1. Landon Donovan is one of the fastest players on the US team. Ordinarily, players don't run past him. Efrain Juarez did exactly that to get into the penalty area and set up Mexico's winner eight minutes from time. That one play illustrated why a game at the Azteca isn't a true measuring stick for the Nats. They were playing in conditions that had a major impact on the performance of our players. I wouldn't judge the US for slipping and sliding around if they played on a glacier; I would judge them for failing to make proper crosses while playing in a typhoon; and I won't judge them for being a gear slower than the Mexicans in Mexico City. The US players often looked like they were in quicksand. The altitude had the greatest effect on the US midfielders because they play the position that requires the most running.
2. That said, there were several Americans whose performances were disappointing. Clint Dempsey was completely absent from the game. Carlos Bocanegra's positioning was dreadful at times. Collectively, Dempsey and Bocanegra represented the American left, which explains why every attack that Mexico mounted on its right flank seemed dangerous. I've seen Gio dos Santos on plenty of occasions because he came up through the Barca youth system. He's the same guy who couldn't get off the bench for mid-table Spurs this pas season. He isn't Marc Overmars, but our defense made him look as such.
3. Charlie Davies, holy hell! I'd barely heard of him before this summer, but he was terrific at the Confederations Cup and he was excellent in the game today. His run and finish for the goal were perfect and he came oh so close to nodding Stuart Holden's inviting cross goalward in the second half when Mexico gave the slightest signs of pushing too far forward.
4. You would have to say that that was an eventful game for Landon Donovan. He set up the U.S. goal, then his giveaway in the midfield started the move for Mexico's equalizer, then he was beaten like a drum for the winner (although I'm willing to cut him some slack as described above). Donovan was certainly more of a threat than Dempsey on the opposite wing, but he still has weaknesses.
5. Between the excitement of Andres Cantor and the atmosphere at the Azteca, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching the game. That game, in a nutshell, is why I find soccer so compelling.