The United States Men’s National team played Mexico to a 1-1 tie in a friendly match last night at Lincoln Financial Field before a spirited crowd of 30,138.
The U.S. team was playing its first game with new head coach Jurgen Klinsmann at the helm. Klinsmann was appointed as coach on July 29, 2011, making him the 35th coach of the program.
Mexico drew first blood in the 17th minute of the match when Oribe Peralta scored on a cross from Andres Guardado. Mexico dominated play in the first half with superior passing and play-making. The U.S. played sluggishly, perhaps missing Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, who were both unavailable due to commitments to their European teams.
On the other hand, Mexico, who was without star goal scorer Javier Hernandez, out with a concussion suffered last month, seemed to be riding the wave of emotions from its 4-2 victory over the U.S. in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on June 25th.
The U.S. team came alive in the second half and finally tied the match in the 73rd minute on a goal tapped in by Robbie Rogers on a pass from Brek Shea. The new coach liked what he saw. “We saw, especilly in the second half, a very exciting game, and it was an amazing learning process the players went through in just 90 minutes.” Klinsmann stated.
On a side note, before the game, Major League Soccer (MLS) and the NBC Sports Group announced a three-year media rights agreement that commences at the start of the 2012 MLS season.
The deal calls for four U.S. Men’s National Team and 45 MLS games to be televised live across both NBC and the NBC Sports Network each season.
Although Jon Miller, the president of programming at NBCSports and Versus/NBC Sports Network, declined to comment on the rights fee, according to the Sports Business Journal, MLS will receive $10 million per year for the three years.
In other soccer news, Freddy Adu (who practiced with the Men’s National Team on Tuesday but did not dress for the game vs. Mexico) agreed to terms with the Philadelphia Union today.
All in all, it was a good week for U.S. Soccer and new coach Klinsmann.
[Story by Stephen Miller. Photo credits: Jacob Miller]
We have a multitude of additional photos from the U.S. team’s practice on Tuesday and the game vs. Mexico on Wednesday night (as well as video clips from Jurgen Klinsmann and Landon Donovan’s Tuesday press conference). All you have to do to see them is…