There would be no “Dos a Cero” on this cold Friday night in Columbus, OH. Last night’s 2-1 loss to Mexico was a fair result, unfortunately, for the USMNT. A 2- 1 loss to Mexico is not disastrous, and there were some bright spots. Let’s recap.
In the 1st half, Mexico DOMINATED. There’s no other word for it. While it was 1-0 for Mexico at half, it could have easily been 3-0. There were a couple of bad breaks for Mexico/ lucky bounces for the USMNT that resulted in the score only being 1-0 at the half. On Twitter, USMNT fans, myself included, were pretty much freaking out. It wasn’t just losing in Columbus, OH, where the USMNT never lose, but it didn’t even look like the USMNT belonged on the same field.
The 2nd half was a completely different story. The USMNT came out of the break on fire. It didn’t take too long for the equalizer from Bobby Wood, which came on some nice link-up work with Jozy Altidore. After scoring, the USMNT took control. There was a feeling of inevitableness that there US had another score coming soon. Bobby Wood just looked like there was no stopping him.
(Sidenote: I’ve never been a big Altidore fan, but he did well holding things up top in the 2nd half. He and Wood seem to have a pretty good partnership going.)
However, Mexico was the team that capitalized on one of their few 2nd half opportunities via a set piece from a corner kick in the 89th minute. I’m not sure who was supposed to be marking Marquez, but no one did, apparently. The other glaring mistake(?) on the set piece from the US perspective was that no one was at the far post. Fair play to Mexico, though. They played the set piece perfectly… perfect low cross towards the front post and a beautiful flick-on header from Marquez.
The USMNT had a few chances to take the lead before the Marquez winner. About 10 minutes prior, Bradley had intercepted a pass (one of the few times all night that Bradley did something positive) and has a two-on-one against a Mexican defender with Wood WIDE open to his right. What does Bradley do? He tries to take the defender one-on-one and takes the shot which the goalkeeper saved (“OK” shot, but not the best opportunity). Wood doesn’t usually show frustration, but he did here. Anyone and everyone was watching was thinking the same thing… pass it to Wood for an easy goal. Nope! That’s not the Bradley way.
Let’s face it. Bradley is DONE as a threat to the other team. He is a threat, internally, to the aspirations of the USMNT and its fans. Jurgen, it’s time to pull the plug on Bradley. He’s done some great things for the USMNT over the years, but he has been dreadful for the last 2-3 years for the national team. Consider it an act of mercy for your own sanity, for Bradley’s legacy and for the USMNT fans that bleed right, white and blue with the team.