Originally Posted by M2
Donovan's yellow won't really matter much. If he gets another in the next qualifier, then he misses the final qualifier. If he gets one in the final qualifier, then I think it rolls forward to the 2015 Gold Cup (though there might be provisions that would cost him a WC warmup contest instead).
I thought the spacing from the U.S. was generally solid. First touch is an issue for most nations, though the U.S. actually is getting better at it. We're better than most Euro teams on it these days (including England). I think Clint Dempsey, who has built an entire career around a sweet first touch, has changed the culture on that. Important to remember that, despite its horrible recent run, Mexico has quality players who can force you into hasty passes and heavy touches.
Diskerud is becoming real interesting real fast. He needs to jump out of his Norwegian comfort zone this winter (Norway plays a March-November season). His club, Rosenborg, currently sits first in the league standings. The Dutch league might be a good place for him, or Portugal. Though Belgium, Ukraine, Turkey and Greece all would mark solid steps up as well.
I thought I heard this was the US's 7th straight WC they qualified for. They have become the best CONCACAF nation and really should continue to separate themselves from the rest of the nations. They are setting the bar higher and higher with each passing year. Its the reason why the first touches and at times sloppy play are a little disappointing. If you want to compete with the best nations, and I think that is something the US wants, they need to clean up the play.
I think Diskerud bring another level that many of the US players don't have. The announcers were talking about how he is a guy who doesn't get nervous handling the ball in space. It was fairly evident on his assist when he took advantage of poor Mexican play, took the ball to the goal line and made a great pass. He may be young and inexperienced, but he may just be a guy who can make plays. The US has built a pretty good team of nice players but have few playmakers.
What in the world happened to Mexico? I didn't get to see the first 20 minutes or so but they looked awful. Too many awful give a ways, just looked like a team that had no business in a World Cup.