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Rogers’ goal gives USA draw against Mexico in Klinsmann’s debut

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photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jurgen Klinsmann's coaching debut with the U.S. men's national team didn't start out too well, but it finished on a high note.

The United States tied Mexico 1-1 in Klinsmann's U.S. debut as Robbie Rogers scored a minute into his substitute appearance in front of 30,138 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA on Wedndesday night.

Rogers' second international goal pulled the Americans level after Oribe Peralta scored in the first half and it prevented the United States from dropping its fourth consevutive meeting to its southern neighbor.

After a first half largely dominated by Mexico, Klinsmann turned to Rogers and fellow youngsters Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea to help turn things around. They did just that as the Americans made significant improvements in the second half, and were unlucky not to come away with a victory. Shea had a late effort saved by Guillermo Ochoa and Rogers was brought down by Gerardo Torrado on a clear goal-scoring opportunity that only resulted in a yellow card for the Mexican.

Deployed in a 4-2-3-1 formation, the Americans began the game with little offensive cohesion. Klinsmann's men struggled to keep the ball and their passes missed the mark more often than not.

Defensively, the Americans were chasing the Mexicans for much of the first half, especially on the left flank where Edgar Castillo and Jose Torres had trouble containing Pablo Barrera. 

It was from the left where El Tri's 17th-minute goal was created, as a corner kick played quickly and short to Andres Guardado allowed the Mexican midfielder to whip in a strong cross into the penalty area. The cross found Peralta, who managed to fight off Michael Bradley before hitting a side volley that snuck inside the far post.

The U.S. team continued to struggle as it entered halftime, but the second half brought new life for the Americans.

A more composed United States began pushing the game after the intermission, and that led to the creation of chances and two penalty kick appeals that were not given to the Americans. 

Carlos Bocanegra, who captained the Americans in the match, came close to scoring a headed goal in the 56th minute when got on the end of a Landon Donovan corner kick. Ochoa, however, came up with one of the biggest saves of the game to keep Mexico ahead.

Four minutes later Klinsmann turned to some of his younger players, substituting Edson Buddle and Jermaine Jones with Juan Agudelo and Brek Shea, respectively. Klinsmann also replaced Bradley with Rogers in the 72nd minute.

The three MLS-based players combined for the American goal a minute later when Agudelo made a run behind the Mexican defense to receive a throw in. As the ball came his way, Agudelo one-timed it to Shea, who was able to muscle off a defender before playing a low cross that Rogers was able to tap in.

With momentum shifted in the U.S. team's favor, the Americans continued to push the game. Torres hit a shot wide on a good sequence a minute after the equalizing goal, and Shea saw a low shot parried by Ochoa in the 82nd minute after being played through on goal by Donovan.

The Americans looked ready to win its first game against Mexico since 2009 minutes later when a counterattack saw Agudelo hit a lobbed pass to Rogers just as he was about to break free on goal. But Rogers never got to take a shot as a trailing Torrado tugged on Rogers' jersey to prevent the goal-scoring chance.

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What do you think of the United States' 1-1 draw with Mexico? Who impressed you? How do you rate Klinsmann's U.S. coaching debut?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. We shouldn’t overreact too much to one game. However, I think we learned from the second half that we need to get more dynamic players on the field to have success. Bradley is a good player but we need to stop trying to make him into a #10. He is not really a creative player. He should play next to Beckerman as destroyer type of dual holding mids. From that position, both of them distribute the ball well and close down space well.

    Then the 3 in front of them need to be dynamic attacking players who can take people on and have speed. We have a lot of options there: Donovan, Dempsey, Holden, Rogers, Shea, Torres, Adu. Having two strong holding mids behind them will allow those players to push forward and connect to the striker.

    In my opinion, Beckerman has been the missing piece to this team since we got rid of Mastroeni. He is a defensive midfielder destroyer who knows what he is. Guys like MB, Jones, Rico Clark and others think they are creative players. Beckerman is that bulldog that the US team has been missing. He is not sexy, but he makes the whole thing work.

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  2. He sure seems to have a few “boys” already. Not Jones, but, did you notice the interaction between he and Torres when Torres came off?

