Another edition of "Dos a Cero" wasn't meant to be, as the U.S. couldn't hold its 2-0 lead Wednesday against Mexico; A certain 18-year-old showed promise but also inexperience in his first international match.
April 03, 2014
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After the U.S. hopped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half, Mexico fought back to earn a 2-2 draw last night in Arizona. Michael Bradley and Chris Wondolowski scored the two goals in the first half, while Rafa Marquez and Alan Pulido drew El Tri level in a wide-open second half. Read John Godfrey's match report. And a fewotherones.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to come out of the friendly was the change in tactics. Klinsmann opted to play a 4-4-2 with a diamond in the midfield rather than the usual 4-2-3-1. Bradley started at the top of the diamond, Kyle Beckerman at the base and Clint Dempsey at forward. Noah Davis spoke to the coach and players about the team's different shape. "You're playing with a guy in Kyle who does a good job in taking care of things and being disciplined," Bradley said. "It gives me more freedom to be mobile, to be on the move, to get forward, to be up and down, to be more two-way. There's no doubt that I enjoy that."
Some kid named Julian Green made his debut, coming on in the 59th minute for Brad Davis. He did some nice things on the ball and taking on two defenders, should have drawn a foul on the edge of the penalty area, but there was no call. The 18-year-old had a few defensive lapses, including an untimely slip on a long diagonal ball that saw him land awkwardly on his shoulder, giving everyone a bit of a scare. Green didn't speak to reporters after the game, but his coach and teammates had positive things to say.
Klinsmann: "You saw in some moments what this kid is actually capable to do, how he goes in the box, draws two guys and should have gotten the penalty. Obviously he was nervous to play his first cap in front of 60,000 against Mexico, here and there you slip, lose your balance like it happened once there.
Dempsey: "He's a good player. In a tough game he was able to get some good touches, cause some problems, and made some good decisions,"
Bradley: "I think it's exciting, a young kid like that with so much talent, so much ability," Michael Bradley said. "For him, it was just about getting out there for the first time, enjoying himself, getting the first one done with and now we can really get him going."