Soy un hombre de principios

Y uno de ellos es que el Conejo es un pesimo portero que nomas pone en riesgo los juegos de la Seleccion. Para que vean que no es por estos ultimos juegos o esta ultima convocatoria y que soy viuda de Ochoa (Antes muerto que Americanista!) o no se que, aqui hay evidencia de las eliminatorias mundialistas, de hace aproximadamente un anho:

  1. Mexico – El Salvador
  2. Mexico – Trinidad y Tobago

Lo del Conejo no es nuevo. Tiene anhos de ser malisimo. Pinche Aguirre como es necio con no soltar a “sus” jugadores (Torrado, Osorio, Conejo, Bofo y aunque me duela, Guille). El otro dia viendo el Mexico – USA del 2002 vi (ya no recordaba) que metio a Sigifredo Mercado,  Garcia Aspe (que nomas entro a tirar patadas y echar madres) y Luis Hernandez, todos viejisimos y sin mucho que aportar. Sobretodo Sigifredo Mercado. Nomas de escribir su nombre me siento mal, neta. Y no parece que haya aprendido mucho desde entonces.

Mexico – South Africa

Okay, I’m lazy so I’m gonna write the post in English first (as most spanish speakers I think would stop by here are fluent enough), and then work on a translation if I’m not tired or bored or watching football.

Long story short: if you can watch a World Cup game in 3-D, and it’s not more money than you’d spend going out for the length of a soccer game, do so. It is awesome.

So now, my overall impressions on the inaugural game:

Mexico got what it deserved, it fielded a ridiculously defensive XI that while nominally a relatively offensive 4-3-3 it was only 3 actual offensive players in the pitch (1 GK, 6 Def, 1 Def Mid, 3 FWs). There was not one single creative midfielder in the pitch when the game started. What. The. Fuck.

Also, the leaky defense. What’s the point of having 6 defenders in your team if you’re going to make every free kick/corner kick/counter attack from the other team, a scoring chance? Quantity over Quality, I suppose. The “we’re the 2nd shortest team” excuse is pure bullshit: they don’t head the ball because their heads are above mexicans’, but because they are left unmarked. Also, Osorio was entirely absent from the game. It shows he played about 15 minutes last season at Stuttgart. On every long ball that “Maza” Rodriguez would chase down, he was nowhere to be seen. He’s slow. He never seemed to be anywhere useful (like chasing down a galloping southafrican). I hope Hector Moreno replaces him against France, I really do.

Offensively, Guille was (sadly) used more to run down defenders and spearhead the team’s pressing efforts. Overall, they just weren’t fed enough balls, which of course is hard to when your midfield is one defensive midfielder (Torrado), a center back (Marquez), and a full back (Juarez). Giovanni did stand out; he created the most opportunities, worried the south africans the most, and had two close shots. Guille had a couple near goals. Of course, he should’ve scored, but I wouldn’t call them huge misses.

The midfield didn’t really exist. Ball possession and movement was dictated by the back four, Juarez didn’t last a hundredth of a second after receiving the ball before he turned back. Rafa Marquez did give the offense a bit of vision with his trough passes, but the team’s passing rhythm shouldn’t have stood on his shoulders. I’ve never been impressed with Torrado, he always get carded unnecessarily, lacks passing finesse and isn’t terribly impressive hounding the opponent’s midfielders.

And as for the keeper, where to start. 99.999% of the country (basically everybody but Aguirre and Perez) was shocked he was called initially. And this is when everybody assumed he was just going to share his experience with the younger (and more importantly, better) goalkeepers. I find it indefensible that he was in the pitch today. While he didn’t make a huge mistake (like, failing to control an easy shot that finds its way past the goal line and such), I think his performance was bad. On top of it, I doubt the team feels secure with him, he seems nervous on every damn ball he touches. While I wouldn’t say the goal was his fault, I think a better goalkeeper would’ve taken a couple more steps ahead which could’ve given him a chance to deflect the ball. At that speed he wasn’t going to lob the ball, anyways. And on pretty much every corner and cross ball, he seemed insecure going for the ball. He did entirely, and horribly miss the ball on a corner -even jumping for it and missing it by about a meter.- He failed to handle easy balls, giving at least a couple corners, and a couple hard balls for the defense to clear. I think he’s going to end up costing Mexico points.

