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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. Given last night’s performance and many others before it, I’d keep Dempsey wide and put Donovan in the middle and let him do whatever the heck he wants – including, switching with Dempsey from time to time. Don’t think Shea is the new starting mid just yet, but I was impressed.

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  2. Torres, slow of thought? you mean pausing or slowing the game down?!…that is the mark of an elite player. Always running and rushing is not smart soccer.

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  3. People just stop and think for a second I don’t think we should count out some of these guys just yet. For castillo I say we give him couple of more looks just to see how he does I mean look how many chances bornstein had at LB to prove himself. And this was castillos first game in two years and it’s not like he was getting completely destroyed give another chance in the September friendlies. For Torres samething hasn’t been in the national team fold for quite a while give some more time with good minutes in the September friendlies and see how he does. Orozco was alright he was solid. Shea and Rogers we should slowly bring them in maybe as subs for now same goes for agudelo since these three bring a good spark off the bench and if they continue impressing who knows maybe give them a start to see how they do. Becker an has been solid . I think our first half was terrible and not much attack was because we had way too many defensive players like jones whenever I have seen him play he is a player who usually sits back in front of his defense like an anchor man he is not a big attacking player and Bradley and beckerman too are not known for their attack. Well Bradley probably the only one out of the three he seems to be a box to
    Box player. I think we should try to keep a good balance of attacking and defensive players to start and depending on the scoreline we sun accordingly like if we are in the lead and jones is on the bench bring him in to try and keep the lead and vice versa . BB that was his mistake IMO he had too many defensive players to start off with and relied alot on the attack of Donovan , Dempsey and when we had the lead we didn’t have many options on the bench of a fresh defensive mid to bring in to keep the lead because they were all on the field and even if we did Bradley didn’t use him! JK yesterday did well with subs we needed attacking spark was brought in , in place of MB and jones who aren’t as attacking prowess . And most importantly good timing with the subs . I would like to see what Klinsmann woulddo with a two fw system buddle IMO plays better with a 2 fw system . But some good stuff let’s keep it up a pretty good start in the Klinsmann era these sept friendlies are gonna be interesting.

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  4. I’ve come to a conclusion about all the MB haters. You all do not know much about the game. When MB plays in the proper position he is one of our most reliable players(since losing his propensity for the red card). Last night he played well but he was out of position. He is a defensive mid not a playmaker type. More of a ball winner and get the ball to a number 10 then support type player.

    The way I see it that has been the problem for the NATS under BB. All of his midfielders have been the same type of player. A Defensive Midfielder. Bradley, Jones, Edu, Beckerman, Clark… did I leave anyone out. They are all GOOD defensive midfielders. Of that group I see Bradley as the man to beat. He is the quintesential American. He plays with emotion, passsion, heart, he has the never say die attitude and he isn’t afraid. And, He IS Good. Now I agree that if he doesn’t get a team soon he is going to lose sharpness(a little evident last night i thought) and will start falling down the pecking order.

    I do see Klinsmann using almost all of those guys at that position going with who ever is in the best form at the time. I think we are strong in that position and from there we will be able to support out more offensive minded midfielders like Holden, Torres, Adu, Donovan. Who in turn can support the likes of Dempsey and some one else???? who can play up top and score some &*(^#$ goals.

    Future doesn’t look as bleak as it did 6 weeks ago.

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  5. My son plays left back for his U14 academy team. if he made one bad pass of the many that Castillo made, he would have been yanked out of the match, never to see the pitch again. Castillo is a DEFENDER. Job one is defend, job 2 is to value possession and effect the game by not turning it over.

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  6. Watched the first half then went to bed. Woke up, started reading some of the comments, then went and watched the last 35 minutes on ESPN3. Yep, the last 35 minutes was better, but I’d say it was far from a complete turnaround. Mexico still looked better on the ball (and remember, they brought on a lot of subs too). Sure we had more chances and sure Shea, Juan, et al were more lively… let’s just not get too excited. I still feel we don’t have the horses for the game Jurgen wants to play. That said, I think we should go ahead and play it. Eff’ the results we get for the time being. I’m optimistic he’ll drive us in the right direction. Beckerman… slow. Torres seems to have regressed a bit, better inside than out, but kind of slow of thought. Aguedelo is the real deal. A bit too much dribbling, but some real skill and vision. The non-call on Donovan’s run was a bit bemusing.

