I've been going to and photographing the fans of the USA Men's National Team for 11 years, and I've never been as embarrassed by the American fans as I was on Saturday for the Gold Cup Final. My first USMNT mach was World Cup Qualifying: USA vs. Guatemala in 2000 in RFK, followed by USA vs. Honduras in 2001. At those games the American fans were just as outnumbered 9-1, just as they were at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles, but they never stopped cheering for their team the whole 90 minutes. In all the years since the supporters section has always cheered the full 90 no matter what the result. On Saturday, the fans quit on the US Men's team. When Mexico scored their second goal they crossed their arms, and didn't cheer, and stood silent in the most important match for the team this year. Its an absolute disgrace, and every American fan at the game should be ashamed of themselves.
Although a lot of people compared the Gold Cup Final like playing in Azteca; The Azteca Norte if you will. But compared to the reception the US fans that went to support the US team in 2009 for the World Cup Qualifier, the atmosphere was not that hostile during the pre-game. In-fact a bunch of Mexican and USA fans ended up kicking a ball around playing an impromptu match between parked cars.
But the crowd outside the Rose Bowl was definitely pro-Mexican. Probably around 90 percent Mexican fans, 10 percent USA fans.
When the US Supporters walked into the stadium they received a ton of jeers from the Mexican crowd.
Some fingers thrown in their faces...
And some pushing and shoving between the USA and Mexican fans, even the female fans.
The supporters group was afraid of the heckling...
and tried to enter through a locked gate but were turned away by security and the police officers.
Finally they made their way through the gates into the stadium.
And into the supporters section which was patrolled by security to make sure only ticketed US supporters made it into the section.
Before the match it was easy to see the USA fans were vastly outnumbered by the Mexican fans.
But that's to be expected in Los Angeles.
While some fans were supporting the USA...
...plenty of Mexican-Americans have still close ties to their homeland sports team.
And the Rose Bowl was majority green.
Even though the Mexican team attacked from the start, the USA got a surprise goal to go up 1-0.
A few minutes later the USA was up 2-0 and it looked like it would be the USA's day.
But just as quickly, Mexico scored a goal and the jeers turned into cheers....
Some scuffles broke out between the Mexican and US fans in separate sections and but once Mexico tied the match up, the American supporters essentially shut up.
The USA team marched out in the second half...
But hardly a cheer was heard from the US fans, especially after Mexico scored their third goal.
USA fans had their hands in their mouths...
Looking on quiet...
Not doing anything...
When your team is down that's when they need to hear you. That's when the USA fans should have been at their loudest. But except for one American Outlaws fan and a few of his friends from Orange County the supporters section remained silent.
And Bob Bradley had the deer-in-headlights look as he watch his strategy for the match fall apart and the USA lose 4-2.
Afterwards the US fans looked stunned by their loss.
And some good natured cheering for each side ensued.
But I was shocked at the poor support for the USA team. How can you not go to a match like that and cheer the whole 90 minutes???
As the Mexican Coach said after the game:
In all honesty, can the USA fans at the match say the same thing? Did they give everything they had??