U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s unbeaten record against Mexico now stands at six games, as the USMNT defeated their North American rivals, Dos A Cero (2-0), in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday night.
College kid Jordan Morris and the New England Revolution’s Juan Agudelo provided the goals as the Americans narrowly outplayed their neighbors to the south on a horrific temporary grass surface installed just three days ago inside the Alamodome.
Gyasi Zardes nearly found himself in on goal in the 29th minute, and even had a penalty shout that could have been given as Kyle Beckerman’s ball over the top was headed on by a Mexican defender who barged through Zardes in his attempt to recover and usher the ball back to goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Mexico were inches away from breaking the deadlock with five minutes to play in the first half when Gerardo Flores picked out Eduardo Herrera with a near-post cross, but Herrera’s shot flashed just wide of Nick Rimando’s left-hand post. The shot came from such close range that Rimando likely had no time to save a shot on target.
At halftime, the USMNT had managed all of two shots in total, while Mexico registered seven with just one on target. Passing percentages were in the low-to-mid-70s for both sides, largely due to the extremely poor playing surface.
The second half began with a bang, as the Americans got on the board through 20-year-old Stanford University forward Jordan Morris, the first collegiate player to make national team appearances in over 20 years. Michael Bradley fed Gyasi Zardes 25 yards from goal, where Zardes’s attempted flick to Morris deflected off a Mexican defender and into the penalty area, with no one else around.
Morris pounced on the loose ball, controlled with his first touch, composed himself and slotted the ball under Saucedo with his next touch, giving the USMNT a 1-0 lead and himself the first goal of his international career.
Juan Agudelo doubled the Yanks’ lead in the 72nd when he plucked a long ball from Bradley out of the Texas sky, skated by his defender at the corner of the 18-yard box, found an acre of space and fired his shot low and past Saucedo.
The USMNT had a pair of chances that narrowly missed just before the 80-minute mark, including another near-Olimpico from Bradley and a shot from Perry Kitchen that looked destined for the far post, if not for the intervention of a Mexican defender.
With his latest triumph, Klinsmann’s record against Mexico remains unblemished in his time as USMNT boss (three wins, three draws), including a famous friendly victory at the vaunted Estadio Azteca in 2012 and the two sides’ World Cup qualifier at Crew Stadium in 2013.
USA: Rimando (Yarbrough 46′), Yedlin, Gonzalez, Alvarado, Garza (Shea 46′), Diskerud (Evans 81′), Beckerman (Kitchen 63′), Bradley, Corona (Ibarra 46′), Morris (Agudelo 65′), Zardes
Goals: Morris (49′), Agudelo (72′)
Mexico: Saucedo, Flores (Corral 67′), Mier (Alanis), Rodriguez (Rodriguez 61′), Salcedo (Dominguez 46′), Velarde, Osuna, Esquivel, Montes (Rios 80′), Torres, Herrera (Bueno 83′)