Blog Archives

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 … 

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This team too is a bunch of asses … 

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And these coaches … 

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The outlaws are asses … 

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And this sorry group of TRIste fans too …

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

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

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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.

Once upon a time Mexico fans were happy

Do you remember that we used to win? I do.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

Missing 3 more

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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.

TRI v Reggae Boyz, Take 2

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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.

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Tuesday, June 4 – 6:30 p.m. PT
Telemundo

Remaining TRI JUNE CONCACAF Qualifiers

Friday, June 7 – 7 p.m. PT
Panama v. Mexico
Panama City

Tuesday, June 11 – 5 p.m. PT
Mexico v. Costa Rica
Estadio Azteca

PHOTO: Chicharito goes up against Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts during the first CONCACAF hexagonal in Estadio Azteca in February.

WCQ WTF

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What the frack is wrong with this picture??!!!!?

The top three regional teams automatically qualify for Brazil 2014. The fourth-place team is on the bubble and has to play against another confederation team to secure a spot.

Mexico has had a lackluster start to CONCACAF hexagonal play, which has put it squarely below average in standings. It has a measly 2 points. We need a win and it needs to happen TODAY.

And with all the pressure on them, TRI hosts the US team in Estadio Azteca. Fingers crossed the crowd doesn’t start booing the home team again. Bring your umbrellas. Beer and pee will rain down from 7,900 feet.

 

US soccer missing that love spark

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I’ve wondered for some time now why there’s such resistance to a full-bodied embrace of soccer/football in the United States. I think I’m finally able to articulate my hypothesis.

Prostitutes.

A number of current events stories in recent weeks/months has led me to the conclusion that America will never be as enthusiastic about soccer; never deify their league-leading players; never bring communities/societies to standstills as the rest of the world does until it has the full support of its sex workers. And since prostitution is illegal in the U.S. (save Nevada), it makes logical sense that soccer enthusiasts will remain pocketed throughout the country.

My proof:

  • Nigeria’s women of the night/day/mid-afternoon provided extra incentive by offering a full week of free sex if the men’s national team won the African Cup of Nations. They did.
  • Brazil’s associated sex workers are business savvy women. They’re preparing themselves for Confederations Cup 2013 and World Cup 2014 with free language classes. Must diversify.
  • In Greece, a couple of bordellos have emerged as the main sponsors/saviors for some amateur teams. Never fear; pros to the rescue.

In this light, the Mexican contingent that was sent to the 2011 Copa América was only attempting to maintain positive soccer-prostitute international relations.

Disclaimer: This is neither pro- nor anti- advocacy, just well-observed facts.

PHOTO: Credit REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

What?! You think this is a game?!!

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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.

Chicharito transfer rumors: Good for me


By now the whole world knows that Chicharito is the odd man out in Manchester United. That team is stacked with talent and striking power and Chicharito hasn’t seen as many minutes (translate: scored as much) as he has in the past. Now with the acquisition of Golanda’s Robin van Persie, the transfer rumors heat up all over again.

It’s hard to hear transfer rumors circling one your favorites, especially after being with the club for so few years. I feel unappreciated. I feel overlooked. I feel like I’m wasting my best years keeping the bench seats warm. That’s how I feel. Who knows how Chicharito feels? Apparently, when he’s hanging with his Mexican friends, he could care less about Manchester United. Good for you, Javi!

It’s particularly painful for me because of how Hollywood-perfect his story of ascension was. Many years ago, pre South Africa, scouts had seen Chicharito play for the Chivas of Guadalajara. He impressed them much. Obvio. But they wanted to wait to make a move on him because he was still chavito. And then the epiphany landed. Dude, what if this guy goes to the World Cup and has a break-out performance? (He did.) The deal was so secretive and so fast that no one really knew what had happened until Chicharito was filling out work waiver forms. He became the first Mexican at ManU and scored 20 goals that first year.

As much as I feel that Fergie is ungrateful. I actually welcome these rumors… anything that’ll put Chicharito on Real Madrid. It’ll make my life easier tracking him if he’s playing on my beloved team. It gets difficult keeping tabs on all your players, especially when they play in different leagues, different countries, different continents. To me, Chicharito and La Liga makes perfect sense. (Just not at Camp Nou!)

He can continue to impress the European clubs tonight as Mexico closes out its first stage of WCQ2014 with a game against El Salvador tonight, 6 p.m. PST

The heavy punches of Mexican soccer


This is a jab – jab – uppercut of Mexican national soccer news. Mainly because I’ve been lazy and continuing my MIA phoning-it-in session.

FIFA is starting to make amends with me. In September, they had the gall to place Mexico out of the top 20. For October, after two World Cup qualifying wins against Costa Rica, they have reinstated the tricolores in the top 20. We’re now, according to FIFA, #19. *shouldershrug* I still think the big European bureaucracy is operating from a deficit model. If it’s not European (or to a larger extent, South American), it’s not good football.

How else to explain England at no. 5, Greece at #10 (who played against 110th ranked Lithuania)??

Because of Mexico’s wins against Costa Rica, they’re assured advancing to the next round of CONCACAF’s World Cup qualification. And so we were more than accommodating when Guyana wanted to change their “home” game to a “neutral” site — Texas. I don’t know/care for the rationale that led Guyana to choose Texas as a neutral site when the USMNT struggles to find home-field advantage at times against Mexico.

That’s beside the point. I’m sure the drubbing that occurred Friday night would have happened in any location.

Mexico delivered a late-round TKO. After a frustrating 77 minutes of attack-after-scoreless-attack, the ball finally found the back of the net, thanks to Andres Guardado. What followed was a flurry of five goals in eight minutes. Once again, because that bears repeating, that’s FIVE goals in EIGHT minutes. That’s an average of a goal every minute and 36 seconds.

Of course, one of them was an own goal by Guyana. But that shit’s bound to happen when the action is perpetually parked in front of your goal.

Next up, Mexico enters the ring with El Salvador on Tuesday. Will it be another 10 rounds? Will Mexico land some punches early on? Will it get caught on the ropes? Will I stop making boxing references? I think so.

PHOTO: Guyana knocked out! skadoosh