Here's who's having the worst Case Of The Mondays today.
After never before winning an international trophy, Chile have come into themselves the past few years and have proven themselves to be a true international force. Their Confederations Cup run looked just as promising, blanking Portugal in the semis to reach the final against Germany. There, though, their dream promptly came to an end, as Germany — Germany’s B team, to be exact — came out on top 1-0 to win the tournament. To make it worse, Germany’s one goal came directly from a Chilean defensive error — after they had been dominating the entire match so far, and had come close to scoring a couple of times. On a German counterattack that came directly after a clear-cut Chilean attack that came to nothing, Marcelo Díaz made an egregious error that Timo Werner was able to easily collect at the edge of the penalty area and pass across the goal mouth to a wide-open Lars Stindl for a tap-in far too easy for a tournament final. Chile weren’t able to come back. Chile’s team was also the oldest in the tournament in terms of average age; just four players were under 26, and none of them started more than one match. Arturo Vidal, for example, is 30 years old, and Alexis Sanchez is 28. The World Cup next year might be the last chance for Chile’s veterans to follow up on their two Copa America wins — that is, if they can even get through qualification, as they currently sit in the last South American qualification spot with Argentina and Ecuador on their heels. It will be a stressful summer for Chile, and this is not how they’d have wanted to kick it off.
The Confederations Cup was Mexico’s chance to prove they could play with the big boys outside CONCACAF ahead of next year’s World Cup. Instead, after being knocked out by the eventual winners Germany they finished fourth, blowing their lead to Portugal’s 91st minute equalizer and, soon, their winning goal in extra time. Mexico’s coach, Osorio, took a lot of heat for Mexico’s disappointment, from his squad selection to the team’s inability to capitalize on formidable attacking efforts. He has also failed to fix their defensive woes, especially since they were thrashed 7-0 by Chile. Mexico is known for their attack — from Chucky to Chicharito — but their weaker defense has really been showcased the last couple of years and was really taken advantage of this tournament. They’ll be able to score in Russia next year, especially with Tecatito back in the squad, but they won’t get anywhere near the final if they don’t sort themselves out in the back. Mexico still has a strong chance at some silverware this summer with the Gold Cup coming up very soon, even with their ‘C’ squad having been named. There is a quick turnaround for possible redemption.
It’s no question about it; Germany is the best footballing nation in the world right now at every level. Spain were amongst those at the losing end of this realization, at Friday’s U21 Championship final. Just like at the Confederations Cup, Germany came out on top of a clinical 1-0 scoreline — despite Spain being the favorites, after a dominant 3-1 win over Italy in the semifinals as well as winning the tournament back-to-back in 2011 and 2013. Germany, on the other hand, had not won a U21 title since 2009. The loss will be a shock to the Spanish, but against any other nation they could’ve done it. Germany is cleaning up across the globe.
The LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to their California rivals in the Cali Clasico this weekend. It was a dramatic victory for San Jose, as they rallied the entire game to come back from a 1-0 deficit; Wondolowski didn’t tie the match until the 75th minute and the eventual winner from Shea Salinas didn’t come til the very dying seconds of the match, in the 3rd minute of extra time. The Galaxy just couldn’t do enough to close out the match, despite being ahead for over an hour after their go-ahead goal in the 11th minute. The most successful MLS club has been struggling the past couple of years. Right now they’re sitting just above the red line with Vancouver hot on their heels, only only one point back with a game in hand. But that might change soon if Zlatan’s rumored move to Los Angeles is true...