It started slowly, with Mexico dominating possession for the first 55 minutes, but Jurgen Klinsmann’s debut as U.S. coach picked up steam in the second half and finished at full throttle.
Despite Mexico’s early dominance, El Tri did not create a lot of chances—as Klinsmann cheerfully pointed out at halftime. The 17th-minute goal the visitors scored came from a half-chance, as Oribe Peralta stabbed in a cross around Michael Bradley, who was marking him tightly. A well taken, opportunistic goal, but it wasn’t like the U.S. D had been carved open.
They never were, and then, with the 60th-minute introductions of Brek Shea and Juan Agudelo, the U.S. turned the tide completely. That duo produced a nice exchange in the 73rd minute, with Shea doing well to get to the endline and square it for Robbie Rogers, who’d just entered the game, for a tap-in equalizer.
The U.S. poured it on after the goal, with Jose Torres shooting just wide in the 74th minute, Landon Donovan drawing a legitimate penalty claim in the 77th, and Shea and Rogers both putting solid shots on goal before Rogers was flagrantly pulled down by Gerrardo Torrado on a breakaway—a clear-cut red-card offense that only drew yellow.
It was a strong finish by the U.S., sparked by MLSers Donovan, Agudelo, Rogers and, especially Shea, who played well enough to completely erase the memory of his shaky USMNT debut against Colombia last October. He set up the U.S. goal, nearly scored one of his own, and also shined defensively.
Here are the highlights:
The U.S. plays Costa Rica on Sept 2 at the Home Depot Center, then travels to Brussels to take on Belgium on Sept 6.
Looks like FC Dallas will have to do without their leading scorer for the first week of September.