Sunday, June 26, 2011

Was It Wrong To Have Been Rooting for Mexico?

Mexican Soccer Fans Celebrate Gold Cup 2011 Victory!












I'm not fully sure how to explain it.  Maybe it's because Mexico seemed like the underdog or maybe I was hoping they could win it for their country, which has been through so much turmoil from the drug wars and could use a little pick-me-up.  Most likely, it's because of the joy they gave throughout the Gold Cup tournament.  They were so artful with their passing and their scoring was so electric and eccentric at the same time. 

I feel conflicted.  I'm American and I love my country and love what it stands for.  It has given so much to the world.  Maybe sometimes it feels a little like we get too cocky, not necessarily the Soccer team, our country gets cocky.

But, there's a lot to like about the U.S. team.  Donovan, of course, has been the consummate patriot for U.S. Soccer for a long time.  Dempsey has attitude and is fun to watch.  The other guys are excellent players and the team always seems to play above any diving, acting or silliness that is so often seen from other teams. 

Mexico is our neighbor and so much of our culture comes from there.  We love their food, their work ethics and family ties, their music and their women.

Overall, though, I think it was just this particular Mexican team's style of play and how they played together, which was captivating to watch.  This Mexican team reminded me of the Spanish team that won World Cup 2010 in some ways.  They had fast touches like the Spanish team, but their runs were more often and with more results.  I'd say they will be definitely be a team to watch for World Cup 2014.

A fair amount of this team's quality was built from the U-17 World Cup results of 2005, which Mexico won.  The bond formed from that event became even tighter after last night's glorious win.

It would be practically impossible to expect the same thing over again from Mexico in a couple of weeks for the America's Cup.  They would be better off not to send their 'A' team and give some players the rest they deserve. 

Gold Cup 2011 had a fitting end.  The better team won and they did it in a fantastic way, possibly even winning over more American sports fans to Soccer.  They were that good.  It just seemed right to root for them.

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