Dallas Soccer: Mexico
Dos Santos opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, converting from a seemingly impossible angle near the sideline. The Tottenham forward floated the ball from the left side of the box into the upper corner of the right side, beating goalkeeper Rafael Cabral, who was making his second start for Brazil.
Ten minutes later, Dos Santos again was in the middle of the action. Brazilian defender Juan Jesus took him down inside the box for a penalty kick. Cabral guessed correctly, but Hernandez's strike found the net.
Mexico plays Guyana on Friday to open CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
Read more here.
Fans attending both matches are urged to arrive early to avoid traffic and long waits, as well as enjoy Fútbol Fiesta, a 120,000 square-feet interactive soccer fan zone which opens four hours before kickoff just outside the stadium and features live entertainment, sponsor exhibits, celebrities and interactive games.
The game at Cowboys Stadium will close out Mexico’s 2012 five-game U.S. Tour. This will mark the third time Mexico plays, and sells out, the state-of-the-art Arlington venue since its 2009 inauguration.
The additions to the roster feature players with European experience such as defender Carlos Salcido from Tigres and Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesus Corona. The squad announced by De la Torre also includes players from Mexico’s two First Division Clausura 2012 finalists, Santos Laguna and Monterrey.
Mexico's roster already included players who are based abroad; Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez; Deportivo La Coruña (Spain) midfielder Andres Guardado; Tottenham Hotspur (England) midfielder Giovani Dos Santos; and New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez.
Mexico's match with Brazil in Arlington caps the U.S. tour on June 3. El Tri has already played two matches at Cowboys Stadium, drawing 82,252 for the 2009 Gold Cup and 80,108 for last year's Gold Cup.
Tickets for the U.S. tour are still available at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 and at all Ticketmaster locations.
Goalkeepers: Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul/MEX); Alfredo Talavera (Toluca/MEX), Guillermo Ochoa (AC Ajaccio/FRA)
Defenders: Rafa Márquez (New York Red Bulls/USA), Héctor Moreno (RCD Espanyol de Barcelona/SPA), Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Club VfB Stuttgart/GER), Hugo Ayala (Tigres/MEX), Carlos Salcido (Tigres/MEX); Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres/MEX); (Israel Jimenez (Tifres/MEX); Severo Meza (Monterrey/MEX)
Midfielders: Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña/SPA), Pablo Barrera (Real Zaragoza/SPA), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey/MEX), Gerardo Lugo (Morelia/MEX); Luis Ernesto Perez (Monterrey/MEX); Jesus Molina (America/MEX); Angel Reyna (Monterrey/MEX); Edgar Andrade (America/MEX)
Forwards: Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (Manchester United/ENG), Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham Hotspur FC/ENG), Oribe Peralta (Santos/MEX), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey/MEX)
FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez became the first American-born player to win a FIFA men’s title when he started for Mexico in its 2-0 win over Uruguay to win the Under-17 World Cup before 105,000 fans at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium on Sunday, July 10. Sanchez started every game in goal for Mexico, posting a 1.00 goals against average and earning two shutouts in the tournament.
Sanchez became the first American-born player to win a FIFA men’s title Sunday. He started every game in net for host country Mexico -- including the 2-0 win over Uruguay in the final in front of 105,000 fans at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium. Sanchez had a 1.00 goals-against average and held two teams scoreless in the tournament.
“It was an unforgettable experience that I will keep in my heart forever,” Sanchez said during a conference call Thursday. “I really liked spending time with players from other teams, with my teammates and all coaches, who I would like to thank for taking time away from family to be with us.”
Sanchez and his teammates took a tour around Mexico City and gave fans a glimpse of the trophy Monday. El Tri also stopped to visit with Mexico president Felipe Calderón and mingled with other Mexican leaders.
“I feel a little bit more confident after playing in the World Cup,” Sanchez said. “Being only 17 years old and living this experience, it did boost my confidence.”
FC Dallas academy and professional players sent Sanchez messages through Twitter and Facebook congratulating him on Mexico’s accomplishments.
“We have been working hard to accomplish a lot of our goals and it’s a good feeling to hear from them,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez’s name has blown up because on his international success. Sanchez denied hearing rumors of European teams showing interest in the goalkeeper. Although he said it would be a dream to return to a European club, Sanchez's intentions are with FC Dallas. Sanchez expects to return to the club during the last week of July.