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  7. I like what you’ve contributed here RangersSG. We are of like minds. I don’t think MB can be the point man in the midfield. Not his style. It’ll be up to Klinsmann to determine what the best combo is for our D-mids. Not a bad thing to have options though. I like Beckerman a lot and want to see him get more minutes. He’s tough but usually composed on the ball and can find the right outlets.

    Torres was a little sloppy at times, but brought some composure and 1v1 ability back into the mix. Shea brought a little more power which is always a good thing against a Mexican squad (ala McBride doing well). Having those two and even Deuce as left wing options for the future is nice.

    Castillo was poor all night, and maybe it was nerves, but he did not show well. It was actually painful to watch. Same for Buddle… completely lost. World of difference when Agudelo came on.

    And I was not too thrilled with Orazco in the first half, but he settled as the game went on, so that was a positive.

    Consider that we have a strong Stu hopefully coming back from injury, Adu if he can keep his head straight and work rate up, Edu and Deuce… things look promising. With the right philosophy and tactics, the US can be a squad that other nations will fear (fear may be a strong word, but trying to hype this up a bit).

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  8. Fantastic second half I thought. Klinsmann made the right moves (with the exception of putting in Ricardo Clark imo)and I loved the quick ball work between all the youngsters who did not seem intimidated by Mexico in the slightest.

    Although I think Bradley is good player, I think he can be slow and 2-dimensional on the decision making. He kills the tempo by passing the ball back to the defenders to set up a play too much.

    I think we’ll be seeing much more of Torres and I’ll be interested to see where his fits in the scheme of things.

    It’s really going to be interesting when Bedoya, Diskerrud, Holden and Adu come back into the fold.

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  9. I would agree with that rating, perhaps a 6.5. I thought there wasn’t a dang thing he could’ve done on the goal. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the offensive player for earning his pay, and Peralta’s touch on that goal was sublime.

    Now the ball in should’ve been contested, and THAT is where I’d be marking off on Torres and Castillo, who were lost in space and let Mex play an easy cross in on a simple short corner play.

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  10. Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more with your evaluation of MB. Again, check Opta. He switches play better than any MF we have. he also has scored more than a few goals from off the ball runs (Indeed, THIS assertion tells me you didn’t see his World Cup goals, his goals against Mexico in qualifiers, his typical play in Holland, etc).

    Jones was useless. Flat out. Looked uninterested in defense, incoherent on the ball. And the numbers back up that he could not complete a forward pass. And this is NOT a new issue with him in the side.

    Beckerman had a good match. As a destroyer, he’s useful. He makes the simple pass after he wins the ball, which is good enough. But he needs at least holding MF with him to move the ball out of the back, which limits his play to when we want to play a 4-5-1 variant.

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  11. I agree with you that it was not all on young players. I was referring to some give aways by Castillo, Torres, but you are right that the veterans were also guilty of being wasteful with the ball. Jones, Buddle, and to a certain degree Bradley were ineffective throughout the game. Moving Donovan and Torres to the middle (and letting Donovan roam), while putting Agudelo upfront and Shea and Rogers out wide, gave the team fluidity, speed and turned around the possession battle. In fact, Mexican commentator kept saying that throughout the game that Donnovan and Torres should move inside, where they would get more touches, control the ball and would be able to take advantage of their playmaking abilities. I also thought that Agudelo, Shea and Rogers did really well off the bench and exposed Mexican defense on several occassions.

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  12. JD’s right. Check Opta. By the numbers, Bradley was the strongest player in the side, aside from Shea.

    Hate to break that to you. But that’s the fact.

    Jones looked completely out of sorts (again), and I just don’t think he’s well suited to what we’re trying to do. At this point Beckerman is younger, and probably better suited for the pure defensive role. Bradley is better as a holding MF, who can still aide the defense while switching the attack from deep, and then Donovan behind the striker.

    Torres looked alright in the center. But for a left footed player, he always seems to get lost on his side. Honestly, I’d be happier with Shea out there. Castillo did not impress. Orozco looked ‘ok,’ but could have done better.

    Buddle looked useless. And that’s not all Marquez. McBride used to be able to beat Marquez like a drum in the air. Rafa’s a classy defender, but not ‘all that and a bag of chips.’ Buddle was just invisible, if the team looked better the second ANY player left, it was him. Agu’s first touch was that scorching 40 yard run, and from then on, Mexico was on their heels.

