Mexico rallied for a 2-0 deficit to beat the USA, 4-2, in front of 93,420 – the largest crowd for a Gold Cup game in the U.S. and predominantly Mexican fans – at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (CA) Saturday night to win its second straight CONCACAF Gold Cup and sixth overall. Pablo Barrera (29th, 50th) scored twice and Andres Guardado (36th) and Giovani Dos Santos (77th) also tallied for Mexico. Javier Hernandez’s tournament leading seven goals earned him the tournament MVP award.
“There’s no better moment than victory,’’ Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre said. “Everything else is in the past now.’’ Mexico will represent CONCACAF in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
The United States got goal from midfielder Michael Bradley (8th) from a header off new starter Freddy Adu’s corner headed and forward Landon Donovan (23rd). “We’re disappointed,’’ said U. S. coach Bob Bradley. “A game like this, when you’re together for a month, you feel like you’ve grown and put yourself in the final and let it get away … it’s an empty feeling.’’
Bradley contributed to the “empty feeling.” The question is why didn’t Bradley call on Adu earlier in the tournament? Adu is the player who came on in his first game, in the semifinal against Panama days earlier and made all the difference in the team. He was the only U.S. player that could keep the ball and keep Mexican defenders on their toes. Adu was clever on the ball and assisted in both U.S. goals.
Maurice Edu, a very skillful midfielder who starts for Scotland’s Glasgow Celtics, was hardly used in the tournament. Bradley seemed to limit playing time to his two most creative players, Adu and Edu, choosing instead to stack the team with a defensive-minded cast. Creativity in the U.S. middle was clearly lacking and the defense at times was very disorganized. “They’re as dynamic as any Mexican team I’ve played against,’’ said Donovan about Mexico. “They’ve got a few guys who can change the game in a heartbeat.’’
Joel Lindpere’s goal in the 40th minute stood up to help the New York Red Bulls tie the Chicago Fire, 1-1, on Sunday at Chicago’s Toyota Park. Marco Papa scored for Chicago. The Red Bulls (5-3-9, 24 pts.) are in second place behind the Philadelphia Union, which beat Chivas USA, 3-2, to maintain the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Earlier in the week, New York lost, 4-2, in Seattle.
In other MLS games, Houston and DC United tied, 2-2; La Galaxy and San Jose Earthquake was to a goalless draw; DC United and Houston played to a goalless draw; FC Dallas beat Portland, 4-0; Sporting Kansas ‘City topped Vancouver, 2-1; Real Salt Lake bettered Toronto, 3-1; and Seattle beat New England, 2-1, hosts Germany beat Canada, 2-1, in the opening of the Women’s World Cup; France beat Nigeria, 1-0, in the other game.