I think “Vasco” Aguirre was too worried of receiving a goal on the first half, so he sent an overly defensive team. I cannot think of another reason to have precisely zero offensive-minded midfielders. Yeah, I know Efrain Juarez is good going forward, but he’s not a naturally offensive player, he lacks the instinct. He doesn’t shoot when there’s an opening (compare to Giovanni), for example. I get it that he wants to build the team from the back, but wouldn’t you rather focus on having your back 4 not give that many chances rather than just field more defensive players?

Now, player “ratings”:

  • Oscar “Conejo” Perez: Terrible. Insecure. Gave away too many easy balls. Not at all the image of an “experienced, secure goalkeeper” he’s supposed to be. At least, that’s the only reason that relatively makes sense when thinking about why Memo Ochoa is not playing. I doubt another goalkeeper will be fielded till the next World Cup, but I truly hoped that was the case. I have no confidence in him.
  • Paul Aguilar: So-so. Had a couple good runs down the line. Not terribly required defensively. I didn’t mind him, but I think he’s nowhere near being essential to the well-functioning of the team.
  • Ricardo Osorio: Terrible. Slow. Out of pace. Another “experienced veteran” who’s not justifying Aguirre’s faith in him. I hope (and I think this one has somewhat better chances than with Conejo) he is replaced by Moreno. Real soon.
  • Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez: He had a decent game, I think. He could’ve done a bit more on the goal and on that last play that ended with the goal post saving Mexico, but I think it was a very thin line to giving away a penalty kick (playing against the host nation, opening game). I’m happy with how he played.
  • Carlos Salcido: I expected a lot more from him. I didn’t see him running down the line like he usually does (maybe due to South Africa also playing overly defensive and stacking the midfield). Not a bad game, but I wouldn’t say he shined.
  • Rafa Marquez: Good game. He ended up playing as third center back half the time (because Mexico wasn’t playing a defensive enough scheme, of course). He provided needed experience, and his trademark through balls helped change the rhythm of play. He was the one who protested calls, since captain Torrado somehow wasn’t notified that’s part of his duty. I have no clue why he was not the team captain. Aguirre really likes “his” players. I suppose all coaches do, but still. He was cold as the most seasoned striker on his goal. Exceptional finish there.
  • Gerardo Torrado: unsurprising dull game. He kicked a bunch of people, he ran around, he missed half his passes forward. He earned his customary yellow. I didn’t see him talk much to the team (he was the captain), giving instructions, etc. Not precisely bad on defense, but contributed about zero offensively. He’s probably Aguirre’s favorite man because he “plays hard” or something. I’ve never been a fan of his.
  • Efrain Juarez: Bad game. He’s one of those full backs that contribute enough offensively that coaches start playing them ahead of their natural position. I think he should be the right back, and leave his midfield spot to an actual midfielder (preferably an offensive one). For the first time, he seemed like a rookie. His yellow card was incredibly stupid (who kicks the ball so the other team can’t hit a free kick a meter away from the ref? Repeatedly!?). He was way too meek offensively. I do expect him to improve, but I think he had his worst game with the National Team.
  • Carlos Vela: So-so. He had a couple good plays, but wasn’t nearly as active with the ball as Giovanni. Maybe because Salcido plays so high up that he’s never getting any open spaces. His pass to Guille that was miraculously saved by the keeper was excellent.
  • Guille Franco: So-so (and it pains me to say so).  He had a couple headers and that shot that the keeper barely touched. I’d say only one of the two headers was a clear chance, but still. I think 5 years ago, he would’ve come out with two goals.
  • Giovanni dos Santos: Man of the match. Without giving his best performance. Particularly in the second half, he suffered from just not being fed enough balls by the midfield. He was the one that kept the Southafrican defense on their toes. He was the only one that seemed to know that it is allowed to outrun a defender, maybe even dribble past them! I expect him to play better and better in the coming games.

