“I have really enjoyed played for Jurgen,” Rogers said. “He has a lot of confidence in us, and to get that goal made me feel good. I had just entered the match so it was a little surprising. I’ll take it.”
That goal was good enough for the 30,138 fans who saw the U.S. earlier blow what had been their only true scoring opportunity.
The U.S. nearly tied the score at the 56-minute mark, but Carlos Bocanegra’s header off Landon Donovan’s corner kick was turned away by Guillermo Ochoa. Ochoa kicked away a soft rebound and Mexico stayed in control.
Just not for long.
“I think we are building something great here,” Howard said.
The U.S. failed to put offensive pressure on Mexico had no shots or corner kicks in the first half. Led by Shea, The U.S. turned it around with a spirited second half.
“We certainly have larger goals ahead for our club,” Shea said. “This was a good step forward, but there is plenty of work to do.”
The Gold Cup loss to Mexico was a sign that the U.S. team’s progress had stalled under Bradley. The U.S. almost hired Klinsmann twice — first after the 2006 World Cup and again last year before giving Bradley what turned out to be a short-lived contract extension.
This time, the Americans got their man. Klinsmann clapped and exhorted his players from the sideline, all while starting the process of evaluating what exactly he has to work with.
This was a “friendly,” the first since 2008, but it was hard to tell when a brief skirmish broke out in the first half. These are the two best teams in CONCACAF, and it’s a heated rivalry whenever and wherever they play.Mexico has only beaten the U.S. twice on U.S. soil since 2000, but the wins have been in the past two Gold Cup finals.
Those games are gone. Klinsmann cares only about what’s ahead — a first game with plenty of positives.
“I think we can be very satisfied with that performance,” Klinsmann said. “It was great to see some young players stepping into this team and being guided by the experienced ones. The spirit and the energy from the experienced ones, it’s fun to watch. It’s enjoyable to see how they go for it.”