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USMNT top Mexico to pick up historic first win at Azteca

USMNT Mexico (Getty Images)


Mexico had lost just eight times in 119 matches at Estadio Azteca and never against the U.S. men's national team heading into their friendly on Wednesday night. But thanks to some disciplined defending, key saves and an opportunitic goal, the Americans changed all that en route to making history.

The United States grabbed its first win inside of the famed Estadio Azteca on Wednesday, beating its southern rivals, 1-0, thanks to a late second half goal from substitute Michael Orozco. The victory was not only the first for the Americans at the soccer cathedral, but also on Mexico soil, having gone 0-23-1 prior to the latest match in the heated rivalry.

While Orozco's 80th-minute goal, his first at the international level, was the difference, the Americans would not have won had it not been for their gritty defending and a pair of late stops by goalkeeper Tim Howard. The United States netminder spectacularly denied Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez on two potential equalizing chances, giving the U.S. team a confidence-boosting win that has been 75 years in the making.

Orozco netted the winner three minutes after entering the game on a play that a trio of American substitutes combined in. Brek Shea beat a Mexican defender down the left side before hitting a low cross to the middle of the penalty area to Terrence Boyd. Boyd trapped the ball and ensued by hitting a heeled pass to Orozco, who stabbed home from close range to stun the less-than-full Estadio Azteca.

Playing without some of their top players, the Americans had kept the game scoreless to that point due to some dogged defending from Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu, who started alongside one another in central defense despite lacking experience as centerbacks. The duo also benefitted from some timely interventions from Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones, who ran tirelessly as Mexico sent in attack after attack for much of the match.

The hosts, who were also without some of their regulars, dominated possession in the opening 45 minutes and had chances to go ahead in the second half. But Hernandez failed to put away some decent looks, including on an open header in the second half.

That opened the door for Jurgen Klinsmann's team to do the unthinkable and take a lead that they would not relinquish, sending El Tri and their fans with their first taste of defeat in the past five games of the North American rivalry. Klinsmann, who debuted as U.S. head coach against Mexico last August, is now 1-0-1 against the Mexicans.


What do you think of the United States' 1-0 win over El Tri? Who was your Man of the Match? How much confidence does this give the Americans going forward?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Louisiana is coming around. Tons on youth are involved. New soccer complexes built in Baton Rouge. I even have a ton of friends in Thibodaux that play and watch. I think I pulled a muscle in my post goal celebration. Geaux USA!!!Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

  2. There’s no competition at LB. Johnson is by far our best option there. But DEPTH, now if you would have said “it’s good to have DEPTH at LB” I wouldn’t have felt compelled to write this.

  3. Was a great victory.

    Danny Williams, Jose Torres and Mo Edu were KILLING me in the first half though. Jermaine Jones is a nice prescence, but was outplayed by far by Kyle Beckerman.. here is a lineup I’d like to see in the future:


  4. Fantastic win. Sadly I was only able to watch the second half, and I didn’t think this team could do it. Really special stuff, but it’s a friendly, so use it to build some confidence and lets go do the business in our next set of qualifiers…

  5. Wow, way to debate and win an argument I never made, congrats. Of course MLS is important.

    Brek Shea had a good outing, first one in a while. Again not anything to do with my post. Jones had a rough game, yep, nothing to do with my post. Torres didn’t defend well, ok, so what, it as nothing to do with my pst.

    I disagree that Beckerman passed well out of the back. His passes were Inaccurate, leaving other mids lunging to just get a foot on the ball. He basically trapped the ball out of bounds for a corner. Beckerman is a destroyer. He doesn’t pass particularly well or help with possession as a real strong DM should. That is why he hasn’t drawn much interest from clubs in higher paying leagues. You should stop with the straw man arguments and quit claiming other people are ignorant because they disagree with your position.

  6. By the way, what happened to Beasley at the end of the game? He was on the ground, clutching his head, with trainers around him. Was he struck by something?

  7. +1 I feel like I’m taking crazy pills with all the comments about a great game. Like were we watching the same game.

  8. LOL. Primoone, I think you’re talking to the wrong guy. That was exactly the point I have been and was making in my post. OK, granted sarcasm does not work so well on the internet, but trust me that’s where I was going.

  9. Hey remember that back pass that should have been a soft touch from 3 feet that Beckerman blasted out for a corner kick, yeah he did really well.

  10. Tim Howard to Real Madrid ! Why is one of the best teams in the world not interested in Tim Howard ?

    Why is he still playing for Everton ?

  11. “When Mexico and USA play its not a friendly”: the single most annoying cliche in American soccer. Sure, it’s a rivalry, but if it’s not a friendly, then where were Bradley, Dempsey, Bocanegra, and Altidore (and Dos Santos etc)? It was a friendly.

  12. I said the defending and the result were great, but it’s ultimately a friendly, even in Azteca, and what you’re looking for in a friendly is progress in quality of play.

  13. Agreed. Easily Castillo’s best shift in a US jersey. Man-sized performance with heart & soul defending.

    “Wingback isn’t fullback”? I’ll have me another helping of that wingback’s workrate, thank you much.

