Was yesterday's game at the Azteca Stadium - a 2-1 defeat to Mexico - Coach Bruce Arena's Waterloo? There can be little doubt that the failure of the US to create chances was due to the tactics chosen by the coach. Mexico were skillful, aggressive, and intimidating. The Americans sat back, were passive, and poorly organized. Advantage Mexico.
The marking was awful on Mexico's two goals late in the first half. The post-match commentary suggests the US defense lost it's concentration on the two goals due to fatigue - oh dear! In retrospect, I think Arena made too much of the altitude factor, and too little of the attitude.
Mexican Coach LaVolpe boasted that "for 90 minutes, there was only one team on the field." LaVolpe is as poor a sport as the contemptuous Cuahutemoc Blanco (LaVolpe was sent off, and Blanco could have been), but unfortunately he's right. The Mexicans played the Americans off the pitch, and the scoreline would have been much worse but for outstanding saves by Casey Keller.
The manner in which Arena sent out the US team didn't give them half a chance. Let's hope he can right the ship against Guatemala on Wednesday night.