Aztex Let One Get Away
The Austin Aztex lost a golden chance to make up ground in the playoff chase Saturday, giving up two goals to the Montreal Impact in the last 13 minutes and settling for a 2-2 draw that felt more like a loss by the end. The Aztex dominated early in the second half, and got a goal and an assist each from Gifton Noel-Williams and A.J. Godbolt, before the meltdown. Montreal actually put the ball in the net five times in a 12-minute span, but three strikes were ruled out for offsides. Then after all that, the Aztex appeared to have snatched back a win in extra time, but Ryan Caugherty was judged to have fouled the Montreal keeper before scoring. So begins a tough three-game road swing, starting with Charleston and Carolina this Thursday and Saturday. The good news: the Aztex will have striker Jean Alexandre back on loan from Real Salt Lake; he nailed the probable goal of the year last month in Puerto Rico.
The Aztex U-23s bowed out of the PDL playoffs last Wednesday with a 2-1 loss to West Texas United.
Throughout the Gold Cup tournament, folks were talking about how young and green the U.S. was. In Sunday's final, they showed just what can happen to such a team, as a troubled Mexico roared to life, and totally dismantled the Americans in front of 80,000 fans in Giants Stadium, with five second-half goals, and their first win on U.S. soil in over 10 years. Next: a key World Cup qualifier Aug. 12 at the Azteca in Mexico City, where no American team has never won. It'll be a whole different U.S. squad, but a stronger Mexico as well, and 5-0 is a powerful motivator, both ways.