USMNT battles Mexico to 1-1 draw in inaugural Continental Clásico
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The U.S. Men’s National Team tied Mexico 1-1 in the inaugural Continental Clásico on Wednesday night before 55,730 fans at the home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Forward Jesús Ferreira finished a nice counterattack in the 82nd to level the match as the USMNT extended its unbeaten streak against its fiercest regional rival to five games.
U.S. head coach Anthony Hudson fielded a starting XI that featured eight players from the 2022 FIFA World Cup roster in a match where quality chances were limited for either side in another chaotic edition of a rivalry which now includes 75 contests.
The USA’s best chance in the opening half came after four minutes when winger Jordan Morris pressured a ball in the box, forcing goalkeeper Carlos Acevedo to step off his line to clear. The ball caromed off of Morris and skidded just wide.
Mexico’s threats came from distance in the first half, with Luis Chavez coming close on a shot from the top of the 18 that sailed just wide right. Chavez and Alexis Vega also whipped two free kicks into the area that narrowly missed Mexico attackers.
The teams played a scoreless opening 45 for a fourth-straight meeting, but Mexico would take the lead 10 minutes after the break when forward Uriel Altuna broke loose and calmly finished past goalkeeper Sean Johnson. It was the first goal that Johnson conceded for the USMNT since 2011.
Mexico nearly doubled its advantage in the 73rd when forward Roberto de la Rosa curled in a shot from 20 yards out, but Johnson was up for the challenge and parried the ball away with a low diving save to his left.
The turning point came in the span of 30 seconds with less than 10 minutes to play. Mexico’s Carlos Rodriguez hit a shot off the right post and the USA jumped on the rebound to launch a counterattack, with four players advancing the ball forward culminating in a deft outside of the foot cross from Morris to Ferreira, who leveled the match from six yards out.
The teams will meet again in less than two months for another big showdown in the semifinals of the 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League on June 15 in Las Vegas, as the U.S. seeks to defend its title from the inaugural edition of the tournament. The winner will face either Canada or Panama in the final three days later.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
MEX – Uriel Antuna (unassisted), 55th minute: From the right flank, U.S. midfielder Kellyn Acosta sent a long pass back to Aaron Long at the half line left of center, but Antuna anticipated the ball and applied pressure, blocking Long’s clearance attempt and breaking free alone towards the USA goal before composing himself and shooting past goalkeeper Sean Johnson to open the scoring. USA 0, MEX 1
USA – Jesús Ferreira (unassisted), 82nd minute: The U.S. started a beautiful counterattack when Mexico’s Carlos Rodriguez rattled a shot off the right post. The ball rebounded to central defender Matt Miazga, who played it to left back Sergiño Dest. Dest slalomed forward before finding midfielder Alan Soñora, who played it wide left to Jordan Morris. Morris used the outside of his right foot to curl it towards the back post where Ferreira finished from six yards out to equalize. USA 1, MEX 1
- The USMNT moves to 22-36-17 all-time against Mexico and 17-9-8 since 2000. The U.S. extends its undefeated streak vs. El Tri to five straight (3-0-2).
- Jesús Ferreira’s equalizer was the eighth goal of his international career and first of 2023.
- The USMNT Starting XI had an average age of 26 years, 195 days and held an average of 29 caps overall.
- Veteran goalkeeper Sean Johnson saw his USMNT-record shutout streak end at 814 minutes. Johnson’s streak spanned across parts of 12 matches over the course of 12 years — from eight minutes into his international debut on Jan. 22, 2011 vs. Chile to the 55th minute of tonight’s match. During that time, Johnson contributed to 10 total team shutouts and collected six of his own for matches where he played the full 90 minutes.
- Eight of 11 starters were part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup roster: Kellyn Acosta, Sergiño Dest, Jesús Ferreira, Sean Johnson, Aaron Long, Jordan Morris, DeAndre Yedlin, and Walker Zimmerman
- Five players made their first appearances of 2023: Matt Miazga, Jordan Morris, James Sands, DeAndre Yedlin and Caleb Wiley – who made his USMNT debut.
- Midfielder James Sands made his first USMNT appearance since Sept. 8, 2021, a 4-1 win at Honduras during the first 2022 World Cup qualifying window.
- Substitute defender Matt Miazga made his first USMNT appearance in nearly two years, last seeing the field in the 1-0 win against Honduras in the Concacaf Nations League Semifinals on June 3, 2021.
- The leading cap-winner on the roster, Yedlin made his 10th appearance against Mexico, becoming the 13th USMNT player to earn double-digit caps against El Trí.
- Walker Zimmerman captained the USMNT for the ninth time tonight.
- Nine different MLS clubs were represented in the Starting XI: FC Cincinnati (Vazquez), FC Dallas (Ferreira), Inter Miami (Yedlin), LAFC (Acosta and Long), Nashville SC (Zimmerman), New York City FC (Sands), San Jose Earthquakes (Cowell), Seattle Sounders (J. Morris), Toronto FC (Johnson).
-U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM MATCH REPORT-
Match: United States Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: April 19, 2023
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: State Farm Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.
Kickoff: 10:22 p.m. ET (7:22 p.m. local)
Weather: 74 degrees; partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 1 1
MEX 0 1 1
MEX – Uriel Antuna 55th minute
USA – Jesús Ferreira 81
USA:1-Sean Johnson; 22-DeAndre Yedlin, 3-Walker Zimmerman (Capt.), 5-Aaron Long (4-Matt Miazga, 70), 2-Sergiño Dest (15-Caleb Wiley, 90); 23-Kellyn Acosta, 6-James Sands; 13-Jordan Morris (7-Paxton Pomykal, 89); 9-Jesús Ferreira, 14-Cade Cowell (10-Alan Soñora, 64),19-Brandon Vazquez (11-Aidan Morris, 64)
Substitutes not used: 12-Roman Celentano, 20-Drake Callender, 8-Jackson Yueill, 16-Julian Gressel, 18-Shaq Moore, 21-Joshua Wynder
Head coach: Anthony Hudson
MEX:1-Carlos Acevedo (Capt.); 2- Néstor Araujo, 3-Israel Reyes, 6-Erick Sánchez, 7-Uriel Antuna, 9-Roberto de la Rosa (11-Ozziel Herrera, 86), 10-Alexis Vega (8-Carlos Rodríguez, 71), 14-Victor Guzmán, 22-Julián Araujo, 23-Jesús Gallardo, 24-Luis Chávez
Substitutes not used: 12-Antonio Rodríguez, 13-Ángel Malagón, 4-Gilberto Sepúlveda, 5-Kevin Álvarez, 15-Alan Cervantes, 16-Fernando Beltrán, 19-Omar Campos, 20-Efrain Álvarez, 25-Edgar Iván López, 26-Aldo Rocha
Head coach: Diego Cocca
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 4 / 9
Shots on Goal: 1 / 3
Saves: 2 / 0
Corner Kicks: 1 / 3
Fouls: 15 / 7
Offside: 0 / 3
USA – Alan Soñora (Caution) 69th minute
USA – Walker Zimmerman (Caution) 89
USA – Kellyn Acosta (Caution) 90+2
Referee: Bryan Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmanuel Aguirre (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
4th Official: Selvin Brown (HON)
Bud Light Man of the Match: Jesús Ferreira