Sounders Insider

Discussion: USA-Mexico in Gold Cup final

Final: Mexico comes from 2-0 down to win 4-2. Final goal by Dos Santos ranks with the best goals of my life. Very nice match by Adu.

Pregame: The USA and Mexico men's national teams meet at 6 p.m. today in Pasadena for the 2011 Gold Cup final. The game will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel.

Here's some preview information from the U.S. Soccer website, which will be updated as the game goes along, and afterward.

Here's a basic game preview from FSC:

The U.S. and Mexico will meet in the Gold Cup final for the third consecutive time, and the fifth time overall, onSaturday. In the 77th year of their rivalry, Mexico holds a 32-15-11all-time record against the U.S., though the U.S. was 9-0-2 against Mexico in their last 11 matches on American soil prior to the 2009 Gold Cup final, when Mexico scored five second-half goals in a 5-0 victory. Saturday is the 11thGold Cup final, with the U.S.reaching its eighth final and Mexico its seventh.

The U.S. is 4-3-2 in 2011. Mexico is 8-1-2 in 2011 and, interestingly enough, has played all of its 2011 matches in the United States. Mexico, which has played each of its 2011matches in a different U.S.city, has played more matches in the U.S. this year than the Americans have. Mexico leads the tournament with 18 goals and has conceded two goals, which ties the U.S.for fewest goals conceded. The U.S.,behind goalkeeper Tim Howard, has recorded shutouts in four of its five 2011Gold Cup matches.

The 2011 Gold Cup champion will serve as the CONCACAF entry in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, held a year before the 2014 FIFA WorldCup in Brazil.The United States used its 2007 Gold Cup title as a springboard to the 2009FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, where it shocked European champion Spain, the world’s top-ranked team, 2-0 in a semifinal and took a 2-0halftime lead in the Confederations Cup final against Brazil before falling3-2, leaving itself just minutes short of winning its first championship in aFIFA tournament.

Mexico’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez leads the Gold Cup with seven goals,followed by teammates Aldo De Nigris (4 goals), Andres Guardado (2 goals) and Giovani dos Santos(2 goals). Clint Dempsey’s three goals lead the U.S. in the Gold Cup. Hernandez,the first Mexican player ever to play for Manchester United and United’s second-leading scorer this season (13 goals in 27 Premier League matches in his first season), has racked up an astounding 21 goals in 28 international matches since debuting for Mexico on Sept. 30, 2009. He scored twice in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Among those participating in the 2011 Gold Cup, Hernandez became thesecond player to play in a UEFA Champions League final last month. His Mexican teammate, Rafael Marquez, played with Barcelona from 2003-10 and was a Champions League winner in 2006 and 2009, when,coincidentally, Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0.

United States–Mexico tale of the tape

Gold Cup titles: Mexico5 (1993, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2009). United States 4 (1991, 2002, 2005,2007)All-time Gold Cup records: United States 42-6-6. Mexico 37-6-7.U.S.-Mexico Gold Cup finals: 1993 – Mexico 4, U.S.0 (Estadio Azteca, MexicoCity, Mexico)1998– Mexico 1, U.S. 0 (LA Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA)2007– U.S. 2, Mexico 1 (Soldier Field, Chicago, IL)2009– Mexico 5, U.S. 0 (Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ)Last meeting: Mexico 2, U.S. 1 (Aug. 12, 2009. 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City – 17 days after the 2009 Gold Cup final).2011 international records: United States 4-3-2; Mexico 8-1-2FIFA world ranking: U.S. – 22; Mexico – 28

U.S. Notes-- Landon Donovan passed Jeff Agoos for second on the all-time U.S.appearances list by making his 135th U.S.appearance as second-half substitute in Wednesday’s 1-0 semifinal win against Panama.Donovan recorded his second assist of the Gold Cup Wednesday, boosting hisall-time record assist total to 47. Cobi Jones’ 164 appearances is the most in U.S. Soccer history.--Goalkeeper Tim Howard notched his36th international win and 24th shutout in Wednesday’s win vs.Panama,tying him with Brad Friedel for fourth on U.S. Soccer’s shutout list.Should the U.S. beat Mexico on Saturday with Howard in goal, Howardwill tie Tony Meola for second in wins as a U.S. goalkeeper.-- Freddy Adu made his first U.S. appearance since July 8, 2009 (a 2-0 win vs. Honduras in 2009 Gold Cup group play) in Wednesday’s semifinal win as a second-half substitute.-- Defender Clarence Goodson is the only U.S. player who has appeared in the current Gold Cup to play in the 2009 Gold Cup final defeat to Mexico-- U.S. coach Bob Bradley is 43-24-12 as U.S. coach, and is 14-2-1 in the Gold Cup.

We also got some pregame thoughts -- though not quite a prediction -- today from Sounders coach Sigi Schmid:

"Obviously I’d love to see the U.S. win. It’s going to be a great game. Mexico is playing well. It’s an important game. This is the Gold Cup final that qualifies you for the Confederations Cup. It’s financially a big game – the players pick up a nice bonus on either side for winning this game. So it should be a highly charged game, highly motivated and played with a lot of intensity and desire. So, from that standpoint it’s going to be good. Like I said: I’d like to see the U.S. win. I can’t really predict. It’s going to be a tight game.

The U.S. is the host county, but it’s run by CONCACAF, so CONCACAF is going to put the game where they know it can draw people. I remember back in ’93 we played a game against Mexico in the Rose Bowl, so it was 100,000 fans, and it was 98,500 from Mexico and 1,500 for the U.S. Things have improved a whole lot, but it’s still probably going to be a pro-Mexican crowd by probably 70-30, 80-20 type of thing. But it’s obviously going to have a great atmosphere, because the Rose Bowl is a great venue to play, especially when it’s packed.

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