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 …
This team too is a bunch of asses …
And these coaches …
The outlaws are asses …
And this sorry group of TRIste fans too …
Oh, and the Honduras team is a bunch of asses since they couldn’t win …
And, yeah, Panama too because they played just* well enough to tie. Asses, the lot of them!
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.
Do you remember that we used to win? I do.
It’s OK if you don’t remember
Let’s face it, TRI-istas. It’s been a rough summer. So harsh that I’ve nearly given up trying to keep up with all my commentary. Mainly, I’ve resorted to sharing my foul-mouthed two cents with they guy next to me at the bar, nursing our wounds and our beers together.
PERO BASTA YA!
The pity party must end. We must get our shit together because it’s not over. On Tuesday, with a new coach, el TRI faces its second-leg game against the U.S. This is a movie script waiting to happen — rise from the ashes. Rise, guerreros. RISE.
It has been more than 30 years since Mexico failed to qualify for a World Cup. We are an institution at these events. We are a serious presence, both vocally and physically. We travel for our team. We pack stadiums. We inflict our lovably crude fandom on others. We land like locusts in cities and buy out all merchandise. We keep economies humming.
That means that if we fall short, more than just Mexico fans will be crying into their tequila and singing sappy mariachi songs with the guy next to them at the bar. You all will.
PHOTOS: Top two are from the London Olympics 2012, where Mexico took home the gold medal; Chuy Corona celebrates during a World Cup qualifying match against Guyana; Julio Gomez during the drama-filled U17 World Cup in 2011; the 2011 Gold Cup winners.
- Mexico fires De la Torre after Honduras loss (nbcsports.com)
- Mexico in a great deal of trouble after losing to Honduras at Azteca (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com)
- Mexico vs. Honduras: 6 Things We Learned (bleacherreport.com)
The Gold Cup quarterfinals will be played out this weekend. On Saturday, Mexico will confront Trinidad & Tobago. This could be a post about what to expect from the game, the key areas of success, possible line-ups and/or the future of Chepo.
But all that can take a back seat to what is really going to be on everyone’s mind — the ultimate question — What in the world will be going on with Efrain Velarde’s head?
On Sunday, when Mexico played its final group stage game against Martinique, Velarde and an opposing player both got hurt trying to head a ball. It was the Mexican, however, that came away with a blood-gushing wound.
After initial treatment, he looked like this …
Check out that hair!!!
But, a few minutes later, his bandage came flying off and blood poured out. Take two …
I. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.
Velarde’s head wound, if he dresses it at all, will require something much cooler than that. The docs should take inspiration from Julio Gomez, a 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup player.
Pssst … and they won the cup.
Little Pea Hernandez has the skill to score with most any part of his body. But as this weekend’s contest proved, his new nickname should be Targaryen Hernandez — Targaryen-andez! What???! Shut up! I just crushed it with that!
In the final game of Confederations group stage, Mexico and Japan played for pride. Both went into the third game with zero points and zero chance of advancing. Thanks to great skills and ball movement from the rest of the team (I’m looking at you, Gio!), Chicharito was able to score twice for Mexico. (We’ll just ignore how he failed to convert a penalty and its rebound.) Both those goals were genius headers.
Chicharito’s head is pure gold. You know who else has a golden head?
Yep, that jackass. But we all know that he doesn’t make it, and Dani tells us why. Chicharito has survived the molten gold and proved himself a true dragon. Make room. There’s a Targaryen-andez lurking on this world.
For those who want to relive a great Game of Thrones scene from Season 1
PHOTOS: Javier/Chicharito/Targaryen-andez Hernandez scores in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Japan. And Viserys Targaryen gets crowned.
All they have to do is review their history. The last few match-ups between these two teams have been epic battles. Even before the Olympics, in an international friendly, Mexico put the smack down on this team. People argued it was a fluke until the *unthinkable happened — Mexico beat out Brazil for the gold medal last summer.
When: Today, June 19 at 12 p.m. PDT
Watch: ESPN, ESPN3 stream
And if we need a little inspiration to get behind the team, the player and the Chepo, just take a look at what happens when you leave it all out on the field.
PHOTOS: All from 2012 Olympic medal game held at Wembley Stadium last August.
We failed. Mexico lost to our red-white-and-green brethren in our opening match of the Confederations Cup. It was what it was. Crap. But, at the same time, this might be a good thing. After an amazing 2012, TRI has disappointed this year. We have not dropped a game of worth this year, but that doesn’t mean the team or the fans have been satisfied. Endless draws (and 0-0, to boot) are exhausting.
This may have been the exact amount of “Mira cabrones” that this team needs. Now, dust off the dirt. Put some bleach on those grass stains. And rise again.
Here’s the Rock sharing the wisdom.
You failed yesterday’s team challenge.
In that failure is when steel is forged.
No one gets better when it’s just winning, winning, winning, winning.
You guys know that.
You gotta fail. You gotta get knocked down on your ass like you did yesterday.
NOW, YOU RISE.
VIDEO: From the new reality show The Hero. Not really sure what that show is about, but can’t knock these wise words.
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.
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.
And now, my life (which in this instance will be portrayed by my bowling league).
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.
The last few World Cup qualifying matches have come at inopportune times for me. So when Friday’s game between Mexico and Panama was scheduled for 7 p.m., I made it a priority to sit down, sit back and enjoy it.
I got my seat at the bar. I got my beer. I even got my game on three different screens. What I didn’t get was my THREE POINTS!!!
Again we tied. How tiresome. And now we’re in a three-way tie with 7 points. Silver lining recognition: At least Mexico has moved out of the danger zone.
Time to ratchet up the pressure.
After taking a ridiculously long time to allow us to lick our wounds and fret about the possibilities of making World Cup plans without a World Cup presence, CONCACAF qualifications are finally back into full swing tomorrow.
It’s been a boring start to the hexagonal. Mexico, with zero losses and three points, sits in the fifth spot. The top 3 teams get automatic bids and the fourth-place team must play to the death against New Zealand.
The only team worse off than us is Jamaica.
And so the stage is set. The second leg of this match-up will be played in Kingston, where I hope we can neutralize their home-field advantage the way they did ours earlier this year.
In a few hours, there may be calls of Sí se pudo and Presidente Chepo. Or I’ll go dark … again.
Tuesday, June 4 – 6:30 p.m. PT
Remaining TRI JUNE CONCACAF Qualifiers
Friday, June 7 – 7 p.m. PT
Panama v. Mexico
Tuesday, June 11 – 5 p.m. PT
Mexico v. Costa Rica
PHOTO: Chicharito goes up against Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts during the first CONCACAF hexagonal in Estadio Azteca in February.