Now, the subs:

  • Andres Guardado: Didn’t seem to be mentally in the match. He did have that excellent assist to Rafa, though. Never got a chance to run down the pitch like he does. I was hoping he’d be a second Giovanni, on the left. I hope he starts the next game. Mexico needs an offensive midfielder like him from the start.
  • Cuauhtemoc Blanco: Inconsequential. He kept the ball a bit, he passed the ball. He tried to change the team’s passing rhythm. I wouldn’t say he had a bad game, nor a good one. I think it wasn’t the kind of game where he could have (nowdays, not 4-10 years ago) made a difference. He wasn’t gonna be given the 3-4 seconds he needs to control, turn around and flick the ball, to be effective.
  • Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez: Inconsequential. I’m glad el Vasco is not succumbing to pressure to field him in the starting lineup. He’s nowhere near experienced enough to bear the weight of being Mexico’s striker. I’m quietly afraid he’ll turn out to dissapoint (he had one amazing half short season, that is, about 10 matches, against the bottom half of the league”s teams; and that’s it). I hope he keeps seeing minutes in, to gain experience and hopefully score a goal.

Overall, I think Mexico has potential to play very competitively, but keeps failing to do so. Part due to (in my opinion) tactical mistakes or miscalculations, and part due to players’ mistakes. I hope they improve, but if anything, el Vasco is a terribly stubborn man. I doubt he’ll change much. I expect him to defend his “system” till the end and make few adjustments (different subs, probably). It’s too early to have a serious notion of how things will turn out, but right now I’d say I’m less hopeful than yesterday.

Now, as for 3-D. It was amazing. I don’t know how to explain it, except to say that if you went to see Avatar in 3-D, it looks that good and real. Special thanks go to the people at Cinepolis, for bringing 3-D World Cup matches to Monterrey (and other cities in Mexico), and Bancomer for giving away tickets to Credit Cardholders like moi. Sweet!

Just waiting for the game to start, looking at images from people at the Stadium had me in awe, but I was afraid the action would not look as good, maybe even a little headache-inducing. I was gladly mistaken, I didn’t feel motion sick in the slightest, and there was not even a hint of a headache. After a while, you kinda forget that what you’re watching has depth, and the realization seconds later only makes it sweeter.

So yeah, the purely watching experience was amazing and I highly recommend it, the part about watching a game played poorly by Mexico, not so much. Will I fork out $300 pesos (~$25 USD) to watch another match? I’m not sure: a)it’s a bit pricey, not only for me but for friends who’d potentially go with me; b)The ambient was nice, but I think watching it at home with friends is still better (for ambient’s sake); c)There’s only movie theater food, and at 9AM, I I want something more substantial. But this is taking into account that I already watched a game, which does change things.

Watching the final in 3-D, or one of those amazing quarter/semi-finals sounds very tempting indeed…

P.S. Swear to FSM, after I left the theater, I swear I could still see things in 3-D without the special glasses. Probably some brain-optical illusion, I know!

Update- I forgot, the commentators were kinda bad. The play-by-play wasn’t bad, but since about the 30th minute, the analysis guy started clamoring for Cuauh, aka (by him) “The Last Great Hero,” (El Ultimo Gran Heroe) which he proceeded not to fail to mention every single time he talked about him, which was too often to not be horribly annoyed. Pretty much everybody was scoffing at this. Inquiring minds wondered how it was possible for him to sound so clear with Cuauh’s balls in his mouth.

Song stuck in my head of the week

Aleks Syntek y la Gente Normal’s “El Camino.”

