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USMNT repeats history with important qualifying win over Mexico


The U.S. men’s national team owned Mexico in a pair of competitions this past summer and continued that recent success with a monumental victory in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying on Friday night.

Christian Pulisic came off the bench to score the winning goal in his return to international play while Weston McKennie also scored as Gregg Berhalter’s side downed El Tri 2-0 at TQL Stadium, moving the Americans to first place in the octagonal round table. It was the USMNT’s third-consecutive win over Mexico this calendar year, leapfrogging them over El Tri on goal difference.

The 23-year-old Pulisic came into the match in the 69th minute and needed only five minutes to break the deadlock from Ohio. Timothy Weah created space on the right wing before sending in a dangerous cross, allowing Pulisic to get in front of Johan Vasquez to head home past Guillermo Ochoa.

It was an immediate impact from the substitute, who now has 17 goals for the USMNT in his career.

Even with Mexico pushing for an equalizer late in the match, the USMNT kept its foot on the gas and was rewarded with an insurance tally. Weston McKennie raced into the box in the 85th minute and slotted home a right-footed effort into the bottom-left corner, icing the home victory for the Americans.

Mexico had the better of the offensive chances in the first-half, forcing a pair of saves from Zack Steffen. Edson Alvarez’s curling effort in the 12th minute was palmed away by a diving Steffen before Hirving Lozano’s breakaway attempt in the 19th minute was also repelled by the Manchester City goalkeeper.

McKennie came close to breaking the deadlock earlier in the match, stinging the palms of Ochoa in the 49th minute from a shot at the top of the box.

The Americans made the most of their second-half chances and grinded out the result, despite losing center back Miles Robinson to a second yellow card before stoppage time. Both Robinson and McKennie are suspended for Tuesday’s trip to Jamaica on Matchday 8 after their respective bookings the match.

The USMNT will travel to Kingston, looking to claim a fifth win from eight qualifiers during this cycle, currently sitting eight points clear of Jamaica.


  1. God, I hope he plays Richards instead of McKenzie at CB. Busio for McKinnie. I think the only question is whether you start Pulisic or not. I would favor waiting until about the 60th minute or so. No need to make any other changes.

  2. Looking forward, Richards will likely replace Miles Robinson, but GB likes McKenzie’s speed. Who will take McKennie’s spot, Lledget, Acosta, Busio,…?

    What other changes are coming? Canon or Scally for Yedlin, Vines or Scally for A. Robinson, Ariola for Weah, Feriera for Pepi?

    There is quite a bit of tension between making only necessary changes to a successful lineup and giving players like Scally and Busio a chance to prove themselves.

    • Business may be the replacement for McKenzie, and IMO he’s earned it. As far as Scally, maybe. There will be a change at the back obviously, but I think if you do change one of the fullbacks it will be Cannon for Yedlin.

    • I think you put in Richards and scally and I think you add Busio for McKinnie. Those are the only changes I would make (Maybe Turner in Goal… not sure on that one).

  3. There is enough bench depth where at least an away tie is attainable in Jamaica. That is the game where you put in the veterans who understand difficult playing surfaces, indifferent officiating and harsh climates.
    Since the game in Mexico is not until late in the WCQ and may be meaningless, the game that may prove most challenging for a good result is Canada. The teams looking to crack into the top 3-4 need to play and get a result here, which will prove to be a very difficult challenge.

    • Challenging, difficult? Yes but a win is absolutely attainable and you 100% go for it. You stick with the closest thing as you can from that starting lineup.

  4. Mexico had the more dangerous chances in the first half but the USMNT was never under siege like they had been in prior years versus Mexico. USMNT forced Mexico to boot the ball downfield and won the ball back often and had possession for stretches, but could not string together the dangerous chance until 2H, when they stopped playing like a group that just met and actually linked up and created opportunities.

    Encouraging to see progress and expecting them to get better from here as they gain experience

  5. The math is simple now. Win at home vs El Sal, Hondo and Panama….and tie two of the 4 road matches and u have 25 pts.

    Panama has matches in the US and Mex. Highly likely loses…and our most crucial match left fo auto qualifying. They have 5 other matches and would need five wins to over take us. It’s clearly in our hands.


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