Copa Central: Mexico-Uruguay ends on wrong foot

The bad blood between Mexico and Uruguay did not end when the final whistle blew in their match, which featured a pair of red cards and eight yellow cards.

Following Mexico's 3-1 win in Arizona, El Tri boss Juan Carlos Osorio accused Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez of insulting him.

And the next day, Uruguayan federation president Wilmar Valdez said Conmebol was wrong to move the Copa Centenario to the United States, suggesting it had been arranged for Mexico to win.

The 21-year-old Gimenez, who could face disciplinary action, was upset with Osorio for tipping off his players about the Atletico Madrid defender's supposed weakness to his left side.

"This behavior should not be accepted from a professional soccer player," Osorio said at the post-game press conference. "It is impetuous, inappropriate behavior from a professional who not only plays in one of the best teams in the world -- Atletico Madrid -- but also in one of the best national teams in the world. I would like to say to Jose Maria Gimenez that any coach has the right to direct the play onto the weaker foot of any player in the world."

Valdez told a Uruguayan radio station that Conmebol got it wrong when it awarded the Centenario tournament to the United States.

"It erred in celebrating a tournament like this, the oldest in the world, South American soccer, here in the United States where yesterday it became very clear that it is arranged for Mexico."

Valdez said he shared responsibility for "the mistake."

CROWD COUNT. The Argentina-Chile game drew the largest crowd of the Copa Centenario as 69,491 fans turned out for the rematch of the 2015 Copa America final sin Lionel Messi, who was held out with a back injury.

The tournament is averaging 40,808 after eight games. That's more than double the average of 19,108 fans for the first set of group games a year ago at the Copa America in Chile.

Copa Centenario Crowds:
69,491 Argentina-Chile (Santa Clara, Calif.)
USA-Colombia (Santa Clara, Calif.)
60,025 Mexico-Uruguay (Glendale, Ariz.)
53,158 Brazil-Ecuador (Pasadena, Calif.)
25,560 Venezuela-Jamaica (Chicago)
20,190 Peru-Haiti (Seattle)
17,133 Costa Rica-Paraguay (Orlando)
13,466 Panama-Bolivia (Orlando)
Note: Costa Rica-Paraguay attendance was revised.

MLS CONNECTION. Blas Perez  became the first MLS player to score at the Copa Centenario, striking both goals in Panama's 2-1 win over Bolivia in its tournament debut. The Vancouver Whitecaps striker scored the first goal off a pass from San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Alberto Quintero. A third MLS player, Anibal Godoy of the Earthquakes, and three former MLS players (Jaime Penedo, Gabriel Gomez and Gabriel Gomez) started for the Canaleros.

16 comments about "Copa Central: Mexico-Uruguay ends on wrong foot".
  1. Gus Keri, June 7, 2016 at 10:09 a.m.

    There is no doubt in my mind that referees will do all they can to make sure Mexico reaches the final of Copa America Centenario. They did it at Gold Cup 2015. They have no shame. This is for a money reason only. The money generated by the Mexican fans is unbelievable and the organizers don't want to lose this massive amount of income. I can bet my money on Mexico vs. Argentina final.

  2. Claus Fischer replied, June 8, 2016 at 7:06 a.m.

    I agree, Gus. Well stated. Mexican fans do go all out for their El Tri. And - in the end - it is all about money/revenues, TV ratings, pleasing sponsors and making it look good with a ribbon and bow. We've had two Rose Bowl games so far, featuring Brazil, Colombia and Paraguay. The numbers won't lie. Though Mexico will face unfancied Jamaica at the Rose Bowl Thursday night, they will best the pitiful attendance 53,000 mark during Brazil-Ecuador by at least 19,000 more fans. People are terribly naive if they do not see that Mexico must go far into the tournament for it to be considered a success. (Yes, Mexico was better than Uruguay in this match. But that is not the point.) This is indeed why the Gold Cup is a joke. Mexico has a gold-plated reserved seat in the final - every time.

  3. P R replied, June 8, 2016 at 8:29 a.m.

    Yup, if results ever go against how you'd want them to go, the only possibility is CONSPIRACY!!!! It's just so tiresome how often people claim that a bad or missed call "proves" there is a conspiracy, it's such a childish reaction. As if there is any basis in reality that all the referees would be told to favor certain teams, and NONE of them would ever leak anything, especially when most of the officials are from COMNEBOL, including the whole crew in the Uruguay-Mexico match. And the handball was not "clear", I certainly didn't notice it when watching live, nor did the TV announcers, and as always, I was very much rooting against Mexico.

  4. R2 Dad, June 7, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.

    RE: Crowd count. Is that tickets sold or bodies in the stands? I saw plenty of empty seats at the santa clara matches, which is too bad. I would have loved to attend, but $250/seat for 6 seats/3 matches ($1500) is silly but that was all that was left because the ticket-buying robots bought them all first for resale.

  5. Vince Leone replied, June 7, 2016 at 5:29 p.m.

    @uffe gustafsson: Did you get tickets for that price in Santa Clara? All the prices I saw (including the 4-game pkg.) were much much higher than that. Prices for anything close to the middle of the field any lower level were $400+.

  6. uffe gustafsson, June 7, 2016 at 11:25 a.m.

    $250.00 for a ticket, where are you sitting?
    we paid $71.00 per ticket and great seats, the 4 game package.and it was not hard to buy those tickets when they released the 4 game packages.