Still to this day my favorite song of his. I gotta say, I like a lot better his early stuff. This one must’ve come out between ’92 and ’94. I know it was just the musical style of the day, but I really like how pop was a lot more rocking in the early 90s (think of bands like The Cranberries). I’m sure the music he’s doing (and many other active pop artists) is likely about as good if not better, from  some kind of unbiased perspective,  than the flavor of pop that tended to come out in the early 90s; but this is stylistically much more appealing to me. Yeah, I know, you can take a man out of the nineties…

Also, every time I am in Mexico and I happen to listen to “new” pop stuff coming out, it just sounds like overproduced plastic shit to me. The anglo situation isn’t that much better as far as I’m concerned, either. Personal mostly subjective taste, again.

So yeah, can’t get it out of my head.

P.S. I don’t like using the word dated here, becuase it sounds to me like it implies it looks shitty nowdays. Still, I think the videos from that period of time have a very particular look and style. I’m sure my non-mexican friends would’ve been able to deduce that video was probably from somewhere between 1990 and 1995 even with the sound off. I also happen to dig early 90s videos. Yeah, I’m a goddamn walking aging cliche. I’m not particularly proud of this, no.

Observaciones sobre el Juego Mexico – Trinidad y Tobago

Previo al juego:

  • Suena decente el ataque: Cuauhtemoc de inicio, Nery, Guardado, Guille. Chingado, creo que vi a Arce, espero estar equivocado.
  • Otra vez el conejo. *sigh*
  • TyT viene todavia mas parchado que Mexico. Si no pueden contra ellos en el Azteca, mejor que manden a un equipo juvenil lo que queda de las eliminatorias.
  • Hubiera preferido a Galindo en la central con Maza, y Salcido de lateral. Me gusto mas como jugo Galindo que Maza contra El Salvador.
  • Estoy de acuerdo con el pronostico de mi primo: Dos goles y una ceja va a ser la cuenta del Guille hoy.
  • El Azteca no se ve lleno. WTF?
  • Que no fue contra TyT que no se que criminal se tiro a romperle la espinilla a Cuauhtemoc? Espero que hoy no anden como en ese juego, que si mal no recuerdo, otros dos se salvaron de lesiones similares.

Medio tiempo:

  • Nery se la paso controlando como 10 segundos de mas, salvo en ese pase de primera intencion al Guille para gol.
  • Que buen gol de Guille.
  • Cuahutemoc no puede correr. Aun asi, sigue siendo el cerebro creativo del equipo por mucho.
  • Que buen jugador es guardado.
  • Rojas? El mono ese del toluca que se la ha pasado regandola? WTF?
  • Que onda con Vela? Porque ni a la banca salio? Ahorita hubiera sido mucho mejor cambio que Sabah. En Telemundo dijeron que por “Decision Tecnica.” Me suena a que o se puso muy diva, o trae lesion que no quieren hacer publica.
  • No es posible, un equipo de secundaria cabecea mejor. Porfavor ponganse a practicar remates de cabeza, no es posible.
  • Han dejado ir al menos 3 claras de gol. Gracias a eso ahora estan empatados.
  • No es posible que cometan tantos errores en una sola jugada. Primero se la pasan a Guardado al centro, cuando tenia a alguien pegado. Despues Guardado, apresurado la pasa muy suave. Encima de todo el Maza se le queda viendo, cuando el delantero no tenia a nadie en vez de salirle, y tratar de pararlo fuera del area, o minimo hacerlo que se haga para atras. Por ultimo el conejo no se decide en salir o no y se queda parado en el gol.
  • Que pedo con el conejo? Enserio, porque esta en la seleccion? Ese otro centro que sale todo mal POR ABAJO y nomas la manotea y es casi gol? Que no sabe medir balones por tierra? No es posible. Enserio que transmite una inseguridad canhona. Por favor Vasco. Como dijo le dijo el manos de piedra a Sugar Ray: “No mas.”
  • Trinidad y Tobago les estuvo dando demasiados espacios porque estaban tratando de empatar. Ahora que se fueron con el empate al medio tiempo, se van a echar todos para atras. Well fucking done, morons.
  • Dejen de hacer pases cortos en corners. Es probablemente la jugada mas idiota en el futbol.
  • No pongan a desbordar o correr a Cuauhtemoc, no puede. Dejenlo que juegue un poco mas atras.