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  13. If you watched torress playing centrally in the second half he was constantly pressuring the ball deep. something bradley doesnt do.

    it is hwy we played better. bradley sits back,,,sits back…sits back…sits back…

    torres was screaming around the pitch after the ball. something we need to do. when we did it in the second half (agudelo, donovan, TORRES, brek) we pressured well and put them on the back foot. it will take some time but getting the robotic tendency to sit back will leave this squad over time.

    mexico had very very few real chance in this game. this is the first US mexico match I have watched in years that mexico didnt have 3 or 4 balls hit the woodwork and howard have to make incredible save after incredible save.

    Klinnsman is 10 times the coach bradley was. bradley played to win cynically. klinnsman is looking to play football and play positive.

    Cant wait to see torress adu in the top of CM

    and holden/jones in the defensive mid.

    many times jones (albeit not playing great) made forward looking passes that were accurate.

    bradley plays it safe. anyone can look good playing it safe. thats not going to fly in modern football.

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  14. I agree with you that the US wanted to win, but I don’t agreet hat Mexican players did not care and weren’t trying hard to win. It’s a rivalry game. It’s like saying Argentina was slacking off in a game against Brazil or Holland was not trying hard to beat Germany. It is true that in the first 60 minutes or so, our chances came largely of the counterttacks, but the last 30 minutes the US spent a lot of time in Mexico’s half. The goal was not scored off the counterattack, but the play started off a throw in close to Mexico’s goal. And, frankly, despite all Mexico’s possession in the first half, how many saves did Howard have to make in this game? On the other hand, Mexico’s goalkeeper made several goal saving plays (e.g. Boca’s header, Shea’s drilled shot, etc).

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  15. I like the lineup presented, but I do not think any of our strikers are prolific enough to play alone up top. I would agree with mike and put Dempsey up top and shift Donovan to the right, or slip Donovan into an AM role and Holden to the right.

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  16. I like this lineup as well. It would be nice to shift Cherundolo to the LB spot or sure that up somehow, but I would also really like to see this lineup.

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  17. Right about what? That Rogers walked in to an empty net with a ball that was placed at his feet? Please.

    He made a good run. He was at the right place at the right time. Don’t start getting all holier-than-thou, though. It’s annoying.

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  18. Yes, because when you are preparing for a big rivalry game and the debut match for your head coach, you do the politically correct thing rather then the thing that will get you a win…

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  19. I agree with this to a large extent. Bradley is a DM and not a No. 10 by any stretch. He was asked to be the offensive spark in a midfield with 3 holding midfielders (himself included). Jones did not play well and did not contribute to the attack. Beckerman played okay and did not contribute to the attack. Buddle also contributed very little to the attack in my opinion. Had Bradley been on the field with Agudelo, Rogers, Shea, and Donovan were providing energy to the offense, I believe his contributions would have been different.

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  20. Oh he’ll keep getting called for awhile but I think his role will be greatly reduced over time until he doesn’t get some calls at all

    I think JK started him because it was the politically correct thing to do. Now he’s free to use him or not based on his play. To not start him would have made for a very bad situation and yes… we did play MUCH better without him.

    Funny how people say Torres is the future while BB had no use for him at all. I’ve always been a fan and think the role he ended up in is the role he’ll start in against Costa Rica

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  21. I think the “giving too much respect” wasn’t a function of a bunch of young players (b/c not many were on the field at that point). It was a bunch of veterans (including Donovan) who had gotten pasted by 4-2 and 5-0 scores and probably went into this match thinking “let’s keep the score respectable”.

    I saw 3 things that tactically made a difference:
    –US put more pressure on Mexico (which is the THE difference b/c El Tri are skilled enough to not crumble under high pressure. But the further up the field you win the ball, the less distance you have to go to score).
    –US didn’t get bunched up in the defensive end. First half, players would win the ball and had no outlet or we quickly lost it after the 2nd or 3rd pass.
    –US had much better composure on the ball. El Tri would continually send 2 men to the ball, especially in midfield. You’ve got a couple of options when this happen. You can play the ball back (you keep position but the defense gets a win or a stop for that moment), you can have the skill with the ball to beat two international defenders (very few players can do this consistently at this level enough for you to say “we’ll just counter their double teams with outstanding individual play”), or can bypass midfield with long, direct balls (which the US has often done in the past and really lacks the skill and vision in defense to do this consistently–though Torres in a deep lying midfield role enables this to be more of a possibility), or play the ball quick (1-2-3 touch soccer) forward which punishes the double team and puts the defenders out of position (and ultimately discourages this pressure which gives guys more time on the ball which leads to better possession–it’s a vicious circle for a defense). Second half we had more composure on the ball and quicker, more accurate forward balls (fewer square or backpass balls). Having Donovan pinching in helped but the whole team in the second half just did a better job staying composed on the ball and playing it quickly so the Mexican pressure was not only neutralized but penalized (b/c you run forward to pressure the man on the ball and you create space behind you that a runner can exploit–if the man on the ball is composed enough to see it and skilled enough to exploit it).

