MLS Talk Podcast: US-Mexico Postgame with Jamie Trecker


Jamie Trecker, the senior soccer writer at FOX Soccer joins us to break down USA-Mexico. Hear Trecker’s views about the tactics used by Bob Bradley, Mexico’s recent success against the US and the state of the national team. A must listen podcast for any fan of the USMNT.

33 thoughts on “MLS Talk Podcast: US-Mexico Postgame with Jamie Trecker”

  1. Listened 4 minutes in and stopped. I’m sorry, but losing to mexico in azteca and losing to brazil in a final really isn’t a moment where i am going to say the USMNT is in a terrible place. We are joining a large company, and the fact remains we don’t have world class talent, so to expect us to compete with teams with world class talent is ridiculous. (not refering to mexico more so brazil and Italy) Someone in USSF must have really pissed off Jamie Trecker. We clearly don’t have the talent yet to overcome the obstacles that are present in Azteca, and to send a B- team up against an A- Mexican team. If one has watched some of our youth teams the future seems promising. To say the USSF is failing and needs very serious questions to be asked about its competence is crazy. Now if we were struggling to qualify or not qualifying whatsoever for the World cup than sure, but we are far from that. If you want to look at organizations with serious problems look at the SFA or the CSA. Bob Bradley has chosen to use a fairly young group so inconsistence should be expected. The experience they gain though will be valueable come 2010.

    1. “The experience should be valuable…” What a pathetic statement…Have ask the right questions, Like Why did Bob Bradley change his lineup from the lineup he used at the Confederation Cup…? Why Bob was training in Miami instead of Denver Elev 6000 or even better Santa Fe NM 6700…?
      That the kind of question that real soccer fans need to ask in order to make the right decision about the future of our so call “”Coach.”

  2. Trekker…

    Hmmmm lets see….USA can’t keep shape, USA needs its own style, Bob Bradley must go!

    I haven’t listened to it yet, but at this point Trekker is a broken record.

    If USSF fires Bob, who the hell replaces him by the way Jaimie???

    1. The man is a pathetic choise of a soccer coach…Why still defending him …? That is the reason why we lose the game, because people like you defend this situation

    2. Who is going to replace Bradley..?.We can get a no name coach from South America that’s all we need . We have the talent…We need a real coach…

  3. I like the gloom and doom stuff, because its true.

    We have the players and we should be expecting more, more than Bradley having no faith in his players and bunkering in the 20th minute.

  4. I have to say, Kartik, that you and Jamie appear to be have brought old grudges and biases along as you watched the match live. I did not see the game you’re describing, at all. I saw a game that disappointed me, sure, but not a catastrophic disaster area. It seems that the team’s errors and failings at various points in the match were the only things you paid any attention to, while good plays and smart choices (and these were, in fact, present) didn’t fit your prior narrative and were ignored. It seems you are both so caught up in writing a story about the US achieving clear dominance in CONCACAF and then pissing it away again that you are now attributing mystical significance to every misstep by the squad and the Federation, while belittling in your minds and in your commentary anything that the team has done right.

    I don’t think Bradley is good enough to get us out of the group stage in South Africa, and I too would prefer to see another coach. But you’re both just going way over the top here. Way. Over. The. Top.

  5. Jeez, Tim, how’d you figure that one…let me guess–Miss Cleo give you a clue?

    The US does blow the game, but that somehow equals amateurish performance, just like the Gold Cup final. Some of what Trecker says has merit–the US hasn’t played as spectacularly as the increased converge tells us; Bradley’s tactical moves have been, in the past, poor; the team does not consistently play well. “Learning lesions” is a problem, and what the US soccer media needs to hold Bradley to account for these consistent problems.

