FRISCO, Texas – First-half goals one minute apart from Juan Agudelo and Mikkel Diskerud sealed a 2-0 victory for the United States U-23 squad over Mexico’s U-23s at FC Dallas Stadium on Wednesday night.
The win concluded a successful camp in Frisco for head coach Caleb Porter and his US squad as they won all three of their matches by a combined score of 7-1 in preparation for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.
The early stages of the match saw the US team control possession and tempo, creating passing lanes and hitting quickly on the flanks. After Mexico’s Ricardo Bocanegra forced a sprawling save from goalkeeper Bill Hamid, the US got on the scoreboard in the 34th minute.
Hoffenheim winger Joe Gyau set up the goal, speeding by three Mexican defenders and sending a low cross that was successfully cleared for a corner kick.
The resulting corner from Diskerud – who only entered the U-23 camp on Saturday after arriving from Belgium side KAA Gent – found the head of Juan Agudelo, who beat the flat-footed Mexican ‘keeper.
It was only a matter of moments before the US side doubled their lead. Freddy Adu collected the ball outside the Mexican 18-yard box and fired a low shot on goal that took a deflection off Diskerud and skipped past Mexican goalkeeper Liborio Sánchez.
Diskerud was officially credited with the goal in the 36th minute.
The US side – controlling possession and stringing together several attack-minded passing sequences throughout the night – looked to add a third goal to their lead early in the second, half but Club Tijuana midfielder Joe Corona failed to fire an open shot on goal inside the Mexican 18-yard box.
In the game’s last 25 minutes, Mexico pushed numbers forward and looked to have earned a penalty in the 72nd minute from forward Marco Fabián.
The Chivas de Guadalajara player got loose in the penalty area and subsequently fell to the ground on a challenge from defender Zarek Valentin, but referee Dave Gantar pulled out a yellow card for the dive rather than pointing to the penalty spot.
In the 88th minute, a scary moment arose for the US team as second-half substitute goalkeeper Sean Johnson mishandled a Javier Aquino shot and, while trying to clear the ball, collided with teammate Ike Opara.
After several minutes on the ground, Johnson was able to finish the match.
Porter’s US team next reconvenes in Nashville, Tenn., for their qualifying opener against Cuba on March 22 while Mexico open their Olympic qualifying account on March 23 against Trinidad and Tobago.
USA - Juan Agudelo, 35' (Mix Diskerud)
USA - Mix Diskerud, 36' (Freddy Adu)
USA: 1-Bill Hamid (18-Sean Johnson, 46); 3-Kofi Sarkodie, 2-Ike Opara (capt.), 4-Perry Kitchen, 5-Zarek Valentin; 6-Alfredo Morales (19-Amobi Okugo, 90), 8-Mix Diskerud, 10-Joe Corona; 7-Freddy Adu (17-Tony Taylor, 67), 9-Juan Agudelo (12-Teal Bunbury, 61), 11-Joe Gyau (14-Dilly Duka, 78)
Subs not used: 13-Jorge Villafana, 15-Jack McInerney, 16-Sebastian Lletget, 20-Michael Stephens
MEXICO: 1-Liborio Sanchez, 2-Israel Jimenez, 4-Nestor Araujo, 5-Darvin Chávez, 6-Ricardo Bocanegra (17-Javier Aquino, 46), 7-Javier Cortés, 9-Jeronimo Amione (19-Alan Pulido, 64), 10-Marco Fabian, 14-Jorge Enriquez (8-David Cabrera, 78), 16-Miguel Ponce (18-Hector Herrera, 46), 21-Ricardo Mier (capt.)
Subs not used: 11-Nestor Calderon, 12-Antonio Rodriguez, 13-Diego Reyes, 15-Jair Barraza, 20-Hugo Rodriguez
USA – Freddy Adu, 38' (caution)
MEX – Marco Fabian, 73' (caution)
Referee: Dave Gantar (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Phil Briere (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Belleau (CAN)
Fourth Official: Armando Villarreal (USA)