USA took a shock early lead on Michael Bradley‘s wonder goal, and then spent most of the next 84 minutes effectively soaking up pressure. On a night when their organization was largely on point, the visitors were fatally stretched on one El Tri counter that forced them to “settle” for a point they’ll happily take home.
Brad Guzan (6) – The US netminder didn’t have much of a chance to get to Carlos Vela’s strike. Though he was saved by the bar on Hector Herrera’s free kick, he also was at the mercy of that near-perfect laser. Guzan did well to come up with a couple of nervy cross claims.
DeAndre Yedlin (6.5) – The Newcastle defender struggled to deal with crossers in his corner during the opening frame, but rallied big-time to shut them down after the break. Yedlin also relieved pressure with a couple of gallops into attack during the second half. He was, however, guilty of keeping Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez onside for a dangerous chance.
Omar Gonzalez (6.5) – The right center back logged seven area clearances, including a few important ones. At the other end, Gonzalez had a golden chance to play hero on two first-half restarts, only to misfire his headers.
Geoff Cameron (7) – It was a flawed first half from the Stoke City man, who unnecessarily ceded a few dangerous free kicks. Cameron also failed to recognize that his spot was covered on the Mexico goal, passing up the chance to help Beasley close down Vela. However, he was outstanding after intermission, making several key interventions among 12 defensive stops in the US end.
Tim Ream (7) – The Fulham defender was the definition of solid in defense. Ream also set up a good chance from a broken corner kick. Surprisingly, he offered little with his typically strong passing game out of the back.
DaMarcus Beasley (6.5) – The veteran was knocked around pretty good in the opening stages of the game, but hung tough to put in a decent shift. Beasley was much busier at the back in the second half, when he pitched in with a few strong tackles.
Michael Bradley (7.5) – The US captain opened the scoring early, picking off a loose El Tri touch to exquisitely chip their ‘keeper from 40 yards. It was a goal that will be remembered for a long time, and he nearly added another with a long range bomb that rang the post. Bradley did commit one bad turnover, but he made up for it by repeatedly slowing Mexico moves up the middle.
Kellyn Acosta (6.5) – The FC Dallas youngster certainly did not look awed in his first big World Cup qualifying derby. Acosta positioned himself well throughout and made some important defensive plays. He also provided some pressure-valve work, but did squander a chance to slow Mexico’s break near midfield on their goal play.
Paul Arriola (5) – Far too often, Arriola neglected to give Yedlin help tracking flank runners. Aside from one fine cross into the box, he didn’t do much going forward.
Christian Pulisic (6.5) – For much of the night, the teen Borussia Dortmund ace was the only US player capable of beating Mexico defenders on the dribble. Pulisic could have done a little more defensively, but his runs into the attacking half unsettled the hosts. Unfortunately for him, he fired wide on his late chance.
Bobby Wood (4.5) – Playing as a lone striker, Wood had a tough night with his hold-up touches, was unable to win battles on long balls and did not complete a single positive pass. When his lone chance came at close range with Mexico scrambling, he whiffed on it.
Coach Bruce Arena (8) – From a game plan standpoint, Da Bruce basically nailed it. He took smart risks with the lineup and formation, and the team could have stolen away with all three points if one of a number of things had gone right on the Mexico goal sequence or on the US restart chance that preceded it.
That said, Arena could have used his bench earlier and one must question the wisdom of sending all three center backs forward on corners when the team habitually passed up serves into the box for short takes. That definitely came back to bite.
Jozy Altidore (6) – The Toronto FC star’s first involvement saw him put a bad touch on an outlet pass meant for a teammate, and it momentarily put the defense in hot water. Altidore also set up Pulisic’s chance at the other end, so we’ll call it even.
Graham Zusi (-) – Barely enough time to say hi.