“I know I have to train hard when I go back to the club if I want to get anywhere,” Sanchez said. “As soon as I get back I want to get into the team, focus on the team and hopefully win a starting spot someday after Kevin [Hartman].”
Sanchez posted a clean sheet in the final against 15 shots as Mexico defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium before a crowd of roughly 100,000. It was the second U17 Tttle for Mexico in the last six years.
Here's are some extended highlights.
The reality is that in the long-running stretch of victories over Mexico, the U.S. won mostly via effort, teamwork and heart. The USA was never going to out-skill the Mexicans. But this new squad from Mexico now, at the very least, matches the U.S. in terms of effort, teamwork and heart to go along with their superior skill.
The pendulum has swung back.
FC Dallas on the other hand continues to churn out points despite losing key players. Playing its first match without Fabian Castillo, Schellas Hyndman simply moved his remaining bits into yet another formation, and crushed the Timbers 4-0. It might not be a stretch to say that if you squinted, Dallas almost played more like the team did with Ferreira on the field in the 4-1-4-1 formation. Against Portland, the team was placed in a 4-2-3-1 with Hernandez and Jacobson in a dual holding midfield role and Alexander, Shea and Jackson asked to cover a lot of ground and get into the attack.
It took the better part of 15 minutes for FCD to find its way around the new formation, but once there, there was little question as to which team was going to win. There was far less direct play on Dallas' part, more interactive possession and a significant increase in dangerous opportunities in the box.
Not having Castillo on the pitch is almost addition by subtraction because when he's paired with Chavez up top, there simply is no reason to even try to possess and build up attacking play. With Chavez alone up there, and more support in the middle, the team got more movement into the box and patient play in getting there.
If Dallas consistently can get performances from wide positions as it did from Shea and Jackson, it will be a wonderfully tough side to beat.
Once again, in the face of personnel losses Hyndman successfully made tactical and formation changes. Dallas gets to really put itself to a stern test as the Crew come to town and have matched FCD for points in the last five matches (10).
Hartman: 6 -- Not really under much pressure but got lucky on a couple of poorly played set pieces.
Loyd: 8 -- Great goal and worked well with Jackson.
George: 8 -- Storming header and yet another lock-down defending performance.
Ugo: 6 -- More poor passing than normal, battled well with Cooper.
Benitez: 6 -- Improved from recent play, still looks to be favoring that knee.
Shea: 8 -- Swimming in confidence, how can you not with a bobblehead?
Jackson: 8 -- Best night in a hooped jersey. Very, very unlucky to not have scored.
Hernandez: 7 -- Why hasn't he been taking corners all along?
Jacobson: 5 -- His passing struggled as he was asked to sit back more.
Alexander: 7 -- A quietly effective night. If only he could turn his intensity up just a notch.
Chavez: 6 -- I've realized that if he had a sliver of creativity to go with all that speed and effort, he wouldn't be plying his trade in MLS. What he's doing for Hyndman is worth its weight in lost attacking opportunities
Warshaw: 6 -- Good, solid substitution.
Avila: 6 -- He really adds a spark late in a match.
Luna: 6 -- The league says he scored … just buy Jackson dinner.
Match Grade: (B) -- Temperatures, U.S./Mexico and the closure of the tollway made it easy to not show up for one of those mid-season MLS matches. But Dallas threw out an entertaining performance.
Mexico has played two more games since we last checked in and won both. First a 2-1 win over the Congo to secure advancement. Then a 3-2 win over the Dutch that eliminated the Orange. Sanchez started both games and in both Mexico was out shot by a healthy margin, 15 to 11 versus Congo and 25 to 12 against the Dutch.
Unfortuantly for US fans, the Yanks dropped their second game, a 2-1 loss to Uzbekistan. Kellyn Acosta started and played all 90 minutes. North Texan Matt Dunn also started and play 90 in midfield. Solar's Alfred Koroma came on at halftime and score the US goal. Koroma has now scored in both US games.
With all four team in Group D tied on 3 points, the US will need a results of some kind against New Zealand today to advance.
* Efrain Juarez scored in the 55th minute to break the tie in an unconventional way. Juarez’s off-balance shot was deflected off El Salvador keeper Miguel Montes. The ball bounced in front of Juarez as he fell down in the goalie box and headed it in the net.
* Jesús De Nigris entered the game for Israel Castro in the 57th minute and scored a minute later from Andres Guardodo’s assist to make it 2-0.