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  3. I’m not usually one to write these type of responses, but

    +10000

    Torres was rubbish to forgettable, as he’s always been every time I’ve seen him. And the whole “we need more hispanics cuz then we’ll be goot!” mentality going around is bizarre.

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  4. It seems that everyone has such a strong Torres crush, that they missed the 6 give aways (when I started counting half ways through the game) that he had. Sorry not sold on him, and didnt play very well last time he played for the USMNT. This whole forcing latin players into the mix, is great if their is quality to show…tired of people assuming that some how your race determines weather you have the ability to play the sport or not…kind of like when the spanish comentator from ESPN deportes made an uneducated comment how their were not enough latin players in the MLS…not Mexican probably, but alot of south & central americans players.

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  5. Or as the “middle” CM in the triangle, in front of the DMC, with Donovan/Dempsey/(when Healthy) Holden rotating between the two ‘wings’ and the AMC.

    In fact, that would be my preference. A destroyer behind MB. MB as the ‘holding’ MF who helps clean up under pressure, then switches play/maintains possession and tempo. Then the attacking troika in front of them, with Altidore/Agudelo/whomever as the target forward.

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  6. I never said MB is indispensable. We’re deep enough at the position we can be without any ‘one’ of those players in a match.

    And I’d say Jones had issues with motivation at Shalke, he’s fallen in and out of favor at his club more than once.

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  7. Not a bad idea, but…

    My Law of Player Utilization: Always play a player in his “natural” position. Never position a player to fit a theory of formations or to compensate for a team weakness.

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  8. Once again the US gets cheated on some BULL calls. This will sadly never change. That was the most obvious red card I have seen in some time. That ref should be ashamed.

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  9. I agree with Landon, but I fear its Klinsman who gave them too much repect. He put in a defensive alignment out of fear. He considers them a top 10 team which they are not. Its clear he watched to much video of the Gold Cup final and didnt realize Mexico was going to play without the player most responsible for the win..

    JONOTHAN BORNSTEIN

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  10. We definitely played better once bradley and jones came off, but that might have been more a consequence of donovan replacing bradley in the hole.

    Bradley could easily stay on the field as a holding mid in place of beckerman.

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  11. Mexico’s goal was borderline miraculous, but the easiest way to defend it was for bradley to step up with the rest of the defense.

    Howard delivered the same message to him immediately following the play.

    Not an indictment of mb’s night in general, but let’s not try to shift the blame to torres/castillo.

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  12. I’m not saying bradley looked terrible. Certainly no worse than the other center mids, none of whom really stood out.

    But this: “…he was in the sequence on almost every successful offensive thrust” is pure nonsense.

    Our best attacking thrusts (rogers’ goal, torres’ shot, shea’s shot, rogers burst down the middle, beckerman’s “shot”, rico’s… something) came while bradley was on the bench.

    Not arguing for any causation, just pointing out that the steve davis comments are objectively false.

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  13. That was an impressive play. Landon in the second half really took on defenders in a way I’ve not seen in a long long time. Let’s not forget that after those jukes, he played a good ball to Rogers for a shot on goal. During that second half Landon looked every bit the difference maker that Chicharito has looked for the Mexicans. Klinsy keeps saying express yourself, and if that’s the result then he’s already made a huge difference as coach.

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  14. +1

    Just got finished watching Seasons 1-3 again… Cotdamn that’s the best show in the history of television…

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit…

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  15. Anybody else LOVE those jukes Landy made on the 3 Mexican defenders outside the box?!!! One guy even tried to sweep him and got made a fool. 🙂

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  16. Good analysis; I agree with most except a couple of times I was staggered to see how bunched the mids and Ds were–several times I saw 5-6 of them in a 10-15 foot area. We got away with it then–but it’s something we need to work on; trust JK will point that out they’ll see that on the tape.

    Too bad they didn’t play Donovan or Adu in the central attacking mid role; the forward was a lone wolf for all of the first half and some of the second–although we did get forward as a unit much better in the second.

    Look forward to seeing Lichaj and/or Chandler at one of the side backs in Sept!

