*They’re bracing for a huge crowd for a much anticipated U.S.-Mexico Gold Cup final in Pasadena where temperatures are expected to top out at in the 80s.
Kickoff is at 6:10 p.m. incidentally, live on Fox Soccer Channel and Univision. I’ll blog live from the game.
Notable: It’s the first time in 11 years Mexico and the U.S. have faced each other in Southern California.
How long ago is that? Landon Donovan made his U.S. debut in the 2-0 U.S. win back then. He now has 135 caps, trailing only Cobi Jones (164). Donovan is the U.S. all-time leader in goals (45), assists (47) and points (137).
In case you’re wondering, Clint Dempsey now has 22, the goal against Panama pushing him past Bruce Murray and good for fifth place on the all-time U.S. goalscorers list
How much would you pay to see this game?
CONCACAF’s Chuck Blazer is expected to chat with the media before the game so I’ll have his thoughts on the recent scandals ripping through FIFA a little later.
I’m off to hydrate before heading out to the game, but first let us reflect upon the words of Fox Soccer analyst Kyle Martino on whether Coach Bob Bradley is in trouble if the U.S. puts in a poor performance:
“Yes, he is. Getting another term with a national team is a very rare thing. There were only two coaches in South Africa that were coaching the same team in the previous World Cup. After a good, but disappointing, World Cup, many were surprised to see Bradley get another shot. With the U.S. job being one of the most coveted national team positions in the world, the pressure is on for Bob to produce. Losing to Mexico on U.S. soil and missing out on the (FIFA) Confederations Cup would be an early disappointment, one that would turn the heat up on U.S. Soccer’s president, Sunil Gulati
“If you’re judging based on the performances since the World Cup, the team may have regressed a little. The U.S. has been unable to put together dominant performances against teams they should beat convincingly. With that said, this game against Mexico will be the best measuring stick to find out where the U.S. team truly stands. A good performance against a team that has the potential to go far in Brazil 2014 should instill confidence in the U.S. faithful and prove that the U.S. is in good shape.”
My prediction: Mexico 2 U.S. 1 with Chicharito getting both goals before an adoring crowd further cementing his growing reputation as one of the best strikers in the world.
*There are also two MLS games of local interest today.
The Galaxy are in San Jose to play the Earthquakes (live at 3:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel). Sister paper The San Jose Mercury News has the game preview.
Chivas USA are in Philadelphia to face the Union in a game that is now scheduled to kickoff at 5 p.m., 30 minutes later than originally planned (live on Prime).
Game preview here.