Most headlines and news commentary read: "Jurgen Klinsmann to make coaching debut against arch rival Mexico… Klinsmann will have US on the attack…Klinsmann Not Cure-All for US Soccer…Jurgen Klinsmann will listen to advisers as USA soccer coach… Klinsmann needs to overhaul US soccer's grassroots development...Klinsmann, Klinsmann, Klinsmann…"
Yes. The upcoming exhibition match against Mexico this Wednesday, August 10, at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will be Klinsi’s debut as the head to Team USA. But that is not the main story.
The main story is that this hastily scheduled CONCACAF Clasico is all about exacting some measure of revenge after the U.S. was humbled by Mexico, losing the 2011 Gold Cup Final in a heartbreaker, 4-2, after mounting an impressive 2-0 lead with goals by Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan.
That fact that the loss came in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and that the closing ceremonies were held in English and Spanish by a circus ringmaster of sorts added to Team USA’s overall dismay, and in Tim Howard’s case, to livid anger. Howard is surely not a fan of Univision’s Fernando Fiore’s bombastic style of reporting and of his unstoppable and loud motor mouth. Fiore conducted the awards ceremony as if he was a ringleader presenting animal performers and their trainers at the Ringlin Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
Though, U.S. officials will surely not publicly acknowledge it, the fact is that this “friendly” against “El Tri” was put together for one main purpose: seek a quick and satisfying revenge of some sort that can alleviate the team’s pain.
Who can forget Howard pounding the field frenetically after Gio Dos Santos’ brilliant goal? The look of astonishment in the face of defender Eric Lichaj after leaping helplessly trying to head off the ball? The overall look of dejection and frustration of the entire team following the match?
The 2011 Gold Cup final was a thriller, a terrific game from beginning to end. Unfortunately for the U.S., Mexico’s “Fab Four” (“Chicharito,” Andres Guardado, Gio Dos Santos and Pablo Barrera), were is great form and made their presence felt. All except “Chicharito” scored.
For the U.S. it was a crushing loss. A truly BIG-TIME devastating loss—the type of loss you want to put behind as soon as possible. And what better way to doing just that than facing the same opponent and beating them?
A story on Goal.com reports, “Despite being left on the bench in the Gold Cup final against Mexico, United States and New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream hasn’t held back on wanting to settle the score against the Stars and Stripes’ biggest rival.”
Goal.com quotes Ream: “There is definitely still a sour feeling after being up 2-0 against them in the Gold Cup final. Being able to go up against them again so quickly after a tough loss, I think there is a lot more motivation. Personally I want to get out there, take it to them, and get revenge on them.”
There will be NOTHING “friendly” about Wednesday’s “friendly” against “El Tri.”
Team USA will go out on the field ready, eager and determined to get some sort of revenge. For Team USA this will be the equivalent of second Gold Cup Final.
And, oh, yeah, as the news media has reported ad nauseum, this will be Klinsi’s debut as head coach of the team.
Three Mexican-Americans will be on the field for Team USA: Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Edgar Castillo (Club América, Mexico) and Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca, Mexico) without counting Carlos Bocanegra, whose father is of Mexican heritage. The other terrific novelty is the return of DaMarcus Beasley who happens to currently play with Puebla of Mexico.
Mexico will be with their “Fab Four” minus one: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. The other three will be there: Pablo Barrera (West Ham, England), Giovanni dos Santos (Tottenham, England), and Andres Guardado (La Coruna, Spain).
You can catch all the action live on Univision (8:30 pm ET) with announcers that actually scream, yell out and celebrate each and every single goal, the way it should be! (Announcers on the other networks are even afraid to say the word goal. They just say the updated score and quickly get on with the rest of the game. How anti-futbol is that. Boring).
The CONCACAF Clasico “USA Revenge Edition” full roster:
Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid (D.C. United, USA), Tim Howard (Everton, England)
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Saint-Etienne, France), Edgar Castillo (America, Mexico)Timmy Chandler (FC Nürnberg, Germany), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96/Germany)Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico) Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Tim Ream (New York Red Bulls, USA)
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, USA), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany) Maurice Edu (Rangers FC, Scotland), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04, Germany) Brek Shea (FC Dallas, USA), Jose Francisco Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)
Forwards: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls, USA) DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt, Germany) Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy, USA)
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio, Francia), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).
Defenders: Efraín Juárez (Zaragoza, España), Francisco Rodríguez (Stuttgart, Alemania), Héctor Moreno (Espanyol, España), Carlos Salcido (Fulham, Inglaterra), Rafael Márquez (Nueva York, Estados Unidos), Jorge Torres (Tigres), Paul Aguilar (América), Javier Aquino (Cruz Azul).
Midfielders: Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (Cruz Azul), Jesús Zavala (Monterrey), Antonio Naelson, 'Sinha', (Toluca), Andrés Guardado (La Coruña, España), Christian Bermúdez (Atlante).-
Forwards: Pablo Barrera (West Ham, Inglaterra), Giovanni dos Santos (Tottenham, Inglaterra), Oribe Peralta (Santos), Omar Arellano (Guadalajara).