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  22. Wasn’t impressed with Castillo, but let’s give him more games to see if he can play. One comment I’m tired of hearing is Klinsi’s search for “Latin” players. Personally, I couldn’t care less about the ethnicity. Let’s just find players who can play the game.

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  23. Sorry, but you are incorrect about BMG. They ended in the relegation zone, but won their playoff with the team trying to move up from the Bundesliga II. So, NO they did not significantly improve while MB was at AV. MB has at times been our best midfielder, but is not always so. He will remain an integral part of this team and has consistently played better than Jones for the US, including last night.

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  24. Totally agree. If the clubs our players played for were the determining factor, we might as well not even bother competing in the World Cup.

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  25. This is funny. You should get your facts straight before posting. Removing Michael Bradley will NOT cause the USA to become an instant World Cup contender. Sorry, but you need to get a reality check.

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  26. I love being right. You all were talking smack about rogers and that he sucks. He scored and got a break and did a great tackle. In yo face Edward in LA trolling about Rogers sucking. Rogers was not even with the complete A team and he scored, BOOM!!! Ha ha ha. Shea was great he was like an american c ronaldo, donovan and bocanegra were good too. The worst players were m bradley lost his mark and torres turn over machine. Jones was not impressive either. Also the brazil and germany game was good. I was disappointed brazil lost though

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  27. Player-wise, the temptation seems to, as always, rip on Michael Bradley. I’ll admit he hasn’t been amazing, especially not tonight, but he wasn’t exactly put in position to succeed tonight. He’s much better spreading/link play from deeper positions, and then running in support of the attack, particularly late runs. He started to exert his influence more on the game when he came deep to receive the ball and then relay it to players in good spots. The problem is that this left Edson Buddle with little support.

    I will also say that it seems his thought process has been slow lately. He generally is a very quick thinker, having worked in a German league where the pace is comparable to the English Premier League. However, that’s where the lack of playing time may have come into play, as his releases seem to get less crisp and less quick every game. I’ve always said that if he plays well for the USA, his club situation really doesn’t matter, and that even if Edu or Holden or Jones or Torres are playing at better clubs, if they’re not playing better, they don’t deserve to start over Bradley. However, now it seems like the lack of playing time is catching up to Michael. I still say he’s a solid player, but sorting out his clubs situation will be crucial to his national team future if his performances continue to slip.

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  28. Similar, Leander at ESPN gave him one of the highest ratings for the USMNT, and said that the move back to the position he played at Heerenveen was a success.

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  29. Yes, I understand completely. My point was to reflect the comments above regarding how Rangers were a subpar team and Blackburn were terrible compared to Aston Villa. I don’t care as much where you play. Landon Donovan plays in the MLS is one of the greatest US players of all time. So the team you play for isn’t as much of a concern for me.

    Actually playing period does matter to me though. Practice can only get you so far. Sure, Agudelo isn’t a constant starter for Red Bulls, but he does get his opportunities, not to mention, besides Altidore, he has the best skill set going forward.

    Bradley has a solid skill set, but he is still lacking in his forward passing and off the ball offensive movement. He has an engine and tracks back well, but that isn’t everything, especially for an attack minded coach going forward.

    And again, we haven’t seen any games without him, so it’s difficult to say if our team will be better or worse off in that situation. Things seemed to open up quite a bit when he was taken off. Maybe that was a combination of things or maybe it was him.

    And I don’t agree that we put him in a position to fail. I feel that was more related to JFT who was played on the wing when he is a CM. He was a turnover machine, yet he looked very comfortable on the ball. At least Bradley played in the middle of the field.

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  30. +1 that made me laugh. Back to the topic Lichaj has looked better at LB then Castillo. So I would say he is the best LB we have next to Bocanegra. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Castillo tried out there a few more time.

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