Mexico at home on U.S. soil in draw
The visitors received plenty of love at the Linc, getting more cheers than the U.S. national team.
The men's U.S. national soccer team only had two practices under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who vows to have his team play an attacking style that mirrored his play as a striker for the German national team.
After a sluggish first half, the United States got in attack mode during Wednesday's 1-1 tie with Mexico in an international friendly at Lincoln Financial Field.
The United States tied the score when Robbie Rogers tapped in a cross from Brek Shea in the 73d minute.
"We saw, especially in the second half, a very exciting game, and it was an amazing learning process the players went through in just 90 minutes," Klinsmann said.
For much of the game, Mexico rarely passed back and often kept going forward, causing considerable problems for the U.S. defense.
Mexico scored in the 17th minute when Oribe Peralta, despite being tightly marked by U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley, got his foot on a cross from Andres Guardado and deflected it past Tim Howard.
This was anything but a friendly friendly. Late in the first half, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo exchanged shoves with several Mexican players, but order was quickly restored.
Of course, when Mexico and the United States meet, emotions are always high.
This was the first meeting between the teams since Mexico earned a 4-2 victory over the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on June 25.
That game saw the United States jump to a 2-0 lead, only to have the heavy attack of the Mexicans take over. The crowd of 93,420 in that championship was decidedly pro-Mexico.
Attendance was 30,138 at the Linc, and it was another example of the Mexicans being showered with cheers by the crowd.
The green-clad Mexican fans were a strong presence. Fans for both teams arrived hours before the 9:13 p.m. kickoff, tailgating in the parking lot; waving flags; and, in the case of the Mexicans, wearing those taller-than-life hats.
This was a party to the Mexicans.
And there was a party crasher. In the 70th minute a shirtless man with a U.S. flag was apprehended by security after running on the field.
One thing that may have kept the attendance down was the absence of Mexican star Javier Hernandez, who suffered a concussion while training last month for Manchester United.
Even without Hernandez, Mexico controlled play for virtually the entire first half and the beginning of the second until the United States came alive.
One person who saw more than his share of the Mexican attack was U.S. defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, who earned his second cap with the national team and who played last season with the Union.
Mexico was difficult to defend because, for the most part, their players weren't holding the ball long, frequently beating one defender, dishing, and then moving to the open spot.
Where Mexico frequently erred was in making that final pass, which was often intercepted.
The United States had a golden chance at the equalizer when Carlos Bocanegra headed a Landon Donovan corner kick right at quick-reacting keeper Guillermo Ochoa in the 57th minute.
Undaunted, the attacking style paid off when two reserves, Shea and Rogers, combined for the equalizer. Shea had a shot turned back by a diving Ochoa in the 82d minute that continued the pressure for the U.S. team.
Most of all, Klinsmann liked the offensive mentality his team showed, especially in the second half.
"It was fun to watch," Klinsmann said. "It was enjoyable to see suddenly how they expressed themselves and [went] for it."
Watch video of the match at www.philly.com/tgkEndText