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  17. IMO, the subs showed that we have the type of players in Landon, Shea, maybe Bedoya,Rogers or Torres to combine with Dempsey and Holden when they are with the team so that we play with 1 defensive mid. I don’t think it would have mattered who came off between Beckerman, Bradley and Jones as long as only 1 was left on the field. They all wanted to occupy the same space.

    I would really like to see a club try to make Bradley or Edu a CB as I think they would both excel there.

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  18. It is hard to take anything away from this game. 2 days with a brand new team is hardly enough time a coach needs to implement his philosophy. Once the HEX begins in 2013, we should see the USMNT molded by Klinsmann. For now, it’s growing pains, changes, and tryouts.

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  19. I’m in the Holden camp, so would say he is more of the future than Torres. I’m a bit confused by all the praise/hype for Torres. To hear some fans talk about him, he must be the Xavi of the Mexican league. I’ve only seem him in the Nat’l team, but don’t think he’s lived up to the billing so far. And he certainly gave away too many balls last night for someone who’s meant to be good with the ball at his feet. I’m not saying he’s not talented, but I hope he shows more of his ability in future.

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  20. Pleasantly surprised by Shea. A nice coming out game for him like Agudelo’s a few months ago. Great to see new young guys show some promise, since all we seem to hear is that there is no talent coming up in the US player pool.

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  21. Not sure if he’s indispensable, but MB has proven himself a useful player. Depending on the formation, 1 or 2 of he, JJ, and ME are the likely Def Mid(s). Jones is the one I’m not sure about. He just seems inconsistent from game to game: sometimes he looks lively and is impactful, other games he seems disinterested. Is he like that in club play as well?

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  22. First half was ugly, but the 2nd half is what I think this team under Klinsmann will be working towards. Most of the older guys need to go. Keep a few vets, Donovan, Howard, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, and Dempsey, but after that you need, young, fast players, that can hold the ball under pressure like Aguedalo did.

    Castillo did not work well at left back, so far the best left back we have seen is Lichaj. Jones, and Clark don’t work, and Bradley perhaps needs to be a bench player.

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  23. I imagine those 3 in particular will love playing for Klinsman and in the style he wants. Hope Holden is back for at least one of the next 2 friendlies. Should be fun to see those players (and guys like Adu, Shea, Agudelo, etc.) playing with the ball a bit more. Has anyone ever described a Bradley team as fun?!

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  24. It’s fine to say Torres is talented, and we do need more players that like to have the ball at their feet, but he did NOT have a good game. Out of position or not, he gave away a lot of passes. It’s great that he’s confident, but he has to make smarter decisions with the ball than he showed last night, and I’m sure he’ll get more opportunities to win a place on the roster. I’ve only seen him play on the USMNT, but based on the hype, I assume he’s capable of more.

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  25. Considering the Gold Cup final, that was about as good as could be expected for a new coach’s debut after 1.5 days of training. US players certainly seemed to play with more freedom, particularly once the subs came in. It wasn’t always pretty- but I like the philosophy, and they will get more confident in the style in time. I have to think Dempsey, Holden and Adu will like playing Klinsi’s style, and I look forward to seeing them in the next friendly. I couldn’t hear much of the tv commentary in the pub, but Klinsi’s positive attitude and charisma was apparent anytime he was on screen or interviewed. Seems infectious for players and fans. The contrast from BB was clear. I can see now why Gulati had been chasing him. A promising start for the new era.

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  26. We’ll see. He looked good to me but to be fair… Mexico had made a lot of subs by the time he got on. He certainly deserves more looks but I’m not ready to anoint him as our savior just yet. Midfield is getting very crowded these days

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  27. JK has to live with this team and it’s players. To drop a 90 minute starter from the starting lineup cold turkey would probably create hard feelings between player(s) and coaches. Easing your way in to the role is the way to go. In a game or two, we’ll start to see who’s career is getting better and who’s career is being phased out.

    The win on the field here means nothing… wining the team over as a new coach means everything. JK is doing exactly the correct thing when it comes to managing the team. Once he’s established and has the support of the team … he can start making more changes. I think in the end BB had lost the team and their support.

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  28. Exactly. Unlike Bornstein who costs us goals every time he’s on the field… Castillo did not. Give him a few more looks and then decide.

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