11 July, 2011

Mexico Wins U-17 Title

You are looking at "La Moda" (the style) for Mexican soccer fans for the next 16 years or so. Hero Julio Gomez came off the bench in today's final against Uruguay after his two goal performance in the semifinal against Germany, with his head still bandaged after the nasty cut suffered on the "Olimpico" goal against Germany while taking Samed Yesil out. This delighted the fans at Estadio Azteca, many of whom wore similar head bandages in his honor.

Mexico had already secured a 1-0 lead in the final against Uruguay on a truly beautiful volley goal by captain Antonio Briseno in the 31st minute, when star forward Carlos Fierro flicked a far post cross with his head from the end line back across the face of the goal toward the six yard box. Briseno leaped in the air and volleyed the ball directly into the net, and Mexico never trailed.

Uruguay had a few chances, but FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez kept excellent command of his penalty area, even knocking Uruguay's forward Rodrigo Aguirre out of the game during a first half collision. Late in the second half, Mexico removed both forwards for defensive replacements, playing a "5-5-0" by the end of the second half, when substitute Giovani Casillas scored a last second goal on a counterattack, when all the Uruguayans had pushed forward, to make the final score 2-0.

Mexico wins the U-17 World Championship for the second time in six years, having won it previously in 2005. Julio Gomez was awarded the Golden Ball as best player of the tournament for his inspiring performance. It seems that Gomez, who will not turn 17 until August, has already made appearances for the full squad of Pachuca earlier this year.

Uruguay did not walk away empty handed, as Jonathan Cubero won the "Golden Keeper" award as the tournament's top goalkeeper. The Golden Boot was won by Ivory Coast's Souleymane Coulibaly, who is rumored to be moving from Siena in Italy's Serie A to Tottenham Hotspur. "The New Didier Drogba" scored 9 goals in only 3 matches. The tournament also featured "The New Diego Forlan" (Juan Cruz Mascia of Uruguay, rumored to be moving to Chelsea), "The New Kaka" (Lucas Piazon of Brazil, moving to Chelsea, who doesn't play like Kaka so much as looks just like him) and "The New Chicharito" (Carlos Fierro, of Chicharito's old club, Guadalajara Chivas). I don't make up these nicknames.

The guy I'm watching is Germany's right back Mitchell Weiser. I don't know why no one was calling him "The New Philip Lahm" because that is who he plays like. Look out, Bundesliga left wings, this guy is going to make you look silly for a long time. And look out, CONCACAF, Mexico is going to own us for the next 16 years.

Photo: FIFA
Video: footytube

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