Thursday, February 08, 2007

About That U.S.A. - Mexico Match

Yesterday I wrote about the U.S. Men's Soccer Team 2-0 victory over Mexico and threw in at the end of the post a little quote about Mexico's lack of sportsmanship. I neglected to mention Mexican keeper Oswaldo "Dirty" Sanchez's attempted tackle on Eddie Johnson after Landon Donovan's second goal. Upon further review, I should have written about it because I saw it last night and thought it was dirty and the more I think about it, the more I am pissed about it. The Big Lead has rightfully called this to my and others attention.

There are only two excuses I have for not detailing this: 1) I couldn't find video or a picture to capture what had happened; and, 2) I was guilty of a desensitized view of Mexico, as in "same ol' shit, different day." Neither is acceptable and now I am going to rant.

First, though, let's put this in context. In the 90th minute, Donovan scored on a breakaway that was the fruit of a Mexican pass that deflected off the referee right onto an American's boot. Donovan completely deked the keeper out of his shorts and put the nail in Mexico's coffin. So what does "Dirty" Sanchez do? He sees Eddie Johnson cross in front of him as Sanchez goes to retrieve the ball from the back of the next and tries a studs-up slide tackle Johnson somewhat from behind. Mind you, the damn play had been done for a few seconds already. You can see "Dirty" Sanchez sliding in the background of the picture up top.

It was a completely classless, petulant and dangerous act on the part of the Mexican keeper. The play didn't seem to phase me, which really worries me. Is it because Mexico always plays extra-dirty against the U.S.? I can't say this with any definitiveness because I don't watch El Tri other than when it plays the Red, White and Blue. But, I do know that I have seen a lot of dirty play from Mexico. Headbutts, elbows and all other sorts of "gamesmanship" of the dirty variety. Granted, I am somewhat biased, but the scales of dirty play certainly are not balanced at this point. Lady DirtyPlay certainly leans to the South of the Border and "same ol' shit, different day" is no reason to let this continue.

Let's just put the act in perspective. This was very similar to the Albert Haynesworth/Marcus Vick stomps because all three occurred in deadball situations. Also, if "Dirty" Sanchez had connected with the tackle, he very well could have injured Johnson rather severely (a la Haynesworth) since he wasn't even the mindset of full-speed game action. For god's sake, he was celebrating a score. Granted, "Dirty" Sanchez was performing something more akin an actual "soccer act" whereas Haynesworth/Vick were both doing something that is completely outside of the rulebook.
Nevertheless, it was sick, attempted cheap shot and we should be outraged much as Bruce Arena and Eric Wynalda were on the broadcast. Sanchez should be punished severely for lack of sportsmanship. Fines and multi-game suspensions from Club/National team play are warranted to let it be known these actions are not tolerated by FIFA.

Here is the video of the event:

2 comments:

xk3 said...

Props to Eddie Johnson for not going ape-s**t on Dirty Sanchez. Where's Stephen Jackson when you need him?

At least this game didn't end with tens of thousands of Mexicans yelling pro-Osama chants in unison... you know, like the last several 'friendlies' have.

Daniel said...

That kind of b.s. wouldn't fly on a high school level... it should be severly punished for the example it sets for millions of young footballers around the world