Backboned by three Columbus Crew SC players, the U.S. Men’s National Team defeated rivals Mexico for the first time since 2015 thanks to a goal from Tyler Adams, which assured the Stars & Stripes the 1-0 victory at the Nissan Stadium, in Nashville, Tennessee. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Wil Trapp, who captained the team, played for 90 minutes while forward Gyasi Zardes was on the field for 80 of them.
With the result, the USMNT, which is still being coached on an interim basis by Dave Sarachan, completes its September schedule with one victory and one loss as the Americans lost to Brazil 2-0 in New Jersey on Friday. The team has friendly matches against Colombia and Peru scheduled in October.
Steffen had a consistent and quiet night for the most part of the match. The goalkeeper had to make an early intervention to secure his second clean sheet in four starts with the team as he deflected a header from Edson Alvarez. In an uncommon mistake, he came out and slid to collect the ball, handling it outside the penalty box, giving Mexico a free kick in a dangerous area, but nothing came from it. The shot-stopper ended the match with three saves.
Trapp, on the other hand, had a busy first half in his seventh game wearing the captain’s armband for his country. The midfielder struggled to find good options when he had the ball, especially in the first half, and had a hard time defending Mexican midfielders Roberto Alvarado and Diego Lainez. His game improved in the second half as he suffered the foul that had Ángel Zaldívar sent off and fired a dangerous long-distance shot.
Zardes, the second-oldest player in the starting lineup at 27, showed good effort and some chemistry when combining with Timothy Weah. The striker drew a dangerous foul a couple of feet outside the penalty box in the first half and was inches away from tapping a cross into the next from Julian Green during the second before he was taken off.
The U.S. game-winning goal was scored by Adams at the 71-minute mark. The 19-year-old New York Red Bulls midfielder benefited from a low cross from fullback Antonee Robinson and good movement from Zardes to get to the ball to the penalty kick spot and to send it to the back of the net with a right-foot finish.
After playing the two matches with the USMNT, Steffen, Trapp and Zardes are expected to rejoin Crew SC soon and they should all be available for selection on Saturday, when the Black & Gold face FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium, in Frisco, Texas.