One week after the full U.S. MNT added yet another Dos a Cero against Mexico to its resume, the American U23’s did their seniors one better, defeating Mexico 3-0, or tres a cero at the StubHub Center last night, behind goals from Mario Rodriguez, Christian Dean, and Jordan Morris.
For Morris it was his second win, as he scored his second goal against Mexico in the past week. If the Stanford striker keeps this up he may replace the retired Landon Donovan as the player Mexican fans most love to hate.
This was not a matchup of first choice U23 teams, in fact the Mexico side was officially listed as a U22 squad. Just how many of these players will play in Olympic qualification in October remains to be seen, but the chance was there to impress coach Andreas Herzog, and that as much as anything is what was at stake last night.
The Americans were outplayed in the first half, but did just enough to keep Mexico off of the scoreboard in a goalless first half. The second half was a different story with the hosts taking the game to the visitors before Mario Rodriguez broke through in the 48th minute.
Luis Gil set Rodriguez up with a nice piece of one v one play, losing his marker before hitting a fine low cross that Rodriguez finished in style.
10 minutes later defender Christian Dean found himself wide open five yards from Mexico’s goal, and duly headed home Dillon Serna’s well placed corner kick for a 2-0 U.S. lead. Morris made it three with his 68th minute tally, volleying past Luis Cardenas after Shane O’Neill centered from a Gil corner kick.
The duo of Morris and Rodriguez showed promise up front, with the hard running Morris in particular putting the Mexican back line under pressure throughout.
U.S. keeper Cody Cropper was sharp when he had to be, coming up with a couple of huge saves in each half.
The only negative on the evening came when Tijuana midfielder Alejandro Guido limped off in the 24th minute, replaced by Jose Villarreal. The extent of Guido’s injury was not yet known.
Herzog will have another chance to evaluate this group at the Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in Toulon, France. The USA will face France (May 27), Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2).
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
MEX 0 0 0
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil) 48th minute
USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna) 58
USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill) 68
USA: 1-Cody Cropper; 20-Oscar Sorto (3-Boyd Okwuonu, 68), 5-Walker Zimmerman (6-Christian Dean, 46), 4-Shane O’Neill, 7-Dillon Serna (2-Juan Pablo Ocegueda, 81); 14-Fatai Alashe, 13-Alejandro Guido (17-Jose Villarreal, 24; 16-Daniel Metzger, 40), 8-Benji Joya, 10-Luis Gil (capt.); 9-Jordan Morris, 18-Mario Rodriguez (11-Alonso Hernandez, 72)
Subs Not Used: 12-Jon Kempin, 15-Alfred Koroma Shams, 19-Sam Strong
Head coach: Andreas Herzog
MEX: 1-Luis Cardenas; 2-Gil Buron, 4-Luis Guzman, 3-Luis Solorio, 5-Jorge Caballero (15-Bernardo Hernandez, 46); 7-Jorge Espericueta (14-Michael Perez, 59), 11-Daniel Hernandez, 16-Rafael Escamilla (6-Pedro Hernandez, 46); 8-Uvaldo Luna (17-Carlos Cisneros, 74), 9-Angel Zaldivar, 10-Marco Bueno (capt.) (18-Rosario Cota, 46)
Subs Not Used: 12-Manuel Lajud, 13-Pedro Teran, 19-Jose Alberto Garcia, 20-Ulises Jaimes
Head coach: Raul Gutierrez
Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 12 / 14
Shots on Goal: 5 / 7
Saves: 7 / 2
Corner Kicks: 6 / 10
Fouls: 15 / 10
Offside: 0 / 1
USA – Mario Rodriguez (caution) 21st minute
USA – Fatai Alashe (caution) 38
USA – Shane O’Neill (caution) 43
USA –Boyd Okwuonu (caution) 90+1