10:41 AM

A Breathless Loss at the Azteca

The U.S. MNT should stick to this line when explaining yesterday's 2-1 loss to El Tri in Mexico City:

"The altitude and the smog sapped our energy and affected our play in the second half. In and ideal world, we would have 14 days to train and acclimate. But we didn't have that luxury."

Maybe this is just a fantasy explanation for the U.S. MNT's collapse yesterday. In reality, our boys just played defense and seemed listless throughout 60 minutes of play. In the beginning few minutes, they played their counter attack with swagger and speed. Charlie Davies' shot past Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa was a beauty, and demonstrated another reason why this New Englander will make it big in Europe. But after that, it seemed our boys just sat back and decided to simply defend against the incessant stream of attacks from a more spirited El Tri. The stunning (and really lucky) goal from Macias Castro (19') could have been prevented if they put more pressure.

Castro's goal reminded me of Giuseppe Rossi's strike during the Confederations Cup. Both players were given a lot of space to take a chance, and their shots paid off.

In the end, the U.S. seemed flat-footed. They couldn't maintain possession offensively and kept turning the ball over. In the end, it's no surprise that Mexico found a hole in the U.S. defense and exploited it.

A message to Team USA: Consistency. Please!

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