    Against this, though, the US did not play well but not as badly as our twin Cassandras pose. Mexico only scored twice, unlike the 5-0 victory that earned twice as many chances as today’s game. The US form, while not as solid as in the Spain game, was not that bad. Actually, Mexico didn’t have that many solid chances in a game it dominated ONLY in possession. I don’t have space to rebut the rest of this maudlin carping, and serial denigration of US performances during the summer (Trecker now counts luck as being a significant factor in the Spanish victory, significant enough to mention in this broadcast), but check Wahl’s piece for a bit more balance on today’s game.
    The one thing Trecker keeps carping on is style and how the US needs a defined style for the players to succeed. He should mean a coherent strategy for each game. The US does not need its own catenaccio; if the US should have any style, it should take a page from American philosophy and promote pragmatism, the subjugation of style to efficacy. Whatever will win the game is how the US should play. If Trecker is right, then Total Football should have been a complete, utter failure, an impossible way for a team to play. What he is right about is that the US seems to troublingly lack certain tactical sensibilities (what players are expected to do in a game); what players need is not some grad system in which they are cogs, but rather a solid game plan. To this end, I wish you would have focused a bit more on Bradley’s subs for this game, which we far more aggressive than in the Gold Cup and allowed for the US to play a decent spell of ball (between 5-15 mins of ball) after Holden and Feilhaber were brought on. The main question is whether or not Bradley’s strategy—either going into the game, or becoming more defensive after the first goal was scored, or more seemingly offensive/possession-minded after the insertions of Holden and Feilhaber—was destroyed by horrid passing from the defensive backs or between midfielders, which made Altidore’s addition completely inconsequential.

    Finally, the rollercoaster that is the US men’s national team will not kill the soccer in this country—yes, it may make success more difficult, but soccer interest will increase when ESPN, FSC, and other channels pick up major world leagues. We just saw a series of extraordinarily successful visits by top sides to the US. MLS, while struggling, is keeping a fairly level attendance; its continued existence—through this very rough economic time—allows for consistent engagement with the non-soccer fan. Yes, TV ratings need to get higher, as does the league’s play generally, but the MLS seems to be here to stay—something that was questionable even a decade ago. So there are other factors that can save or sink soccer in America beyond the plight of the US men’s national team. Remember, just because ESPN decides to suddenly give five minutes of air time to the national team does not mean that the reason why it did—the US’s successful Confederations Cup—is the only way for that to happen again.

    *A point about World Cup qualifying…Kartik, since you do have knowledge of the confederation, it would be nice to see an analysis of the strengths of CONCACAF in 2006 and 2010. I think it will add strength to the argument that this year’s Hex is far more contested than in 2006; in general, I think the quality of CONCACAF has gone up and that it is a better league, top to bottom, than Asia. And a general analysis of the strength of the 2005-2006 campaigns against the 2008-2009 campaigns would add a lot of necessarily clarity to make your dire suggestions more plausible, although they do, I admit, have some validity.

  6. So how long ago did Trecker have this take written? A week ago? Two weeks ago? I could have called your podcast (after smoking two packs of Marlboros, drinking a pot of scalding coffee, and writing a couple of crappy books) and you wouldn’t have been able to tell him from me.

  7. Wow, I was expecting a negative reaction, but that was wayyyy over the top. Kartik, I was hoping you would hold Trecker a little more accountable for some of these crazy viewpoints. You usually seem to argue for the voice of reason when it comes to the USNT, but Trecker is off his rocker. Sure, the team played poorly today after the first 10 minutes, but to use this single game to further all of these wild, unfounded claims is well, unfounded.

    I’d like to see the gameplan for when we fire Bradley and turn the team upside down a year before South Africa. What is his plan? How would Jamie Trecker turn around US Soccer? I’m sure he could lead a team into the Azteca and get a win, maybe we should just give him the job.

    Costa Rica and Mexico have caught and perhaps surpassed the United States? How would either of those 2 teams fare in the Confed Cup? What about all of the doom and gloom that surrounded Mexico the last 6 months? Does that change with one game? Costa Rica sure did well on the road in Honduras tonight, haha. Sure, we can’t win in Azteca, nobody can, does this mean the sky is falling on US Soccer? Should we be suddenly scared that the US might not qualify? Of course not.

