Philadelphia, PA, United States
Jurgen Klinsmann opened up his coaching stint with Team USA on a decent note as the Yankees pulled off a 1-1 draw with Mexico to end its three-game losing streak against the reigning Gold Cup champion.
Klinsmann finally made his much-anticipated coaching debut with Team USA Wednesday just a couple of weeks after accepting the job.
With his reputation as a premier striker and coach on the line, Klinsmann leaned on the dynamic combination of Brek Shea and Robbie Rogers to end USA's misery against the Mexicans, and importantly, usher in a promising era in American soccer.
Rogers, a winger for Columbus Crew, came as a replacement for Michael Bradley - the son of ex-team USA coach Bob Bradley - and slotted in a nifty cross from an energetic Shea in the 77th of the match.
Rogers' magnificent goal pumped up more than 30,000 soccer fans, who though they saw USA's final chance at scoring after Carlos Bocanegra's header was cleared by Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa in the 56th minute.
Mexico, who missed the service of ace striker Javier Hernández in the match, opened the scoring when Oribe Peralta fired a bullet shot that went pass USA goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 17th minute.
However, Mexico's high-octane offense was never the same again after Klinsmann placed in several defensive adjustments on the field.
Klinsmann, who surprised his players with new jersey arrangements (1-11 for starters and 12-18 for the reserves), showed his mettle as a solid defensive tactician after his team foiled several offensive sets by the Mexicans.
After the match, Klinsmann expressed his satisfaction with his team's performance despite undergoing just three training sessions together over two weeks.
"I think we can be very satisfied with that performance," Klinsmann told ESPN Wednesday. "It's enjoyable to see how they go for it."
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