US players thinking of 3 points in Mexico, not border wall

Carlos Vela cancelled out Michael Bradley's sensational opener at the Estadio Azteca on Sunday.

The USA/Mexico rivalry will be renewed once more at the Estadio Azteca.

USA national football team players take part in a training session ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

"He's ahead of his time - he gets the ball he's super comfortable on it, he's never ever panicking, you see him when he gets inside the box he stands his defender up and the world is his oyster".

One measure of Arena's confidence in his team is how he was able to make those seven changes in the lineup, pick the right guys and give them the belief that it could work out.

Bradley has spent the bulk of his time with the men's national team as a distributor for others in the middle of the attack.

Carlos Vela tied the score in the 23rd minute with a 23-yard shot that beat goalkeeper Brad Guzan to the near post, and Hector Herrera almost put El Tri ahead in the 71st with a 30-yard free kick that struck the crossbar.

"The bad start in the hex meant that every point now is worth its weight in gold", Bradley said.

Mexico leads the six-team field from the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football with a 4-0-1 record for 13 points.

The top three teams will qualify automatically for World Cup 2018, while the fourth-place finisher will move on to an intercontinental playoff with the Asian fifth-place team for a spot at Russian Federation 2018. Panama hosts Honduras in Panama City while Costa Rica plays Trinidad & Tobago in San Jose. A 4-0 loss four days later at Costa Rica left the Americans last in the standings and caused USSF President Sunil Gulati and his board to fire Jurgen Klinsmann and bring back Arena, the USA coach from 1998-2006.

"I think we have the greatest respect for Mexico, its people, its football team", USA coach Bruce Arena said. United States fans entering the Estadio Azteca were escorted to the ground by riot police. Hector Herrera rocked the crossbar with a thundering free kick midway through the second half before Bradley hit the post with a lovely effort from range moments later. Seconds before the counter attack, Bobby Wood had a chance to score, but could not convert. As of this report, Mexico sits in first place in the CONCACAF standings, with the United States in third.

The Team USA vs. Mexico matchup has a scheduled start time of 8:30 p.m. There will be three minutes of added play. "We're going to come out with a win there, too". If the U.S. approaches this game tentatively, Mexico will jump all over them. "I was close to nine yesterday". U.S. moved into the automatic qualification places for Russian Federation 2018 after a crucial 2-0 win at home to bottom side Trinidad and Tobago.

Right now, qualification looks good. "I was pretty confident we could implement it. He's special, these guys don't come around very often", said Tim Howard, the U.S. goalkeeper.

It was the third time the US had gotten a point in World Cup qualifying at the Azteca, along with games in 1997 and 2013.

Mexico opens their tournament a week from today with Portugal in a crucial Group A match held in Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia.

Klinsmann tried a similar tactic during in November's loss to El Tri but quickly abandoned it. As a result, 7 earned points with a total score of 10: 7 leave the USA on the third line in the promotion zone to the next round. Now it's just about enjoying the next few days.

  • Arturo Norris