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Category: Soccer Gold Cup

Mexico defeats the U.S., 4-2, in Gold Cup final

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Although the U.S. prevented Mexico's Javier Hernandez from scoring a goal in the Gold Cup final on Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, slowing down El Tri became a problem.

Pablo Barrera scored a goal in each half to lead Mexico to a 4-2 victory in the CONCACAF's regional tournament championship game. Hernandez had scored seven times in Gold Cup play in leading Mexico to the final.

The Americans grabbed a 2-0 lead midway through the first half on goals by Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan, but Mexico, which dominated play for most of the match, quickly rallied on goals by Barrera and Andres Guardado to even the score by halftime.

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Pablo Barrera has struck again for Mexico, which has taken a 3-2 lead on a tough, angling 10-footer past the outreached arms of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 50th minute.
 
El Tri had three players in the attacking third with Andres Guardado controlling the ball in the middle of the field at the top of the box. He made a quick pass right to Barrera, and Barrera finished a tough strike from the right side to give his team the lead.

U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey missed a shot off the cross bar in the 58th minute that could have tied the score.

If Mexico holds on, it will be their second consecutive Gold Cup victory. 

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Mexico just barely missed taking a lead into halftime of the Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

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Clint Dempsey offers a toast to U.S.-Mexico soccer rivalry

Clint As soccer rivalries go, it doesn't get much better than the U.S. and Mexico -- at least not in this part of the world.

"I don't think you can get tired of playing against Mexico," says midfielder Clint Dempsey, who will lead the U.S. national team against Mexico in Saturday's Gold Cup final before a sellout crowd of more than 90,000 in the Rose Bowl. "The rivalry is great for soccer."

The two countries have combined to win nine of the previous 10 Gold Cups, with Mexico taking the last one, in 2009, and the U.S. winning three of the four before that. Saturday's winner earns a berth in the next Confederations Cup in Brazil, which will be held a year before the World Cup.

But although a lot of blood has been spilled over the years in what has become an emotional series, Dempsey says it's nothing personal. In fact, he's become a pitchman for Modelo Especial, one of Mexico's most popular beers. And the Texan sees nothing odd about that.

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Clint Dempsey's goal sends U.S. to Gold Cup final

Ln7z2snc Clint Dempsey's third goal of the tournament proved to be a charm for the U.S. on Wednesday, lifting the Americans to a 1-0 victory over Panama in a Gold Cup semifinal at a sold-out Reliant Stadium in Houston.

The win sends the U.S. into Saturday's final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where it will meet the winner of Wednesday's second semifinal between unbeaten Mexico and Honduras. The U.S. and Mexico have combined to win nine of the previous 10 Gold Cups with the winner of this year's tournament qualifying for the 2013 Confederations Cup, held a year before the next World Cup in Brazil

Panama scored twice in the first half to beat the U.S. in group play, the only time in 10 Gold Cup appearances that the U.S. has lost in the first round. But the U.S. hasn't given up a goal since that match and Wednesday's rematch was another defensive struggle.

The only goal didn't come until the 77th minute and two players who weren't even in the starting lineup figured heavily in setting it up.

Freddy Adu, who came on the 66th minute, started things when his pass from behind the midfield stripe found Landon Donovan streaking up the right side. Donovan, who spent the first half on the bench,  settled the ball before dribbling to the edge of the penalty area. From there he slipped a low pass past three defenders to Dempsey, whose sliding goal slipped just inside the far post.

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Five Mexican soccer players suspended for positive drug tests

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Mexico's hopes for a second consecutive Gold Cup soccer title took a major hit Thursday when its national federation suspended five players, including star goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, for failing a pre-tournament drug test last month.

The Mexican federation said the substance detected was the banned anabolic agent clenbuterol, which Decio De Maria, general secretary of the Mexican soccer federation, said the players ingested by eating contaminated food.

"Everything points to it being an accident, very unfortunate," De Maria told the Associated Press in Mexico City.

In addition to Ochoa, the Mexican federation said it suspended defenders Edgar Duenas and Francisco Rodriguez and midfielders Christian Bermudez and Antonio Naelson "Sinha". Of the five, only Ochoa and Rodriguez played in Mexico's tournament-opening 5-0 win over El Salvador on Sunday. Published reports late Thursday said El Salvador was planning to challenge that result in the wake of the failed drug tests.

Mexico was scheduled to play its second match Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., against Cuba.

A Mexican federation official said it has not been determined how long the players will be suspended, although they face bans of up to two years, depending on what the Mexican federation finds in its investigation. A special CONCACAF meeting has been scheduled for Friday to discuss the suspensions and the possibility that Mexico will be allowed to replace the suspended players on its 23-man Gold Cup roster.

In April, Mexican denied claims by Germany's anti-doping agency that Mexican beef contained clenbuterol. German officials advised against athletes eating products from Mexico because it might increase the risk of positive doping results.

Now, Mexico is essentially siding with the Germans.

"What is presumed ... one had to ingest contaminated materials -- meat or chicken," De Maria said. "Now comes the tough part, taking the players off the squad and opening an investigation. Meanwhile, it is a disagreeable moment to take this kind of decision, but we have to take responsibility."

RELATED:

Mexico routs El Savador, 5-0, in Gold Cup opener

Jozy Altidore leads U.S. past Canada, 2-0

Honduras plays it even with Guatemala

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Mexico goaltender Guillermo Ochoa during a 5-0 victory over El Salvador in Gold Cup qualifying on Sunday. Credit: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Bob Bradley names Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu to U.S. national team roster

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World Cup standout and Galaxy captain Landon Donovan and former soccer wunderkind Freddy Adu head a deep and experienced 23-man U.S. roster for next month's soccer friendly with World Cup champion Spain, as well as the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Gold Cup roster didn't have to be finalized until Monday, and national team Coach Bob Bradley worked until midday to pick the team, which is expected to gather for training camp Thursday in Cary, N.C. Players on MLS or European-based teams will be allowed to play this weekend before coming to Cary.

The roster features 14 players who have played in at least one Gold Cup. Eleven men on the team have 30 or more international caps, led by Donovan with 130 appearances for the U.S. national team.

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Bradley delays release of U.S. soccer roster

Bradley_250 Bob Bradley, coach of the U.S. national soccer team, was to release his team's roster Monday for next month's friendly with World Cup champion Spain as well as for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The announcement was to take place at 7 a.m. PDT, but that hour came and went with no news.

A spokesperson for U.S. Soccer said release of the roster had been delayed but would not offer an explanation. U.S. Soccer officials were also uncertain whether a scheduled conference call with Bradley, also scheduled for Monday, would be held.

The Gold Cup is the most important competition for the U.S. soccer team this season. The U.S. opens play in the tournament on June 7 against Canada and also plays Panama and Guadeloupe in pool play. The tournament quarterfinals will be played June 18-19, the semifinals will be held June 22 and the Gold Cup concludes June 25 with the championship match at the Rose Bowl. Among the prizes for the Gold Cup winner is a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup.

ALSO:

Home Depot Center to host MLS Cup 2011

Rumors link Galaxy's Landon Donovan and U.S. teammate Michael Bradley to AS Roma

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Bob Bradley. Credit: Rich Schultz / Associated Press

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