Final:

  • No veo como Mexico, jugando como jugo, pueda ganar cualquier otro juego. Jugaron pesimo. En el Azteca. Contra el rival mas debil. Con 4 jugadores suplentes. Se veian nerviosos con miedo. Permitanme repetir esto: Se sentian nerviosos y con miedo jugando contra Trinidad y Tobago en el Azteca. Increible.
  • No se que le paso a Guille. Esta bien que no traia tanto ritmo, pero no poder terminar un juego?
  • Esperemos que Venado empiece el proximo juego. Con el por derecha y Guardado por izquierda el equipo puede tener mucho mas desborde.
  • Cuauhtemoc no esta para 90 minutos. Mas bien entrar de cambio con 30 por jugarse, pero hoy el equipo estaba limitado de cambios por la lesion de Nery, y con todo y que no traia aire, se lo avento, andubo gritando, dando indicaciones, moviendo al equipo. Muy buen juego de Cuahutemoc, considerando lo que podia dar.
  • Ok ok, lo admito. Oscar Rojas metio un golazo y tuvo un mucho mejor juego que contra El Salvador.
  • El Maza, por otro lado, tuvo un pesimo juego. Parece que no hubiera jugado un solo partido en un anho.
  • Guardado no para de correr, por momentos era el unico que se veia que tenia urgencia por anotar y jugar.
  • Increible como al final solo se veia un monton de jugadores parados. Nadie se movia. Nadia sabia para donde moverse. El venado tuvo un par en que tuvo que cruzar la cancha con el balon porque nadie hacia nada. Todos estaban parados esperando no se que. Parece que no subieran que hacer sin balon.
  • Castro dio un buen juego. Espero que puedan contar con Leandro para el proximo juego, pero si fuera entre el y Torrado, no estoy seguro a quien prefiera. Tal vez Castro.
  • Como hace falta Rafa Marquez.
  • Gracias a FSM que no entro Arce. Lo vi calentar y me dio un escalofrio.
  • No es posible que le estuvieran dando 2/3 de la cancha a TyT para salir jugando sin absolutamente nada de presion. Increible.
  • No se si fue porque es el fin de las Ligas, pero nadie corria. Salvo Guardado y Medina (que andaba mas fresco) no parecia que nadie tuviera condicion para jugar un juego completo al nivel que se requiere. Imaginense que hubieran jugado contra Holanda. Perdian 5-0. Facil.
  • Si no tienen rematadores (Guille mas o menos, pero estaba empezando muy detras), para que se la pasan mandando los balones a las bandas y tratando de desbordar hasta la linea de meta en todas las jugadas? Que paso con entrar en diagonales? Tirar de fuera? Venado empezo a entrar por el centro y genero peligro. Rojas hizo uno de los pocos tiros de media distancia que iban a gol y anoto. Los demas querian entrar con balon dominado hasta la linea de gol. O mandar un centro y esperar que Borgetti se bajara de la tribuna y rematara.
  • Falta alguien que tome mas control de medio campo. No se puede que Osorio y Maza sean los que empiezan las jugadas. No es lo de ellos. Se necesita alguien de peso que distribuya el balon y ponga ritmo. Hay jugadores asi en Mexico en la actualidad?
  • No quiero pensar los corajes que hizo el Vasco hoy en la banca. Dejaron ir al menos 5 jugadas de gol, y permitieron por errores otras 5 jugadas de peligro para TyT.
  • Probablemente hasta Tigres le hubiera ganado a TyT 3-0.
  • Necesitan haber cambios en actitud, dinamica y convocados. Este era el juego mas facil del hexagonal, y vean como termino. Con Mexico con miedo de que le empaten, regalando el balon, jugando a nada. Contra Trinidad y Tobago. Que solo anoto porque Mexico le regalo el gol. Como le quieren meter un gol a Estados Unidos o Costa Rica?
  • Sigo teniendo fe en el Vasco, pero el juego de hoy estuvo deprimente. No se le ven pies ni cabeza. Pareciera que  el equipo sub-17 de Mexico estaba jugando contra el Manchester Utd. en Old Trafford, salvo honrosas excepciones, por la actitud de los jugadores.
  • Cuanto tiempo tiene el Vasco para sacudir a la Seleccion antes del proximo juego? Podemos lanzar otra ronda de BaconFlu y retrasar un poco la agenda?

