It's another 'home' win for Mexico in USA

Posted: June 27, 2011

There were 93,420 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., for the Gold Cup final Saturday night, the third-largest crowd ever to see the U.S. national team play in this country.

But since the opponent was Mexico, about 90,000 were waving Mexican flags and wearing green and white.

And they weren't disappointed as the "home" team won, 4-2, behind two goals by Pablo Barrera and maybe the world's goal of the year by Giovani dos Santos.

The U.S. team opened a 2-0 lead in the game's first 23 minutes on goals by Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan. But before halftime, Mexico had tied it on scores by Barrera and Andres Guardado. Then Barrera and dos Santos put the game away in the seond half.

"We're disappointed," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "A game like this, when you're together for a month, you feel like you've grown and put yourself in the final and let it get away. It's an empty feeling."

"They're as dynamic as any Mexican team I've played against," Donovan said. "They've got a few guys who can change the game in a heartbeat."

With the victory, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean, Mexico will represent the region in the Confederations Cup in Brazil in 2013, a prelude to the next year's World Cup in that country.

And if there were really any question about who was the home team . . . The lengthy awards presentation after the game was done solely in Spanish - with no English translation.

Mwanga to the rescue

It seems that whenever the Union needs a goal, Danny Mwanga is there to score it.

The 19-year-old native of Congo scored the winner in the game's 82nd minute as the Union (7-4-5) remained in first place in MLS' Eastern Conference with a 3-2 victory over Chivas USA on Saturday night at PPL Park.

It was Mwanga's fifth goal of the season, and followed earlier second-half scores by Veljko Paunovic and Carlos Ruiz.

The Union is unbeaten at home this season (5-0-4), but now embarks on a three-game road swing, beginning at D.C. United Saturday night. The Union's next home games will be international friendlies with Everton of the English Premier League (PPL Park, July 20) and mighty Real Madrid (July 23 at Lincoln Financial Field).

One for the Independence

Kia McNeill, Veronica Boquete and Tasha Kai scored the goals as the Independence (5-2-3), despite having four regulars with the U.S. team in Germany for the Women's World Cup, remained in second place in WPS with a 3-1 win over magicJack at Widener University on Saturday.

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