BY PATRICK MacDONALD
The naysayers will find their excuse; the Mexican team was in preseason form, they were caught up in the euphoria of being Olympic gold medalists …
Guess what? It doesn’t matter.
What the Mexican team should have been caught up on was the U.S. had never won in the intimidating Estadio Azteca …with an A team. Tonight, a B team swarmed in and pulled out the tenacious win with a stellar defensive effort, and a timely late goal.
Here’s how each player did individually:
Tim Howard – GK – 8.5:
Howard, while never bad, seems to sense when history is at hand (See Spain, Italy). When it’s time to become the star, Howard does just that. After the U.S. went up 1-0, Howard blocked a few point blank shots to maintain the first U.S. victory ever on Mexican soil.
Fabian Johnson – RB – 6:
Johnson played out of position on the right and played a role in standing up to the Mexican attack, though he lacked in the offensive half where he’s made his name.
Maurice Edu – CB – 6:
Had a solid match, looked a little out of place at CB, but performed admirably aiding in shutting down the always dangerous Chicarito.
Geoff Cameron – CB – 8:
Before Howard’s late game heroics, Cameron was easily the man of the match. He demonstrated that the move to the English Premier League was well warranted. He also potentially earned a spot alongside Carlos Bocanegra come September.
Edgar Castillo – LB – 6:
Had possibly his best showings for the USMNT, held down the left side as well as he could against such a formidable attack.
Danny Williams – RM – 3.5:
Mildly active on the right, one decent cross, had their been a recipient, but that was all.
Kyle Beckerman – CM – 5:
Had fairly decent distribution, though one terrible pass led to a Mexico corner. Had that slide tackle shot gone in, it would have been a goal for the ages.
Jermaine Jones – CM – 4:
Jones didn’t do much. Got a yellow, what else is new?
Jose Francisco Torres – LM – 3:
Considering the environment he was in – one he should be acclimated to playing in Liga MX – Torres was set to truly make his mark on the USMNT. However, he looked as plain as always.
Herculez Gomez – F – 5:
He had a chance or two on a mostly quiet night. Looked to be the least intimidated by Estadio Azteca on the USMNT.
Landon Donovan – F – 3:
When one hardly realizes the “best” player in the U.S. is on the field, that’s a problem. No shocker he was subbed off at half.
Terrence Boyd – F – 7:
Had a very active half. His assist on the lone goal was positively brilliant.
DaMarcus Beasley – LM – 4.5:
Relatively quiet performance when his Liga MX resumé should have played a role.
Graham Zusi – RM – 4.5:
A quiet night for the SKC playmaker.
Michael Orozco Fiscal – CB – 7:
He was a surprise inclusion on the roster and a surprise substitution. He silenced all the naysayers with scoring the only game winning goal in Mexico in USMNT history.
Brek Shea – F – 7:
Many questioned including a Brek Shea who has been subpar most of the MLS season. Well, he erased those doubts very quickly, charging towards the Mexican goal and scoring an assist on the game winner.
Joe Corona – CM – Inc:
A cameo at the end of the game. Klinsmann seems to at least like the youngster.