    To dismiss everything good that has happened this Summer for US Soccer due to one mostly bad performance (in a place where the US has never won) seems to be a bit harsh. I would’ve liked to see Altidore and Spector continue to play. But, then again, guys like Dempsey, Donovan, Clark, Bradley didn’t show up either. However, today shouldn’t completely wipe away all the progress made this summer. Let’s see what happens the next few games before we start blowing it up and rebuilding.

    And to think that the American sporting public is going to all of a sudden turn off soccer due to this game is ludicrous. Everything is invested in to 2010 South Africa. That will define what happens with soccer in this country in the near future. I think we all were hoping for a better, more consistent performance today, but to basically throw in the towel for the whole enchilada (sorry for the cheap Mexican pun) is insane.

  8. Kartik,
    Paul expressed how I feel about this match better than I ever could (yeah Paul!!)
    If you want Treker (your right) on your show then I suggest you wait 24 hrs and let him cool down then MAYBE…Maybe… he can objectively break down a match. He obiviouly can not separate his emotions from his thinking and I found it disappointing to hear you sound the same way. Sorry.
    I relistened to the podcasts during the Confed Cup the other day and noticed after listening tonight that Treker is in no way nearly as passionate after the US WINS!!

    1. Cool down…How could I cool down after our coach was training in Miami for a game in Mexico City…? How could I cool down after our DUMB coach change the excellent lineup he used in the confederation ?

  9. Do you guys get paid to provide this type of analysis? I do not think you understand American soccer history. We lose 2 finals with 2 different teams and at AZTECA 2 – 1 and U S soccer has major problems? Please, brush up on your skill as analysts!!

  10. Maybe you are only as good as your last performance.

    I for one agree with some points made by Trecker and Kartik in this podcast and even though the way in which it was presented was pretty much overrun with emotion, I kind of like that sometimes, instead of some sterile B.S. ESPN analysis from Lalas etc..

    There is no denying that the US squad just blanked after their go ahead goal. Once again it is frustrating to see them play hopeful balls or just give the ball up so easily. The words right out of my mouth when the game was over were, “can’t wait for the ..lessons learned bit, by Bradley –how about F-ing learning the lesson and winning one for once.”

    It boggles the mind why they simply can not possess the ball, look for an opening and attack. What did we have like two shots on goal today? Watching Mexico dominate the possession was like watching a power play in hockey…eventually they were going to score another goal.

    Reading some of the other posts on why we should not see this as such doom and gloom feeds a little bit into the problem itself. I have read a lot of articles and blogs this last year or so… really starting to pay attention to Bradley with last years friendly matches starting with Spain, and I can not remember one single time where someone said that Bradley is the best coach that we can get for the job. I am not sure that anyone believes he can take this team as far as their potential can take them. However if so many are just going to be apathetic about it and not call for his head then maybe we deserve what we get.

    When you look back on this summer of soccer we really had two solid games against the African champions and then Spain. All the WQ qualifying games have been littered with bad spells or a bad half or just bad altogether. We had a good half against Italy and then Brazil in the final..oh yeah and I saw the game where they demolished one of the strongest teams in the world Grenada. Through it all, I can say US has had poor defending (especially by getting beat on the flanks and not stepping up in front of the attacker) bad play out of the back, long balls, no creativity or control in the midfield and emotional reckless play causing card after card. The coach has made strange subs, strange starting line-up choices, obvious tactical mistakes, playing the favorites game along with out of left field ideas such as starting Wynne because he plays on turf, not to mention hypocritical statements like playing Altidore yet not playing Adu because he needs to be having minutes at his club team.

    As much as I want this team to improve and get past the first round in South Africa if they qualify, I have already resigned the fact that they most likely won’t and we will have to wait five more years with hopefully some new faces. Maybe this team changes if Jones comes in and starts to link up with balls out wide to Donovan or Dempsey.

    Anyway, it was a disappointing game today.

  11. Trekker: “US Soccer is a lot like General Motors”


    Trekker full of insults towards supporters of USSF and BB. No real hard analysis.

    Kartik, since when is Concacaaf weaker than Asia?

