Monday, June 28, 2010


As much as it sucks for most of Mexico to deal with another loss to Argentina (following not only the defeat 2006 World Cup, but also in the semis of the 2007 Copa América, and in the quarters of the 2007 U20 World Cup), I wonder if there is anyone on the planet presently suffering more footballistically than Malcolm Beith, who I believe has significant connections to three of this weekend's losers. For all I know he also has a South Korean uncle, rounding out the quartet of World Cup misery.

With regard to the Mexican performance yesterday, as bad as Osorio's howler was, I've not heard anyone sending blame his direction. Instead, all of the nation's fire is, as predicted, targeting Javier Aguirre. The surprise decision to start Adolfo Bautista on Sunday was the last in a series of insane personnel moves. Bautista is essentially a Mexican league journeyman, a perfectly competent forward who's still managed to be moved five times in eight years. There were screams of dismay that he was included among the final 23, and for his number to be called for the first time ahead of the toughest test of the tourney, well, it's hard to imagine what exactly logic was guiding Aguirre. As it turned out, Bautista was an utter non-factor.

Aguirre's second most glaring error was his refusal to give Guardado 90 minutes on the field. When he played, he was somewhere from solid to dazzling. This was no surprise, as Guardado has been Mexico's most consistent player since 2006, and is among the best performers on a mid-level Spanish team, something no other Mexico player can say.

Finally, I read that Carlos Salcido was deported from the US three times growing up. As good as the PSV defender was for Mexico (and he was arguably their best player, at least until he started launching a series of 40-yard tries skyward in the final twenty minutes of yesterday's game), and as shaky as DeMerit was, it would have been great if American authorities could have given him citizenship in exchange for a promise to suit up with Uncle Sam as a grown-up.


jd said...

Bummer, indeed. Sunset Park, Brooklyn was as beaming with orgullo as I've ever seen it until the first goal, at which point - Mexico already having come close without finishing - everyone seemed to know what kind of game we were in for.

Salcido was great. As a basically every-four-years soccer fan, I hadn't seen much of Gio but thought he was pretty disappointing - his first two touches make you think he's about to really gain some momentum, and then the third touch is too strong, or leads him in the wrong direction, or something.

Speaking of El Tri's connection to NY, I finally figured out who El Conejo reminds me of - it's the character on Seinfeld who thinks Jerry is a phony:

malcolm beith said...

Luckily, my mom is German by birth, so I have that to (begrudgingly) cling to... otherwise, yes, it was a highly depressing weekend of football.

pc said...

JD--yes he does! WHat was that guy's name, Mike something, right? He was the Seinfeld bit player with the longest lapse between appearances.

RE Gio, he didn't shine against Argentina the way he did against South Africa and to a certain degree France. I still have hope for him being a post WC revelation, but it'd have been nice to see the same form through all four games.

Malcolm--that's some consolation. Of course, they also have a tough matchup on Saturday. Then again, everyone not from Brazil ends up disappointed at every world cup, so it comes with the territory.