  14. Cameron was ‘responsible’ for those chances? Umm, no. Mexico was throwing everything into the box on the last two. You might say Beasley was at fault for the 84th min chance, for a bad giveaway that started a counter.

    And yes, Cameron was MOTM, and has now played man-sized shifts in two historic wins. Of course, that’s pure coincidence, I’m sure. Howard could’ve been doing pull-ups on the bar for 84 minutes. He was remarkably undisturbed. Who is responsible for that? Oh right.

    And 75% pass completion isn’t a bad stat, given that 80% is considered solid gold, and the US midfield was overrun most of the match, meaning he had few chances to play to someone who was unmarked. He certainly didn’t kick the ball out of bounds a half-dozen times like the profligate Edu did. (Not that Mo didn’t defend heart & soul, mind you. He was just wasteful, as always, in possession.)

  15. True. I’m not the coach.

    A top scorer in Mexico does not mean a good performance on an international level. Who was the top scorer (joint) in MLS last year, and the top scorer this year? Isn’t his name a verb?

    We need Altidore. His two goals against Ajax are a sign of things to come.

  16. Seriously?

    I can’t let this go.

    The US should be looking to the future and building a solid WC team. That means getting a core group of players together now. There is some great young talent out there, and they need to be given a shot. Do we really need anyone on The Fighting Waldos come WC that is the wrong side of 30? Especially with all the fantastic young players coming up.

    Of course Beckerman played a good game. A good 1st half? No. But he played 90, not 45 like Donovan. He deserves another chance. Did I say replace Michael Bradley? Of course not. (MB will shine at Roma.) But come on…I think one more chance is merited.

    And if you’re going to give Jones the benefit of the doubt for being in “pre-season” shape then please do the same for Ream. And secondly don’t fault the guy for transferring to a team that had, quite obviously, the worst run of bad luck I have ever seen.

    Why does everyone hate on Freddy Adu? It makes no sense. Rather like all the England fans who hate Walcott…

  17. @ Seriously, ….seriously?!? No giveaways, positive passing (no backpasses), moved forward during our few full team attacks, and provided the build-up pass to Shea’s double meg to Boyd’s back heel flick put away by Orozco. Beckerman had a big positive affect on this game, and should get a few more call-ups based on this performance alone.

  18. Really one corner kick, come on, really. Maybe the passes was off target because they only had one tiny practice. Also small, how big do you think soccer players are? MB is not the fastes guy, yet is a great player.

  19. If that was a knock on MLS, show how little you know. If US is going to improve, MLS is needed. The fact Brek Shea did so well, even though he has struggle for most of MLS, should tell you something. Also Beckerman was the only one keeping the ball and passing it out the back. Jones kept giving it alway and torres, thats another story. If it wasn’t for Beckerman, the mexican team would had numbers many of times. Torres wasn’t defending.

  20. Agreed, Josh. Unbelievable that some are calling that goal luck. a snazzy pass from Beckerman to Brek who rocked and rolled past the defender and a cross to Boyd who held and it coolly heeled it to the open man. And the people trying to diminish this great victory, well, you know what I mean…

  21. His job is also to connect the defense with the other mids and forwards. He did not do this well at all in my opinion. I disagree with “d”s comment that I don’t know soccer. DM’s that prove to be invaluable do more than break up the other teams play. They also consistently help the defense move the ball out of the back without turning it over. To me, that is the real weakness of Beckerman’s game.

    Under pressure, Beckerman turns the ball over way to much.

  22. I think the key was getting Donovan off the field. 🙂

    Am I the only one who thinks Boyd may have been trying to back heel the ball into the net?

  23. DM’s also connect the back line with the other mids. It’s equally important to get some distribution from the DM. The fact that Beckerman is one dimensional keeps him solidly in the MLS.

  24. back 4 played well as did Shea in his short time…but otherwise i agree with you. Also not overly encouraging when we are talking about our Future at CB and he is 27.

    Good result though…cant overlook that

  25. For Fabian I meant invisible in a good way, the way you don’t want to notice a cornerback in a football game because nothing happens on his side.

    I’ll stand by what I said about Castillo. He was identified as the weak link during halftime adjustments and was getting torched in the second half.

  26. For all of the talk of this helping the U.S. side’s confidence, I actually think that the doubt it creates in Mexico will be far more important. Mexico has always been incredibly talented but a bit fragile between the ears. This loss could really have some lasting impacts on their confidence….good to knock them back to reality a bit.

  27. WOW, way to use a statistic in a way that completely distorts Cameron’s performance. His positioning was excellent most of the game. He headed away multiple crosses. MOTM is awarded strangely enough to the MOTM not MOTP6M. Cameron had a good outing, not flawless, but it was good. Give credit where it’s due.

  28. There are currently three WORLDWIDE trends on Twitter pertaining to this game…#USMNT, Tim Howard, and Azteca. This is almost 3 hours after the game ended.

    So yeah. This is a big deal.

  29. Better than with him off of it? Certainly not if we have Bradley. I like Beckerman and think he is a nice player, but he definitely has some perplexing moments, or did you forget the corner kick he gave up for no apparent reason and some of the passes that were off target? Again, I like Beckerman, but he is clearly limited.


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