Maurice Edu was somehow not called for an obvious penalty. That permitted the U.S. to withstand a barrage of corners and earn a 0-0 draw. It was ugly. It was fortunate, but it counts. Given how rare the points come at Azteca, this was an excellent result. Alexi Lalas enjoyed it.
Omar Gonzalez, with a cap count still in the single digits, impressed. He was stable and made crucial interventions, especially when the U.S. was under bombardment late. Also credit Brad Guzan for filling in seamlessly for Tim Howard (we might argue he has been better than Howard had been pre-injury). Jozy Altidore and DaMarcus Beasley are what we thought they were. Altidore was inactive, unfocused and got pulled before the 60 minute mark. Beasley was picked on by Mexico from the start and did not handle it with aplomb.
The gleam from Mexico’s 2012 gold medal has faded. El Tri are winless after three qualifying matches. They went 180 minutes at home without scoring a goal. We’ll defer to Jorge Arangure who claims there has been a lack of creativity in the middle. Mexico’s next qualifier is at Jamaica on June 4. One wonders whether Chepo will still be coaching them.
On Klinsmann: the jury remains out. Neither U.S. performance testified to his brilliance. But taking four points after the initial loss and last week’s substantial turmoil, however crudely, should calm everyone down.