GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - U.S. versus Mexico lived up to its billing with the rivals battling to a 2-2 draw Wednesday night, and provided a possible glimpse into the future with 18-year-old Julian Green making his first national team appearance for the Americans.
The highly touted Green made his senior U.S. debut, coming on in the 59th minute as a substitute at midfielder for Brad Davis.
“All the players that were here today gave everything they had, and if they understand that a game goes at least 90 minutes … we had 55, maybe 60 maximum at that (World Cup) level. So that means we have a lot of homework to do,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, lamenting a non-call against Green in which he wanted a penalty in the closing minutes of the game. “You saw in some moments what this kid is capable to do. He goes in the box, he draws two guys. … It is what it is. Obviously he was nervous, too. He played his first cap in front of 60,000 against Mexico.”
Green, the product of German club Bayern Munich’s developmental system, recently committed his international soccer future to the United States national team.
Born in Tampa, Fla., but raised in Germany, Green has played for both German and U.S. national teams from the U-16 to U-19 levels. He was called in last year by Klinsmann, but declined the invitation to attend the team’s camp at that time.
Mexico turned a dreadful first half into a tight game following captain Rafael Marquez’s 49th-minute goal. Mexico became more active on the attack and threatened to tie on almost every run in the second half.
The tying goal came in the 67th minute. Alan Pulido collected the rebound of Paul Aguilar’s shot that hit the post and kicked the ball into an open net.
“We got a tie that we needed to get,” Mexico goalkeeper Moises Munoz said in Spanish.
Both teams had chances to take the lead late in the match. Second-half substitute Eddie Johnson was ruled offside and his goal was nullified in the 85th minute. Mexico’s Miguel Angel Ponce took a shot in the 86th minute that barely went over the goal.
Early on, the U.S. looked as if it might run away with another satisfying win over its biggest rival. It took the U.S. less than 15 minutes to get on the scoreboard.
Midfielder Michael Bradley outran Mexico midfielder Jesus Zavala to a corner kick that went far post from Zusi, and Bradley finished with one touch to give the Americans the early lead.
The U.S. set the pace of the match early, making runs down the field several times and making Mexico’s defense work and drawing corner kicks.
The U.S. took a two-goal lead in the 28th minute with some effective passing. Clint Dempsey sent the ball wide to Tony Beltran, a defender making just his third appearance for the national team. Beltran crossed to Bradley, who found Chris Wondolowski to his left near the goal, and Wondolowski slotted the ball into the net.