    Trekker, since when does defensive football always lose? Didn’t Italy win using this strategy in 2006? Isn’t this a good strategy in high altitude high temperature stadiums? I’m glad you aren’t choosing strategies for our teams.

    Agree on Spector. Agree on not playing Ching or Dolo. Agree on Altidore.

    DeMerit and Boca and Gooch played well Trekker. Come on man. “lack of poise”??? They played well! The impetus behind both goals against us was Donovan to be honest… first goal he sat around crying about a no call and let the mexican midfield by him, second goal he got beat to the sideline set up goal #2. Our defense played great.

    “either the team stinks or the coach stinks”… dude Trekker you sound like Jim Rome with your “biting” analysis… so absolute with no reasoning or analysis to back it up whatsoever. you only speak in conclusions in trekker with no reasoning.

  12. Pretty much what everyone else said. Trecker had this article written three months ago. He’s a tired doucebag who hides his own lack of soccer analysis by trying to be controversial. Please find someone like Bobby McMahon to come on and break down the match instead.

  13. Well for those of you who expected a look on the bright side podcast you should have known better.

    I would direct the glass is half full group, me included, to the Kartik’s pre-game preview with the Reuters reporter. The point was made there that the Concacaf qualification finals is extremely difficult. Little mention is made of that FACT by US doom and gloom merchants or the Euro-press that dominates the soccer media. It is next to impossible to win on the road in Mexico and Costa Rico as we know. No credit is given to the uS or the other group teams for that. Honduras is no push-over and El Salvador will battle you. The case was made by the guest that talented teams from the region did not even make the final round.

    So, as I said elsewhere, Mexico came how close to a draw that would have put their chances for SA in how much trouble in their fortress? Half full maybe.

  14. Still the bottom line that I was trying to stress is that the USA is FIVE points off the pace from the 2005 hex. To me that is serious regression. You are judged more by World Cups and World Cup qualifying than by Gold Cups, Confed Cup and Friendlies.

    Costa Rica’s team currently is weaker than they were in 2002 or 2006. They have a massive home field advantage at Saprissa no doubt, but that doesn’t mean you give up two goals in the first 12 minutes there. As far as last night, their are ways to pack the back and play defensively and be successful and the US did not do it. The gaps between the holding midfielders and the backs were alarming. It’s as if Rico Clark and Michael Bradley didn’t get the same memo as the backs did. And we had ZERO play up the flanks, another tactic that you can use to relive the pressure from the opposition if you are playing for a draw.

    Asia is stronger than CONCACAF. Iran has missed the World Cup outright and Saudi Arabia is going to a playoff. I think truthfully, at worst Iran with much of their team based in good European leagues finishes 4th but probably 3rd in CONCACAF.

    I like Honduras alot as everyone knows on this site, but they don’t have the international pedigree to be compared to either Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    1. Kartik, valid enough that the US is behind the pace from last time. However, if what we say is true here about the rest of the region having great players, having players on big European clubs, and having home field advantages, then we should be behind the 2005 pace.

      So, the old adage of having your cake and eating too applies, if Concacaf is better as a whole as we argue here( and I believe) then there should be no stroll to South Africa.

      I do agree that if Bradley did design a defensive strategy for the game he could of done it in better ways. Yet, if camp had opened earlier may the defense have looked better? If players were not coming to Miami at the last minute, ie: the Houston players, would we have looked better? Even the vocal opponents of Bradley may have to agree that the team looks better the longer it is together and playing under him in a tourney. One again gets back to that Bradley did not have win penciled in here but came within minutes of giving Mexico a setback they may not have recovered from.

  15. Part of this rivalry is fueled by a wacked-out conspiracy theory that the U.S. kept Mexico out of the 1990 World Cup. Mexico did not qualify for the 1990 World Cup because it was suspended by FIFA for using overage players to qualify for the 1989 World Youth Championships. That harsh punishment was suspected by some people as a FIFA ploy to help the U.S. reach the 1990 World Cup. It remained a contentious point between the Mexican soccer community and the U.S. soccer community for years even to the point that Mexico’s soccer officials perpetuated the rumor that Henry Kissinger helped set up the Mexican coaches who used the overage players.

