Ninety seconds from elimination last month, El Tri earned the next-to-last berth in the 32-nation field by defeating New Zealand 4-2 Wednesday night for a 9-3 aggregate win in their home-and-home playoff.
Mexico scored only seven goals in 10 qualifying games, but broke through under new coach Miguel Herrera. Herrera, the fourth Mexico coach in two months, used only players based in Mexico's domestic league.
Jurgen Klinsmann sent a message in his U.S. coaching debut without saying a word. He stripped the names off the back of the jerseys and assigned Nos. 1-11 for the starters and 12-18 for the reserves.