The good news: The US grabbed the three points it absolutely needed from this match against Trinidad and Tobago, and did it without any cards or injuries heading into Azteca.
The bad news: It seems we can only score lately when the ball runs through Christian Pulisic. It’s both amazing and depressing that our best player is 18, but, yeah, he’s ridiculously good.
My son and I watched the match from temporary seating in the corner, and it was tough to see what was going on at midfield because there was a giant pole in our way (you can see it in the photo from the YouTube thumbnail), but here’s what I could gather:
Christian Pulisic is incredible. I don’t feel the need to explain this further. You know this.
I’d rather see Clint Dempsey as a super-sub in Mexico. He looks tired, or absent, or maybe he doesn’t work well with Pulisic. I can’t tell, but I’d rather go with Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood as the two forwards. I think Clint would be a huge weapon to bring on late.
Speaking of Jozy Altidore, how many chances did he botch in the first half? I might reconsider this after watching on TV, but it looked like the old knock that he has a lead foot touch has never been truer.
Oh, and CONCACAF is gonna CONCACAF. Again, maybe the replay will show me something else, but Fabian Johnson flipping through the air at the edge of the box? That’s a foul. I loved seeing Pulisic bitch at the ref. You know Borussia Dortmund bosses are scared shitless every time he has to go play in one of these shit shows. There were several other questionable calls, too.
Gotta say, though, after being out here for a few days, Denver did an amazing job hosting this match, and should get more matches in the future. The city seemed really into it. While I always kind of thought Dick’s Sporting Goods Park sucked on TV, I realize that’s probably because it’s the Rapids don’t draw well. I thought the stadium was beautiful and the atmosphere was great. It doesn’t hurt I could see the Rocky Mountains over the far side of the stadium.
So can we win at Azteca on Sunday? I’m not so sure, but Pulisic said after the match we will. And who am I to bet against him?
I’m driving home tomorrow, and Chris and I will be live Sunday with both pre- and post-match shows. Let’s go, USA!