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USMNT stumble against Mexico in 3-0 loss

Few bright spots for the Americans

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Mexico at USA Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The first half started solidly, before devolving into a nightmare for the United States. Both teams were stuck in the middle third as the Americans had solid possession through 10 minutes, but were unable to do much with it before the Mexican press tightened.

The lone highlight from the Americans came from a moment of brilliance from dual-international and debutant Sergino Dest. With Christian Pulisic pulling off a defender with a run, Dest bent a 25 yard left footer that forced a save.

The momentum would sputter as El Tri turned up the defensive pressure. The U.S. struggled to break out of their half of the field. The U.S. attempted to play through the press, but often lost possession on second balls, giving Mexico the short field to attack.

Mexico picked up possession after a turnover at midfield and moved the ball around with ease, finally finding Tecatito on the right side. The wily winger nutmegged Dest and found a pocket of space next to the penalty box. He lofted a cross and gave Chicharito a free header. Mexico’s leading goal scorer didn’t miss. El Tri lead 1-0 in the 21st minute.

The United States continued to reel throughout the first half as Mexico continue to pile on pressure, if not goals. The American defense was able to prevent El Tri from breaking through, limiting them to two more Tecatito shots.

The U.S. started the second half solidly as they moved to playing directly and passing past the press to keep possession, but the Americans were unable to create any shots through the first 15 minutes.

Mexico adjusted and the Americans stumbled into poor turnovers. A Zack Steffen pass under pressure led to an easy Erick Gutierrez chance from the top of the penalty area. He finished the uncontested shot to extend the lead to 2-0 in the 78th minute.

With the game all but out of hand, the United States pressed for a consolation goal, but opened themselves up to a counter. Mexico capitalized again. After snuffing out an American chance, Mexico pushed at speed through Hirving Lozano. Lozano raced through midfield and found Uriel Antuna. The Galaxy man finished and made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute.

The United States nearly found a consolation goal in the 87th minute. Continuing to attack, Sebastian Lletget bent a ball past the backline to Jordan Morris. Morris was brought down and the Americans earned a penalty. Josh Sargent stepped up and drove a low shot to the corner, but Mexico keeper Jonathan Orozco was equal to the well taken shot to keep the U.S. off the board.

The Americans failed to test Mexico in the final moments, a second consecutive shutout loss to their biggest rival. The U.S. now plays Uruguay in a Friendly on Tuesday evening in St. Louis.

Crew Stat Line

Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes started for the United States. Zardes rarely touched the ball in his 67 minute appearance before being substituted for Sargent. He was 6 for 6 on his passes, two of which were kickoffs. He had no shots. Trapp played 77 minutes, working to cycle the ball, but giving up a couple turnovers in possession.