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Asses, the lot of them

Radio silence was key for me after Tuesday. I needed a solid 24+ hours to reflect on what had just happened. I searched my soul and came up with a good answer that I’m happy with … They’re asses, the lot of them.

This team is a bunch of asses … 

usmnt

This team too is a bunch of asses … 

usavmexWCQ20130910-mex

And these coaches … 

usavmex-COACHES

The outlaws are asses … 

Mexico US Soccer

And this sorry group of TRIste fans too …

estados-unidos-vs-mexico-9_590x395

Oh, and the Honduras team is a bunch of asses since they couldn’t win … 

WCQhonduras

And, yeah, Panama too because they played just* well enough to tie. Asses, the lot of them!

junio-panama

 

PHOTOS: Top shots are from the USA v Mexico World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at Columbus, Ohio. The bottom two are from the Honduras v Panama game. Panama came back to tie 2-2, earning one point and bumping Mexico to fifth place in the CONCACAF qualifiers. The top 3 automatically advance and the 4th place team must play against New Zealand for a spot.

When life imitates CONCACAF

Art imitates life; life imitates art. Nothing new there.

But my life, yesterday, was imitating CONCACAF. Not just any old aspect of the local soccer confederation, I speak of the World Cup qualifying tournament.

Here’s the group standings going into yesterday’s games.

concacaf-standings-halfway

 

As you can plainly see, after winning one game a week ago, Mexico leapfrogged out of the trouble zone. There’s a bit of a clusterfrack going on at the top, but at least it’s at the top. Three teams all have 7 points. Panama is closing in with 6, and Honduras and Jamaica are bringing up the rear.

After the games, the board got shuffled a bit. US beat Panama and set itself as the sole leader of the conference. Honduras picked up a few points by beating Jamaica. And Mexico did what it does — it didn’t lose — to Costa Rica. They tied.

So now this is what the most current standings look like.

concacaf-WCQstandings-june11

 

And now, my life (which in this instance will be portrayed by my bowling league).

IMG_2160Competition is tight. There are 10 teams and two are tied with 12 points at the top of the leader board. Yours truly, among them (kinda like Mexico). The next three teams have 11 points. And so on …

Going into Tuesday night’s games, there was a strong sense to not mess up (kinda like Mexico).

But, when all was said and done, 14 Dollar Salad came away splitting the difference. We won two games, lost two. So, we tied (kinda like Mexico).

And because other teams were living up to their respective pressures, we fell in the standings (kinda like Mexico).

Not down and out, by any means, but definitely a little further down than anyone would like to be (kinda like … ).

 

PHOTOS: CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying standings on June 7 and June 11. My bowling standings after Week 5.

Rocky-style victory lap for Mexico

Play this to set the reading mood.

I’m imagining the Rocky soundtrack playing in the background as Hector Herrera starts running around the field, arms wide open, grin even wider. Mexico will — at least — equal their best appearance in an Olympic games. They’re going to the semifinals.

That victory lap is very well-deserved. Those quarterfinal games of Men’s Olympic Soccer over the weekend were a cardiac-arrest moment for fans all over the world. Honduras took an early lead on Brazil, only to see it stripped away. Team GB goes all the way to penalty kicks against Korea. Only one player — the last player — missed his PK, which unfortunately knocked out the host team.

And Mexico, yes mis tricolores, played 120 minutes to secure a spot in the semifinals. Tied 2-2 after regulation, Mexico scored in the first 15 minutes of extra time.

It’s way more stressful to watch as a team hangs to the slimmest of leads. It’s in those situations when you realize that time really is a fickle bitch  — if you want to savor a moment, it flies; if you want it to hurry up and be done; it feels like it goes backwards.

Herrera brought the collective sigh of relief when he scored the definitive 4-2 goal against Senegal.

The semifinal round starts tomorrow. Mexico will face off against Japan at 9 a.m. PST. Then, Brazil and Korea play at 11:45 a.m. PST.  

As I settle in for another excruciating 90 minutes, I’ll blast up the Rocky theme song and let the boys in green relish in a little more running… and jumping.

PHOTOS (from top): Mexico’s four goal-scorers celebrate during the game. Hector Herrera runs like mad in the final goal of the match. Gio Dos Santos, Jorge Enriquez and  Javier Aquino celebrate. Aquino keeps the piggy-back party alive. Herrera, Dos Santos, Aquino and Enriquez each scored a goal.