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USA vs. Mexico, 2011 Gold Cup Final: Much Has Changed Since 2009

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The USA and Mexico are prepared to face off for the Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. LAG Confidential will be there, on the scene, getting the scoop. This is the third straight US v Mexico final in the CONCACAF gold cup. There was the 2007 final which the US won 2-1 that sent the USMNT to the Confederations Cup in 2009. Then of course there was the 2009 final where Mexico won 5-0.

You may remember that powerhouse team from 2009. Troy Perkins in goal. Brian Ching and Davy Arnaud up front. Stewart Holden, Robbie Rogers, Kyle Beckerman, Logan Pause. We can only speculate as to why they got run over by Mexico to the tune of 5-0.

This will be the fifth time since the creation of the modern CONCACAF Gold Cup that the US and Mexico have met in the final. Yet since Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey went from the faces of MLS to the faces of the USMNT, the US hasn't lost a gold cup with them in it.

Of course the big addition for Mexico is Chicharito. Since joining the Mexican National Team in 2009, Javier Hernandez has made 28 appearances and scored 21 goals. That's just one fewer than Clint Dempsey has in his seven year national team career. He's got an amazing nose for goal, and even though the secret's out on him, he can still find a way to be left completely unmarked. On his goal against Honduras, there wasn't a defender withing ten feet of him.

Whether the game is black and white, or red and green, the key for the US is going to be keeping two eyes and a body on Chicharito at all times, and playing for possession. Keep it tight and counter, don't get Mexico room to play their game.

Despite a rocky road to the cup, this is a unit that should believe they have every right to lift that cup on Saturday. Landon Donovan should start, after being put on time out by Bob Bradley. While the US may have fewer supporters in the Rose Bowl, the disparity between the US and Mexico has been greatly exaggerated.