Best Gold Cup Soccer Team Part 7 : Echo Season Semi-Finals -'85 Honduras, '91 Mexico, '91 USA, & '00 Canada

By kcity101us
Jul. 28, 2015

     Charlie Group started with 8 teams and now there were four : 1991 Mexico (3-0) vs. 1985 Honduras (2-1), and 1991 USA (2-1) vs. 2000 Canada (2-1). Team Mexico's win streak had reached 19 and 1985 Honduras, 1991 USA, and 2000 Canada were well aware of this. Both games were played on 2-28-2000 at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. Game 12 was first between 1991 Mexico and 1985 Honduras. There was not any real world data for this game so only Offensive and Defensive parameters were used. 1991 Mexico kept the streak alive, now it was at 20, by defeating Honduras 2-1 and Honduras was out and 1991 Mexico was in the Finals. Game 13 started 30 minutes after Game 12 between 1991 USA and 2000 Canada. There was not any data for this game, so only O/D data was used. The score was tied 1-1 so 30 minutes of extra time was put into play. The score was still tied 1-1 after extra time, so this game would be decided in a shootout. This was the 3rd shootout for 1991 USA and 2000 Canada's 2nd. Peter Vermes for the USA was first up and he shot it Top Right and scored. Richard Hastings was first for Canada and he made it Top Left as the Goalie dove right and the shootout was tied 1-1. Hugo Perez put it in Top Left and the USA was up 2-1. Jason de Vos missed Lower Left. Paul Caligiuri could not extend the lead as he shot Middle Center and the Goalie was not fooled. Carlo Corazzin's shot was blocked Lower Right. Ted Eck came up and could not shoot the game winning goal as he tried the shot and it went wide left. Roberto Palacios' shot was blocked by the Goalie's elbows. Brian Quinn could be the hero for Team USA if he made this next shot. Brian Quinn made it Top Right and Team USA won the shootout 3-1. Team USA was in the Finals with 1991 Mexico and 2000 Canada was out at 2-2.

Brian Quinn gave 1991 USA a 3-1 shootout win over 2000 Canada, and now they faced a daunting task. They had to beat 1991 Mexico twice. According to Wikipedia, "Brian Quinn (born 24 May 1960 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a retired Irish-American soccer player and coach. Quinn earned 48 caps for the US national team between 1991 and 1994 upon becoming an American citizen."

     Game 14 between 1991 Mexico and 1991 USA was played on 3-3-2000, again at the Orange Bowl in Miami. There was not any new information to input into the formula. 1991 USA shocked 1991 Mexico 2-1 which meant there would be one more winner-take-all game for the Echo Championship and it could be the first Title by a non Mexico team. Mexico's streak of 20 wins appeared insurmountable in this scenario. The Championship game was played on 3-8-2000 at the Orange Bowl. The game was tied 1-1 after regulation play, so an extra 30 minutes was necessary and one could cut the tension with a knife. Eric Wynalda of Team USA scored at the 17:17 mark from a beautiful pass from Marcelo Balboa. Mexico could not respond and the 1991 USA Team was Echo Champions and broke Team Mexico's Four-Peat as Champions.

Eric Wynalda was responsible for giving Team USA their 1st Championship, and finally breaking through the wall called "Team Mexico. According to Wikipedia, "Eric Boswell Wynalda (born June 9, 1969) is a retired American soccer player, and sports broadcaster. He is currently a soccer analyst on Fox Sports 1. Wynalda scored the first goal ever in Major League Soccer in 1996 and was the all-time leading goalscorer for the United States national team until 2008. Wynalda was described as a "shifty, dynamic player off the dribble with a heavy shot."[1] He was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2004

     Group Charlie started with eight teams so four teams were "booted" down to start Delta Group. These four teams were : 1991 USA (5-7) (this writer has been blogging College Baseball, Pro Baseball, Women's World Cup Soccer, and now Men's Gold Cup Soccer and this is the 1st time that a team that won a championship was "booted" down to the next group), 1998 USA (0-2), 1989 USA (0-4), and 1993 Jamaica (0-4). They were joined by 2002 USA for winning the Gold Cup that year, 1991 Costa Rica because 1993 Jamaica went 0-2, and 1996 USA because 1998 USA went 0-2. Yes, there were seven teams in this group and five of them were USA teams. But before they started their season, the Bravo-Charlie Challenge was going to take place for the Foxtrot Championship. In Group Charlie, 2000 Canada and 1985 Honduras had the exact same record (2-2 GD 0), but since Canada beat Honduras heads up, Canada was the #2 seed and 1985 Honduras was the #3 seed. Here is how the First Round match ups broke down : 4C 1989 Trinidad and Tobago vs. 4B 1993 USA, 3C 1985 Honduras vs. 3B 1985 Canada, 2C 2000 Canada vs. 2B 1996 Brazil, and 1B 1991 Honduras vs. 1C 1991 Mexico.

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