Copa Dope - Tri-mendous!

And this is why El Tri are so frustrating. On the right end of a 2-0 for once, they dominated a Brazil side without some of its leading stars, but one that still had to be favorites for the Copa alongside Argentina. Much like in the World Cup or Confederations Cup, when you take away Mexico's "big fish in a small CONCACAF pond" superiority complex, they focus, drop the tantrums, quit abusing the refs (too much), and get on with being one of the more talented sides in international futbol.

Olympiakos probably had to take their phones off the hook and run a serious eye over the state of their bank accounts after Nery Castillo's fantastic opener. I thought he was the standout player in the Gold Cup final despite Mexico's eventual loss, and he showed that he's the real deal with another great outing against Brazil. Even though GolTV seemed to have turned down the crowd noise, you could hear a palpable buzz every time he started to run with the ball. The only downsides to his performance were probably that he held the ball a bit too long on occasion and that howler of a miss in the late going after having done all the hard work. Almost a miss of Beasley-esque proportions you might say, though at least Castillo had done all the work himself, rather than throwing away the efforts of a teammate.

You have to think that this quells some of the flames being lit under Hugo Sanchez after an unimpressive set of friendly performances and the disappointment of the Gold Cup. He still needs to make a bit of a run in this tournament, but if he can hang on to the job after the Copa, he's got some attacking talent of massive potential coming up through the ranks of some of Europe's powerhouse clubs. This is a team that could blossom into a real threat in South Africa in three years' time - I just wish they weren't so hard to pull for sometimes.

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