Thursday, February 8, 2007

Team USA beats Mexico...Again

Excellent roundup of the U.S. Men's National Team's 2-nil victory over Mexico last night at Soccer by Ives. The childish behavior of the Hugo Sanchezettes and Landon Donovan's understandably perturbed reaction is particularly good stuff.

In Red Bull-related news, Bruce Arena did a nice job on the ESPN2 broadcast, unlike Dave O'Brien, the Chief Wiggum of soccer broadcasters. "Nothing to see here," he says, "Not alot of action," as Bornstein, Albright, Conrad and Bocanegra scrape and scramble for every ball played into the US third of the pitch, out-muscle or out-hustle the Mexican attack, and play the ball up the field. Sigh. According to Chief Wiggum, if a goal isn't scored every five minutes or so, the game is crap.

But O'Brien does have the pipes for a TV broadcast, which brings us back to Arena, who does not. Bruce has a nasally delivery which borders on whiny, but that in no way diminishes his strong analysis of the game. How refreshing was it to hear a Soccer Talking Head blast the twitchy, eye-bulging ref for the unnecessary yellows about 10 minutes into the match? And whenever Wynalda veered into It's Been Five Minutes I Need To Gratituitously Slam The US Strikers Land, Bruce gently threw his mercurial colleague -- and more importantly the viewers -- a lifeline, replying, "Well, actually, we should probably give the Mexican defense credit there, they defended that play well as a group." Pertinent, intelligent commentary trumps silky-smooth, but vapid, claptrap any day of the week. Just like the US tops Mexico any day of the week.

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