A Win – In Mexico???

No, the game didn’t count. But believe me, it counts.

A huge round of congratulations to Team USA for a 1-0 victory tonight in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.  Yes, this was a “friendly” – but there’s an old saying, “There’s no such thing as a friendly between the USA and Mexico”.  The numbers are staggering – zero wins on Mexican soil in 24 chances (and only 2 ties).  Outscored 45-4 in the last 17.  To get a win in that environment – with every bodily fluid you can imagine being tossed on them, laser pointers shined in the keeper’s eyes – against a team with eight starters from Mexico’s World Cup qualifying squad is huge, friendly or no.

As for the game itself, Mexico certainly controlled the possession – but just ask Barca and Bayern how that worked for them.  The US back four was as good as I’ve seen them, with Geoff Cameron especially stamping himself as a future stalwart of the US squad.  Tim Howard made two incredible saves in the second half.  And the goal itself, against the run of play, was a thing of beauty involving three young substitutes.  Brek Shea (struggling badly in MLS) put a beautiful nutmeg through the legs of the Mexican right back, crossed to Terrence Boyd, who back-heeled the ball blindly to young Mexican-American defender Michael Orozco Fiscal – who’d just entered the game – who steered the ball home.

You certainly don’t want to make too much of an international friendly, but this was the second huge road win this year for the US, who earlier beat Italy 1-0 on their own turf.  The US finally has a substantial figure in world soccer as their coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, and while I don’t always agree with his strategic decisions, he may just be changing the mindset of US Soccer at last.



  1. A

    I don't know man, beating mexico is easy.. we eliminate them in 2 consecutive world cups

    But congrats!

    oh by the way I love the dream team ( Lebron,durant,bryant in the same team woow)

  2. K

    Congrats to the US.

    Meanwhile, we had Argentinia beating Germany 3-1 in a fairly bizarre game – the german goalie was sent off the pitch, Messi missing the following penalty, an own-goal by Khedira, lots of concussions and overall still a very balanced game…good thing it was only a friendly, otherwise Joachim Löw would be in some big trouble by now.

    But funny that you would say:
    "The US finally has a substantial figure in world soccer as their coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, and while I don't always agree with his strategic decisions, he may just be changing the mindset of US Soccer at last."
    Which is exactly the common opinion of good ole Jürgen here in Germany, because when it comes to coaching, he's considered quite the joke. But he did change the mindset of the german squad in 2006 from being a depressing bunch of football-brutes to team that plays some refreshingly attractive football, bringing us up to where we are now – runners-up in every tournament (ahh, that doesn't sound right 😉 ).

  3. Indeed, and Germany fared quite decently in the only WC under Jurgen – semi-finals in 2006, losing 4-2 to Argentina if I remember right.

    It isn't so much the mindset of playing attractive football and being positive – which is important – but with the US, even more so the mindset of being second-class. Thinking that just making the round of 16 at the WC is a great victory. Jurgen has stature, and he's incredibly positive – he gives US Soccer a credibility it never had. I scratch my head at some of his lineup decisions and roster omissions, but I'm happy to live with that because he makes us relevant for the first time.

  4. K

    Ah, no, in 2006 Germany actually managed to beat Argentina in the quarters (4-2 on penalties) and then got stuffed by Italy (again!) in the semis (we did get third place though). Actually Germany never won a competitive tournament game (World Cup or Euro) against Italy ever.
    But man, 2006 was a pretty hot damn summer, if might say so myself. Very good stuff.

  5. z

    Had no idea you followed US Soccer! That was a great match. I was worried for awhile since Mexico was holding the ball so much, but they weren't being too threatening (possibly because our defense was holding up really well) so I relaxes as the game went on. That little back-heel leading to the poke into goal was all that's needed and I'm happy to see that, as much praise as Mexico's Nats are getting, that USA can still compete even by fielding a B team.

  6. I

    Congrats to the US but my interest in Soccer in the States is limited to that of Hope Solo, and its not her play that impresses me most.

  7. H

    Yeah, even more impressive than just winning in Mexico is winning in Mexico City. That stadium is a huge advantage, just by location and environmental conditions.

    I'm not a fan of the red / white stripes kit, tho. Makes the US look like thugs, imo.

  8. P

    *shakes fist*

  9. P

    In retaliation I won't read your blog today. HA! take that. :p

  10. A

    If my memory serves me right,Usa eliminated mexico in 2002

  11. Yes they did, in the 16s. That's arguably their biggest win ever, along with perhaps the win over Spain in the semis of the Confederations Cup. But they've never won in Mexico, much less Mexico City, so this still represents a huge moment for US Soccer.

    And I agree with Highway, the striped jerseys are weak. Go back to a nice solid blue top and white shorts.

  12. B

    The U.S uniforms remind me of sailors…

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