EDIT- Se me olvido: Que hace Sabah en la Seleccion? Si lo quieren probar con la Seleccion porque lleva un par de temporadas buenas, para eso estan los amistosos y las fases previas en la Clasificacion. Ayer no tenia nada que hacer, y no hizo nada mas que dejar ir goles.

Today’s lesson in Mexspanish

Gordibuena

This word has always cracked me up. Yes, mexicans are chauvinist pigs. But they come up with some hilarious words.

I just found out this blog, but so far it’s pretty hilarious. Some words/concepts/attitudes I would say are not unique to Mexico city, but to most (or all, or at least Monterrey) of Mexico. Some others sound terribly chilangas (from Mexico City).

I’m back, bitches!

I am back in Long Island after a rather excellent holiday break in Monterrey, Mexico.

First things first: Music! I try to buy a couple CDs everytime I go to Monterrey. Latin Rock, stuff I can’t easily find here. I haven’t really been keeping up with new acts coming out of Mexico and Latin America, and from what I hear, bands in the 90s were doing better stuff. I guess I’m getting old.

There’s one relatively new band (first album came out ~2001) that I really like. Zoé, from Mexico. I already had their first album (Eponymous), which is pretty awesome. This time, I knew they had just released a new one, but when I went to the record store I saw their second album (Rockanlover), which has a song I love, and bought it. Fittingly enough, the song’s name is Love (yes, Love, in english). Here’s the vid of this mexican beatlesque poppy goodness:

I usually don’t like the tendency in latin music (in general) to always have some esoteric flavor in the lyrics. I guess I’m just tired of it. Still, this part just works for me:

y ahora estoy perdido aqui, en mañanas con tres soles,

y multiples visiones, montañas transparentes,

anémonas de luz, partículas de amor y recuerdos de ti,

Love, love, love.

and now I’m lost in here, with three sun mornings,

multiple visions, transparent hills,

anemones of light, love particles, and memories of you,

Love, love, love.

The other CD I bought was Soda Stereo’s “Sueño Estereo” released back in the mid-nineties. It kicks ass. Here’s “Ella uso mi cabeza como un revolver” (She used my head as a revolver), the opening track:

Edit: If you were wondering, yes that is a Theremin on the second verse of ‘Love.’ Are they badass or what?

It’s not -all- bad, you know…

I have found that listening to Cafe Tacuba’s cover of “Ojalá Que Llueva Café” has the effect of making me feel better about Mexico, no matter how good or bad I’m feeling. Here’s a youtube video of them playing it live:

They took a song by Dominican Artist Juan Luis Guerra, and turned it into a Huapango/Son Huasteco (for an EP of all covers they did). This is probably my favorite kind of mexican folk music (Huapangos). I’m sure it has spanish and caribbean influences, but to me it sounds uniquely mexican. And awesome.

I wish I had some cool cultural street-cred story of my first contacts with this awesome music, but I’m afraid my love for huapangos had a far from glamorous beginning. As best as I can remember, I “discovered” them watching old 40s-50s (Golden Era) Mexican Movies, in particular “Los Tres Huastecos,” starring Pedro Infante. This scene, for example, showcases some regional variations of the style, following the theme of the movie (Triplets, all played by Pedro Infante, each living in a different state of the Huasteca Valley: Tamaulipas, Veracruz and San Luis Potosi).

Thought I’d share some Mexican Folk Music I love.