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Hello fans! I’m going to keep this short because it’s kind of a crazy week here at El Bolso headquarters and, well, what is there to talk about really? The dream is over, and the Celestes are done in the Copa América Centenario 2016. Uruguay is going home after falling to Venezuela 1-0 (there’s one last game versus Jamaica, but who cares?). Mexico’s 2-0 win over the Reggae Boyz gives El Tri and La Vinotinto the first two spots in the group and the two tickets to the knockout round. How did we get here?

 

Really, there’s not much to talk about. There’s the usually reliable Fernando Muslera looking like some clueless defender asked to play goal in an emergency on Venezuela’s lone score. There’s wannabe world class striker Edinson Cavani missing atrociously on several easy chances (I thought we were past this, Edi). There’s perhaps the best coach in the history of the national team, Óscar Tabárez, taking a page right out of Clueless Joe Girardi’s notebo… er, binder, asking his best player to warm up (that would be THE BEST GOD DAMN PLAYER IN THE WHOLE WORLD, Luis Suárez), and then burning his last substitution on Mathías Corujo. Mathías freakin’ Corujo! Look, I’m sure Mathías is a nice guy and a good midfielder. Is he TBGDPINTWW? No. Is he even a forward, seeing as though this was a situation in which Uruguay desperately needed not 1, but 2 goals in the last 15 minutes? Awful. Not El Maestro’s finest moment, and it’s not just me saying it. TBGDPITWW agrees.

 

Am I saying Suárez should have played? Well, no. Copa América is a big name, but this particular tournament is a cynical cash grab where the organizers are so divorced from the passion of the sport as to allow the wrong anthems to be played before games (yes, I said anthemSSSS), and can’t care enough to double check if a player’s name corresponds to the picture it’s being matched with. As the famous philosopher Ernesto Hernández once said, “it’s kiddie stuff… BASURA!” You don’t wear your best dress to a Tijuana pub crawl, fans, especially if it’s 2 months before prom and your dress is recovering from a knee injury. I think Tabárez made the right call; just don’t send the man to warm up in plain view, only to break the hearts of the millions… AND MILLIONS of Celeste fans. Not a good look. I hope that rascal has a couple of extra gears, Maestro, because my Tio Pepe is looking for you.

 

Plainly speaking, Uruguay got outplayed in this game, and Venezuela gets a well-deserved win and a spot in the quarterfinals. The Celestes are left to figure out what went wrong (they’ve had some recent WCQ success playing without TBGDPINTWW, but this team wasn’t even a shadow of that one), and get themselves ready for the summer qualifiers. In two games so far this team has only looked good early in the second half against Mexico, when they were down a man. Otherwise it has been a bunch of dudes who try hard but have no idea what they’re doing out there. There’s still the question of replacing some of the 2010 World Cup run holdovers with younger, more athletic players, and the issue of the Suarez-dependencia. The qualifiers started off on such a high note, fans, that I’m going to hope this was just a case of end of season exertion and lack of interest rather than a sign of deeper issues. I guess we’ll see soon enough…

 

I’ll be back in a few days to talk about the Jamaica game, because why the hell not. See you then!

El Bolso

About El Bolso

El Bolso is Uruguay’s foremost soccer-fan-in-exile, a true authority on the Celeste and its favored son, the Club Nacional de Football. He believes in precision passing, tireless marking, and strong finishing, and is not above the occasional slide tackle from behind when the situation calls for it.

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