Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
The United States brought a massive group of young stars to Tuesday’s friendly with Mexico.
While it wasn’t always pretty, the youngsters did just enough to get the job done.
Tyler Adams scored a goal in the 71st minute, and Zack Steffen recorded a clean sheet as the United States earned a 1-0 victory.
Each side had only three shots on goal in a mostly tepid affair. Neither did much in the way of attacking in the rivalry matchup, which took place at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Even if the match itself was relatively low in stakes, it’s clear the rivalry is still very much alive. The tensest moments came in the second half when Matt Miazga and Diego Lainez got into a war of words. Miazga, who is 6’4″, mocked the 5’6″ Lainez’s height, and referees needed to separate the players.
Angel Zaldivar was sent off in the 67th minute with tensions still at their peak, and Mexico did not recover. The United States amped up its aggression with the man advantage, and Adams found the back of the net four minutes later.
Adams Stars as Other US Youngsters Struggle to Live Up to Rivalry Spotlight
Adams was the star for the U.S., scoring the lone goal in a match that lacked offensive aggression. The 19-year-old showed no fear, leading attacks and playing with consistent energy.
That energy backfired at certain points. He had a few sloppy touches and pushed at times when he could have pulled back. But he was one of only a handful of aggressors and acquitted himself far better than most.
Tim Weah didn’t produce much, staying out of the fray in the first half. He was part of a scoring chance in the second with Adams, but Weah came and went without much fanfare.
The 18-year-old Weah played against Mexico on the same day his 51-year-old father, George, was on the pitch for Liberia against Nigeria.
Overall, it’s hard to be too upset with how the group of young Americans played. This was the United States’ first win over Mexico in more than three years. It just wasn’t the coming out party some expected.
The United States plays its next friendly against Colombia on Oct. 11.