When Mexico and the United States scheduled an April friendly, it's unlikely that Jurgen Klinsmann and Miguel Herrera were expecting to see cohesive-looking sides, ready for World Cup play. Instead, they played experimental teams with fringe players, and they got plenty of information from it. The fans got a nice show, too, with the game ending in a 2-2 draw.
The game was a tale of two halves, with the United States dominating the first 45 minute period and Mexico dominating the second. Klinsmann opted to make no substitutions at halftime while up 2-0, but Herrera opted to execute three changes, ultimately leading to a turnaround and a draw.
Michael Bradley scored the United States' opener in the 15th minute off a corner, expertly delivered by Graham Zusi. Bradley lost his marker Jesus Zavala on a looping run from the top of the box to the far post and had a step on El Tri's defensive midfielder by the time he reached the ball. Bradley was involved in the USMNT's second goal just 13 minutes later, heading a Tony Beltran cross into the path of Chris Wondolowski for the San Jose Earthquakes man to poke home.
Mexico introduced Raul Jimenez, Juan Medina and Alfredo Talavera for Zavala, Carlos Peña and Moises Muñoz. Those changes helped immensely, with the switch of Medina for Zavala in the holding midfield role making the biggest difference for El Tri.
The second half was not a good one for U.S. defender Omar Gonzalez, who was at least partially at fault for both Mexico goals. He lost Rafa Marquez on a corner for the first -- though he was arguably caught up in an illegal pick -- and he completely fell asleep at the back post when Alan Pulido ran by him to poke in his side's second.
This match also marked the debut of German-American prospect Julian Green, the 18-year-old Bayern Munich II man who chose to represent the United States instead of Germany. Green was the victim of a bit of a bad call late when he was taken down on the edge of the box, but no call was made.
Julian Green/photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Klinsmann will be thankful the match wasn't a competitive one, since that no-call incident involving Green wasn't the only late bad call. Eddie Johnson had a goal disallowed for offside just a minute earlier, even though replays showed that he was level with Mexico's last defender when the ball was played into him. The American supporters in the crowd thought he'd scored a winner, but the USMNT had to settle for a draw.
United States: Rimando, Parkhurst, Besler (Goodson 59'), Gonzalez, Beltran (Yedlin 71'), Beckerman (Edu 71'), Davis (Green 59'), Zusi (Donovan 59'), Bradley, Dempsey, Wondolowski (Johnson 64')
Goals: Bradley (15'), Wondolowski (28')
Mexico: Muñoz (Talavera 46'), Valenzuela, Marquez, Maza, Layun (Ponce 68'), Brizuela (Montes 57'), Zavala (Medina 46'), Peña (Jimenez 46'), Chavez (Aguilar 63'), Fabian, Pulido
Goals: Marquez (49'), Pulido (67')