Jurgen Klinsmann had to settle for a draw in his coaching debut for the U.S. as the Americans tied Mexico 1-1 Wednesday. Robbie Rogers carried the U.S. level soon after cominig on as a substitute in second half.
Mexico held control of the competition early, saying the tempo during the first half and quieting the 30, 138 fans at Lincold Financial Field in Philadelphia. Oribe Peralta took advantage on a short corner kick in the 17th minute, flicking the ball past Tim Howard to place Mexico up 1-0. The U.S. did not get a shot on goal during the first half.
The U.S. closely ranked the score in the 56th minute when Carlos Bocanegra got his head on a corner but goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was able to evade the shot and kick away the rebound.
Klinsmann launched youngsters Brek Shea, 21 years old, and Juan Agudelo, 18 years old, into the lineup shortly after the Bocanegra chance. The move invigorated the U.S., tying the game after Shea destroyed the Mexican defense and centered a neat ball for Rogers to tap home in the 73rd minute.
Roger said, “I have really enjoyed playing for Jurgen. 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.”
Klinsmann was only given three practices prior to his first competition on Wednesday but his player selections pointed out a shift from the counter-attacking way that has long been a staple in the U.S. worldwide game. Pairing Kyle Beckerman and Michael Bradley, and later Shea, in the center of a 4-5-1 formation permitted a much more open way from the U.S., providing Landon Donovan the freedom to make in the assault without limit.
“We wanted to see a performance with energy and excitement and with the goal that the fans were really going to enjoy their team,” Klinsmann said.
Klinsmann said, “I think we can be very satisfied with that performance. 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.”