The US national team walked into the belly of the beast, and walked out with a point. Again.
Sporting an unexpected 5-4-1/3-4-3 formation with seven changes from the lineup that beat Trinidad & Tobago in Colorado on Thursday, the Yanks gritted out a draw vs. Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night. It marks the second straight World Cup qualifying cycle in which the US have earned such a result, and constitutes another step forward in coach Bruce Arena's mission to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
But Carlos Vela struck back for the home side not long after, running at DaMarcus Beasley, then cutting inside from the right flank and beating Brad Guzan with a daisy-cutter with his preferred left foot.
The rest of the game unfolded in familiar fashion, Mexico dominating possession and the USMNT defending bravely. Though both Hector Herrera and Bradley clanged the woodwork from long range in the second half, neither side could break the deadlock and settled for a result that helps both teams in the Hexagonal standings.
- 6' – USA – Michael Bradley Watch
- 23' – USA – Carlos Vela
BESA EL PALO
: It's a very different story if either of the aforementioned strikes fly a few inches closer to the target. Herrera's set-piece effort was hit with particular venom, arrowing past a diving Guzan but missing the top right corner of the net by a tiny margin. The US committed too many fouls in their own defensive third and it led to some dangerous looks for
– though to be fair, Gonzalez could, and perhaps should, have scored on two open headers in the first half.
- MEX: Sunday, Jun. 18 – vs. Portugal – Confederations Cup (11 am ET)
- USA: Saturday, July 1 – vs. Ghana (4:45 pm ET | ESPN, UniMás, UDN)