t want to see the light of day…

And then, there’s my boy Iker who normally shows off ninja skills in front of the goal. Here’s a thought: He should show off his legs after each aerobatic save.

Like after this...

...or this WC one

Maybe not this one (17 April 2012)

Now since I’m in that small camp that likes to see Barcelona play but is fed up with the Messi-anic dude (seriously, quit being so good.. it’s obnoxious and a tad boring), I’m going to root for another thigh in today’s game. Seriously, how funny would it be if Chelsea wins with a Torres goal? ha!

PHOTOS: Ronaldo showing off his thigh, Iker saving various shots including one during the World Cup final July 2010 and watching the winning shot go by in yesterday’s game; Torres not scoring a goal.

Another Mexican superstition

Mexico is a land of great traditions, customs and, yes, a little superstitions. What?! Don’t look at me that way. Evil Eye!

After last night, I’m ready to add a new item to the list — never play international fut (friendly or otherwise) on a Leap Day. You know what? Don’t even play domestic. Take the day off. Pretend it’s not even there, like most other years. There’s nothing special about Feb. 29.

Last night, two Mexican teams played. In two games, both teams lost — by two. In February (2). Let’s go ahead and add the number 2 to the list of bad juju. And maybe our goalies shouldn’t wear all blue either. (See Memo above against Colombia and Liborio Sanchez below flopping around the floor.)

Mini Recaps

Mex 0 – Col 2
Memo failed to get a good hold on the ball, which led to a tap-in goal by Radamel Falcao in the 37th minute. Juan Cuadrado made it 2-0 in the second half. Mexico played hard, but lost steam. They had control of the ball often, but couldn’t convert.

Mex 0 – USA 2
USA went up in the 35th minute with a goal by Juan Agudelo. And the second goal came about a minute later by Mix Diskerud, who set up Agudelo’s goal. This was a friendly between the u-23 teams, leading up to Olympic qualifying play that starts later this month.

PHOTOS: Unlucky blue-clad Mexican goalies Memo Ochoa and Liborio Sanchez.

Oh captain, my captain

image

Thanks to HD and ability to pause live TV, I bring you this evidence. Look who’s wearing the captain’s armband…

 

Been too long: Mexico national soccer finally back

Mexico begins its 2012 season and its road to the World Cup 2014 tonight with a friendly against Venezuela in Houston. Since 1938, Mexico has never lost to Venezuela (7 wins, 2 ties). But, the winds are changing in South America and Venezuela should not be taken lightly. Chepo, take note. When a dominant team enters a competition with swagger galore, the team that’s most-written-off is the one that’s out to prove itself. They’re the Cinderellas. They inspire motion pictures. March madddness, anyone?

Enough of sports crossover analogies. Back to my footy obsession.

Mexico called up a completely domestic team to kick off the new year. There’s no Chicharito, no Gio, no Memo, no Rafa (note: There actually is a Rafa Marquez but he’s not The Rafa Marquez). All the players currently play in Mexico’s league and are mostly a bunch of young’uns.

And guess who that includes??? A personal favorite and Hot Goalie member — Chuy Corona. You know, head-butting dude.

“I feel great joy and pride. Now, I know you have to maintain a good level… it’s a big responsibility to wear the team jersey,” Corona said (Read more at Univision or via Google Translate).

Here’s some game info for those interested in seeing it. (Keep me in the loop since I’ll probably be watching the Laker v. Clipper action tonight. Just kidding… I’ll flip channels)
UNIVISION 6 p.m. PST

PHOTO (from top): Taken by me during World Cup 2010 in South Africa; Chuy Corona standing proud pre-head-butting.

Damn these Cats

It was only a matter of time, right?

This past weekend, a Monterrey goalie was arrested for his involvement in a kidnapping ring. Since he’s a soccer player and walked around in the 1 percent circles, his role seems to have been to identify possible targets—la crema de sociedad.

I know what the normal reaction should be to something like this — shock, dismay, horror, outrage, a call to indict each and every member with power who could have had a hand in stemming this plague on Mexican society.

Yeah, not really my reaction. You tell me what should surprise me more:

The fact that I wasn’t fazed because kidnappings are so routine in Mexico that I no longer blink when it’s on the nightly news.

-or-

The fact that as I watched the news conference parading those arrested, I said to myself, Damn, he’s hot. Then, I said outloud to my mother, ¡que guapo El pinche Gato!

Mom laughed, laughed and laughed some more. Then, stopped laughing long enough to catch her breath and agree with me.

And that’s all the consensus I needed. So without further ado, here’s another entry into the Hot Mexican Goalie List (with an asterisk for his naughty behavior).

Omar “El Gato” Ortiz*


PHOTOS: Omar “El Gato” Ortiz in the Mexican perp walk and on the field.

Chuy Corona’s Road to Redemption

Proving there’s life after head-butting a coach, José de Jesús Corona is officially back on with the Mexican National Team.

He’s joining the sub-22s this month during the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

Kudos to one of our favorite (read: hottest) Mexican goalies. His track record with the national team has been spotty. Twice he’s been called up — for a World Cup, and most recently the Gold Cup — and both times he’s been booted because of his bad boy personality. Personally, we think that’s a plus. But apparently, in the power-player circles, it’s a no-no to make your point using your head. More so when that head is aimed at an opposing coach’s face. Ouch!

I’m also digging how introspective he is:

“Honestly, I did not know if I’d ever be back with the national team. I’ve been given a new opportunity and since I got the news, there’s been a big commitment on my part. I know that we are role models for many kids and fans, and it’s going to be important to demonstrate that at every moment.”

-From Univision article (link in Spanish)

Wait, so you’re saying this isn’t appropriate action for a role model?

Good Lookin’ Out: New inductee to Mexican goalies list

After this month’s performance, I feel inclined to add Alfredo Talavera Díaz onto the roster of good-looking Mexican goalies.  Of course, how they fare on the field isn’t a factor for entry into my super scientific list.  But in this case, it helped out his cause.  It’s not like I spend every weekend watching Toluca games on Galavision.

Talavera played five games, coming into the Gold Cup tournament after starter Memo Ochoa was suspended for testing positive for clenbuterol.  <<But let’s back up.  He was originally the third goalie after Ochoa and Chuy Corona of Cruz Azul.  He moved up to second only when Corona’s invitation was rescinded.  So it seems headbutting an opposing trainer is frowned upon.>>

In the last five games — which included two group, a quarter, semis and finals — Talavera ceded four goals to opposing teams.  One was a fluke shot from Guatemala in the quarterfinals that came early on in the game.  Instead of berating his defense, he patted them on the back and Mexico went on the attack for the next 85 minutes.

He showed the same grace under fire in the finals against the U.S.  The stars-and-stripes came out to an early 2-0 lead.  But again, pat the guys on the back, tell them its OK and make sure you keep them in the game by not allowing any more goals.

And in the end, you win the ultimate prize. Take a bow and welcome to the club.

PHOTOS from top: Alfredo Talavera receiving prize for best goalie of Mexico’s 2010 Bicentennial Tournament; Talavera training during the 2011 Gold Cup tournament, which ended Saturday with Mexico’s victory over the U.S.