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Tim Howard Bashes Spanish-Centric Gold Cup Awards Ceremony

This was exactly what I was afraid of. Rather than taking the Gold Cup final loss to Mexico in stride, some United States player would take a relatively ethnocentric slant on the day's proceedings and make sure at least some of the focus was on something other than the game. That it ended up being goalkeeper Tim Howard was even more disappointing.

When asked about the post-game ceremony, which apparently was conducted mostly in Spanish, he had this to say, according to Reuters:

"I think it was a... disgrace that the entire post match ceremony was in Spanish. You bet your ass, if we were in Mexico City the ceremony would not be all in English. CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves."

Like teammate Clint Dempsey's seemingly tone-deaf remarks about Mexican fans not appreciating the United States, I'd like to assume Howard was more frustrated about the loss than about the language in which the postgame ceremony was conducted. At the very least, though, I think he's missing the larger picture: the Gold Cup is not an American event.

I know it feels like an American event because it has been held at least partly in the U.S. ever since 1991 and entirely in the U.S. for the past four editions, but it is a CONCACAF event. (Somewhat unrelated, but that's also why the venue for the finals was someplace like Pasadena, which all but assured a large pro-Mexico crowd, as opposed to someplace like Columbus, Ohio, which would be decidedly more pro-U.S.) As such, it's entirely reasonable that the award ceremony, which was congratulating a Spanish-speaking country and directed at an audience that was mostly Spanish speaking, would feature a significant amount of Spanish. (It's also worth noting that at least the part where the Americans received their medals was conducted in English.)

More to the point, would it really have been that hard for Howard to save these comments for another time? I'm sure someone asked him about the ceremony and he just gave what was an honest answer in the heat of the moment, but a veteran like him really should know better. Whether you agree with his point or not -- and lots of reports suggest at least some English was used -- I would think that we can agree that this was neither the time nor the place to voice that concern. 

With that comment, all Howard did was add one more unfortunate example to the ever growing stereotype of the ugly American.