MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - AUGUST 15: Angel Reina of Mexico fights for the ball with Geoff Cameron of the United States during a FIFA friendly match between Mexico and US at Azteca Stadium on August 15, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
Tonight the USA Men's National Team played the Mexican National Team in Stadium Azteca. Most people probably could care less about a friendly, even one in Mexico. I, for one, am always intrigued by these international friendlies, but not so much for the results. I love the opportunities presented to guys who might not normally get the opportunity to get decent minutes against quality competition. Hell, we're talking about five players or so away from the same Mexican team that captured the gold medal in the Olympics. Great experience.
Best of all? The youth put their mark on the game. Brek Shea, the guy we all know by now needs to request a move down I-45 from that evil hellhole known as Frisco and into the awaiting arms of the Orange, put pressure on the Mexican back line and bam. GOAL.
Terrence Boyd out of nowhere with a creative little move and backheel. Michael Orozco Fiscal with a well-timed move into the box and deflection earning him his first goal in a US MNT uniform. Yes, youth was on display, but exactly how close was this match, really?
It was one of those types of matches where the United States were just holding on, looking for that one single moment where they could capitalize. They got it. But most importantly, ex-Dynamo and forever Orange, Geoff Cameron looked absolutely fantastic at center back. And next to him? Maurice Edu of all players. And ya know what? He looked pretty decent.
I'm honestly shocked. I had this game pegged as a definite loss. I had given the US no chance, no shot at winning. And here we are, less than 30 minutes removed from the final whistle, and they did it. They erased 75 years of domination by the Mexican side in their own house. I'm curious to get Stephen's reactions and thoughts on the game as well, because he has less homer-riffic glasses with these types of games.
On a side note, when playing in Mexico or any CONCACAF nation, expect the officiating to suck. Just like in the MLS, the official was horrible. Completely ridiculous yellow cards, tons of non-calls the other way. Hell, did Mexico pay the guy off? At least there weren't any phantom PKs or red cards called.
In closing, let me just say the vision of Klinny smiling in disbelief at one of Tim Howard's last golden goose saves pretty much sums up this game for me. Howard was remarkable, absolutely the best he has EVER played for the US. And that, really, is a big reason this game ended as it did. Kudos USA. Kudos indeed.