    1. Yup, we discussed this extensively on a show I was a guest on before the February game. FIFA has to justify the US hosting the 1994 World Cup without having qualified for a World Cup in 40 years goes the theory and thus by tossing Mexico they gave the US team dominated by college kids, A-League/USISL players (today’s USL-1 and USL-2) and Indoor Soccer stars the opening to miraculously qualify for the World Cup.

      Whether it was truly a conspiracy or not, the fact is FIFA has hardly ever laid such a stark punishment for a relatively minor offense in its history.

      Mexico, recall were reigning World Cup quarter finalists, and had in Hugo Sanchez a player excelling on Real Madrid one of the best club teams on the planet at the time. The US on the other hand were dependent on players suiting up for the San Francisco Bay Seals and Fort Lauderdale Strikers (not the NASL Strikers, but the A-League team that used the same name and had some of the same players ten years older).

  16. Btw Grant Wahl is a thousands times a more prominent soccer writer in this country and paul is absolutely correct a lot more balanced and overall higher quality post game analysis is Grants or Ives.

  17. Grant Wahl is great: But Ives is a blogger who does not have the prominence, sources or credibility of Trecker. I like his work but he’s not a commentator who can analyze soccer the way Wahl, Trecker or DelAppa can. I don’t look for analysis from Ives, just news.

    As for this podcast, I tend to think Trecker is often very negative and over the top. Yesterday, however was a disgrace which shows we have made zero progress with this national team since 1997 and it was an occasion for Trecker’s gloom and doom speech to be given with some gusto, which he did.


  18. I love listening to Trekker. He says what needs to be said, not what everyone wants to hear. We need more writers like him. We need someone who will put pressure on the USSF. There are way too many “puff” pieces out there about the USMNT. How are we supposed to get better if we just sit back and wallow in our own mediocrity. I want the USMNT to be a world powerhouse, but if will never happen if no one is held responsible. And it all starts with the men in charge, Gulati and Bradley.

    Keep up the good work, Kartik.

  19. Thanks for the podcast. I haven’t listened yet, but I read your game report. I think the referee was fine. There was one Mexican yellow card he should have given, but didn’t. And perhaps one of the US cards was a bit soft. I thought he got everything else exactly. As usual, the players look like they’re not prepared for away matches in Latin America. I’d keep Bradley as coach however because 1. We’re still going to qualify. 2. The world cup is in neutral sites, so the away in Latin America thing isn’t a problem. 3. Any change might be worse instead of better, since there is no obvious alternative.

  20. Jamie Trecker: Tri has one, and maybe two, world class players.
    Jamie Trecker: USMT players don’t stink, but are “journeymen.”
    Jamie Trecker: Mexico dominance in Azteca yesterday is USSF’s fault and Bradley’s fault, cuz they don’t know how to win big games, even though we have the talent .
    Jamie Trecker: Sorry Bruce Arena for making a living during your tenure by basically calling for your head on a platter as my full time job. (That’s how I make my living now, but with Bradley.)

    See where this is going? The loudest Tarzan yell and pounding your chest is a good way to make a living in journalism, but a bad way to inform or say anything worth listening to.

    PS — Jamie Trecker: Having the NY Times reporter cover the USMT during an off game is “disastrous for the game.” Cf. Today’s actual NY Times. Actually, cf. everything related to the reality about which Trecker has expressed an opinion.

  21. One point..I love Jaime’s passion for the sport and the US team. That being said, I disagree with him many times. He says, the team stinks..albeit with exceptions….and Bob has to go ok? How do we fix it? Who do we get to coach….bitch all you want…what is your answer? He can bloviate all he wants but you must bring it and provide solutions.

  22. Jamie Trecker = I’m not listening to the podcast. Of course I’m sure you could care less Karik since I’m only one listener, but figured I would voice my protest anyway.

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