  7. Ginger Peeler replied, June 7, 2016 at 12:51 p.m.

    Uffe, you're comparing apples to oranges. R2 Dad said it was $250 PER SEAT for 3 games. That works out to a little more than $83 per game. You paid $71 per game. With a 4 game package, that comes out to $284 per seat.

  8. Claus Fischer replied, June 8, 2016 at 6:55 a.m.

    Do you factor in parking costs too? Getting to the stadium? (Travel distance/gas/tolls perhaps) Attending live has cost factors beyond just the face value of the ticket with added various sales taxes. And why lay down any money at at all when Brazil comes with a clumsy bunch who cannot manage more than four actual shots on goal? (and that is being charitable). Talk about clumsy? That Brazil GK. That's not worth paying money to see. Not at the total price one must fork over.

  9. Ric Fonseca, June 7, 2016 at 2:09 p.m.

    Hey folks, how's everyone doing? Hey Todo Americano, you took my words, as I agree with you. The Uruguayos, holy smokes Batman, those guys in sky-blue are sure a bunch of cry babies. And Gus Keri, what are you putting in your kool-aid? Have you ever refereed/officiated any game at any level, if so, then you know it ain't an easy task, but if you have, then "have YOU no shame?" As for Uruguayo Gimenez crying about Coach Osorio telling his players how to defend/attach the opponent, wow this kid sounds like a very spoiled brat. And Valdez, yeah right buddy, another cry baby something this seems typical when the other kid wins more marbles than the others!!!

  10. Ginger Peeler, June 7, 2016 at 2:44 p.m.

    Gus, you're saying that all the referees got together to decide they'd call the Gold Cup games in Mexico's favor? No doubt you're basing that on the Mexico/Panama semi-final game when our USA referee, Mark Geiger, called a foul on Panama (when Panama was winning) that resulted in a penalty kick and a point for Mexico? It turned out, it was a phantom foul, and Geiger has since acknowledged and apologized for his error. As Ric pointed out, reffing can be extremely difficult!. I'm sure that call has been investigated 6 ways from Sunday, and if there were just an inkling of wrong doing, Geiger would no longer be a referee. I thought I'd read something about a 5th referee being added up in "the box" with the ability to quickly review plays and communicate with the field referees; that it was going to be tried with several different leagues (MLS was one) and tournaments, including this one. Maybe I dreamed it...

  11. John Smith replied, June 7, 2016 at 2:58 p.m.

    I believe Gus is stating that this is the second tourament in a row where Mexico came out with a win/tie that did not earn. This tournament, so far the refs missed clear handball on Marquez the kept the cross from going out of bounds which allowed the other player to get to it and play it back to Marquez, the ball switched directions Marquez jerked his hand back. That put them ahead and then the third goal, the player who crossed for the assist was offside.

    I hope you watched Chile/Argentina last night, if you did you saw two teams play. Not flop and roll around like they have been shot. Not only were the refs horrible the Mex/Urug game, the game itself was hard to watch, I know it is gamesmanship to get cards against the other team, but they took it to a whole other level. And Ginger if you don't think there is not corruption in soccer/futbal you might want to read up on the latest news.

  12. Ginger Peeler, June 7, 2016 at 3:51 p.m.

    I know there's corruption in soccer. FIFA, CONCACAF, and lots more. I was saying I sincerely doubt there was, and is, a deliberate fix in for Mexico to win. There's already been the travesty of a goal being disallowed because the linesman, flagged a ball as being out when it was still in and was kicked into the net (with the keeper fumbling it) for a goal. It's terrible when a game is decided by a referee's error, but that doesn't mean the referee is corrupt.

  13. Kevin Brunton, June 7, 2016 at 4:08 p.m.

    Gus Keri - I'll take that bet - Mexico and Argentina can only meet in the semi-final. :)

    Just look at the attendance numbers at the end of the article - THAT's why Conmebol played this in the US. Avg over 40K through first round of matches v. 18K last year.

  14. uffe gustafsson, June 7, 2016 at 4:42 p.m.

    Ginger I stay corrected. My bad.
    He paid $250 for 3 games.
    It's still a bargain compared to last summer Man U game $117.00 for nose bleed seats.
    And this is way better soccer.
    I have no complaints of the ticket price.
    Plus we have qtr final in our 4 game packet.

  15. John Smith , June 7, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.

    All American, to compare Mexico/Ur game to Chile/Argentina is pretty funny. Lets start with your statement about winning fair and square, as I pointed out, it was not that fair. lets move on to the classy fan base, throwing objects at the other fans and team when they scored on you. Class act, for some reason I did not see that at any other matches so far. Last, I felt like I was watching a soccer match with Argentina/Chile unlike the WWE event that took place with Mexico/Ur. No hatred of Mexico, I would have liked to comment on the play of Mexico, but they made it hard to when everytime they got touched they went down rolling all over the pitch. It takes away from the flow of the game and confirms what all the soccer haters in this country cannot stand about the game.

  16. Charles Stamos, June 8, 2016 at 10:46 a.m.

    All you conspiracy zealots, get a life. While there are bad referees, there are just as many good ones. It's easy for FIFA officials to embezzle/steal money and affect the awarding of WC sites, but it's not easy to fix a tournament or even a single game. Mexico got the better of Uruguay on this day...some brutal soccer out there, reds and yellows all justified. With the yellow/red pulled out quite a while after the Guzman challange, did he say something to the ref or was there input from the "fifth ref" up in the booth on the headset? If you want to speculate on what could be the next bombshell regarding FIFA look for the admission that the ref gets input from the booth during the game, not just the linesman and fourth official.

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