* Hernandez took over thereafter to seal the deal for the defending Gold Cup champions with Guardodo’s help. He scored in the 59th and 67th minutes from Guardodo’s assists. Marvin’s Gonzalez’s red card in the penalty box allowed Chicharito to end the game on a penalty kick in the 95th minute, giving him the hat trick.
“The most important thing for me is the three points,” Hernandez said. “I don’t care if I score. Sometimes I won’t. The main thing is we won.”
* Mexico head coach Jose Manuel De La Torre carried the same “team” tone about Hernandez’s performance.
“[Hernandez] had the good fortune to score, but as a result of the team play,” De La Torre said. “That’s what the forwards are in there to do.”
* Mexico’s support was greater than that for El Salvador, Costa Rica and Cuba combined. It was evident while watching the majority of the 80,108 fans scream at the top of their lungs when Mexico scored. You couldn’t find a section that wasn’t flooded with red, white and green color combinations.
“Its unbelievable the support that we have from Mexicans who live here,” Hernandez said. “You can see it with your own eyes: 80,000 people and most of them in green shirts, and it means a lot to us.”
* Mexico hasn’t lost a Gold Cup game since the 2007 final against the United States, 2-1. El Tri’s next match is against Cuba, a team that lost 5-0 to Costa Rica on Sunday and is 0-1-7 in its last eight Gold Cup matches.
* El Salvador is now 4-1-11 in Gold Cup play since 2000. Los Cuscatlecos have only played together for 30 days but battled in the first half against El Tri. El Salvador displayed its lack of chemistry in the second half, as it was unable to rebound from Juarez’s score. It managed only one shot on goal in the second half, two in the game on 11 tries. El Salvador looks to bounce back against Costa Rica on June 9.
“I think we change the page and look ahead,” El Salvador head coach Ruben Jorge Israel said. “It doesn’t end or start with one game. Our motivation is an area of importance for us now, but also we need to focus on the field. We just have to get better in certain areas.
“Costa Rica is a very good team and a team that we know. It’s a very important tournament for us and we have the same chance as both Cuba and Costa Rica.”
Mexico had four shots in the first half, one on goal. Andres Guardado’s missed header from inside the goalie box was El Tri’s best shot at a goal. Rising international sensation Jaiver “Chicarito” Hernandez’s only highlight was a yellow card issued in the 27th minute. He’s been pretty quiet offensively for Mexico. Francisco Rodriguez was also booked a yellow card in the 28th minute.
El Salvador also had its chances to score with one on goal in five attempts. Despite the discrepancy in fan support compared to Mexico, El Salvador doesn’t have any bookings and committed five fewer fouls, 11-6, than El Tri.
The atmosphere has been nonetheless electric throughout the tie game. Even with a NBA Finals game being played 20 minutes away, 80,108 fans have made it pretty difficult to find an empty seat in the house.
The ever-so-popular vuvuzelas were blaring in the parking lots hours before the match between Costa Rica and Cuba, but they are prohibited inside the stadium.
Other items seen in the festive tailgating crowds that aren't allowed inside include stadium horns, outside food and beverage, drums larger than 17 inches, flag poles, sticks and flags that cannot be held by one person.
A sold-out crowd, where one ticket will get you into both matches, is expected, but the majority of the fans outside the stadium are representing Mexico and El Salvador, who play in the second game of the doubleheader.
Gold Cup appearances: 11 (1991, 1993, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011)
How they qualified: All three teams from the North American Football Union (Canada, Mexico and the United States) automatically qualify for the Gold Cup.
Manager: Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre
Coming in as the defending champions, Mexico looks to add to its record five Gold Cup titles. Mexico defeated the United States in the 2009 final, 5-0. This team, somehow, is better. Mexico added striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who is quickly gaining attention on a global stage. He scored 13 goals in 27 appearances with Manchester United this season, earning the club’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award as voted by the fans. World Cup captain Rafael Marquez also made the squad. The veteran defender now plays for the MLS' New York Red Bulls after playing for La Liga’s FC Barcelona from 2003-10.
Mexico has a huge fan base in the Metroplex and is expected to have the biggest following during the Cowboys Stadium doubleheader Sunday. One of the favorites to win the tournament, El Tri’s first match is against El Salvador. It'll be the second meeting between these two teams in the Gold Cup. The first was in 2002, when Mexico defeated El Salvador, 1-0, in the first round of Group A.