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Four Star Daily: Donovan returns, Omar Gonzalez earns respect

Omar Gonzalez played his heart out in Mexico City last night, earning praise for his ability to shut down the talented Javier Hernandez. The match drew high ratings on ESPN.

Chip Somodevilla

Some afternoon links, mustard and relish recommended condiments

  • In a ratings update, ESPN is claiming last night's USA vs. Mexico match pulled a 1.6 overnight rating, which would be a ESPN record for a World Cup Qualifier (via: @Ourand_SBJ). There's an argument to be made that ESPN went after the Mexico home qualifier rights with this match as the sole reason. The qualifier against Costa Rica drew 857k viewers on ESPN, 1.09 on UniMas.
  • Update: The USA vs. Mexico match pulled a fantastic 7.8 million viewers on UniMas (again via John Ourand). This was the top broadcast of the entire day in the Los Angeles and Houston markets. It was the top program for adults 18-49 and 18-34 in Los Angeles, Houston, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
  • Omar Gonzalez is the only player to appear in all four matches for the US this year, with his January camp really paying off for him. The LA Times was on the scene, writing that the draw came off as a victory for the US, who withstood a barrage of shots and only took one of their own. Gonzalez and Matt Besler were highly praised for their performances last night, the two representing the last two players to win MLS Defender of the Year.
  • That elbow to the face that Marcelo Sarvas took? It's earned Drew Moor a two match suspension. So with two red cards in two straight matches, one has been revoked and the other attracted further punishment. It's been an odd month.
  • Landon Donovan rejoined his LA Galaxy teammates yesterday, at a White House ceremony honoring the team. The Washington Post can give you more insight than I can, as there really won't be much to write about from Los Angeles until Donovan speaks his peace.