Nelson Valdez, Paraguay fall to Mexico in pre-Copa America friendly

Nelson Haedo Valdez, Paraguay

Seattle Sounders Designated Player Nelson Valdez couldn’t lead a Paraguay comeback against Mexico on Saturday night, when El Tri topped the South American nation 1-0 in a pre-Copa America Centenario friendly in Atlanta.

Mexico captain Andres Guardado scored the game’s lone goal, slotting home a Jurgen Damm cross in the 32nd minute for the winner. Valdez, who entered the match in the 65th minute for Jorge Benitez, couldn't lead a late charge for Paraguay, whose attempts at an equalizer didn't amount to much in front of nearly 63,000 at the Georgia Dome. 

Mexico will play one more friendly before opening their Copa America, taking on Chile in San Diego on Wednesday before facing off with Uruguay in Group C action next Sunday. Paraguay have completed their Copa prep, and now await their Group A opener against Costa Rica next Saturday.

The US national team will meet Paraguay in Philadelphia in both teams’ group stage finale on June 11.