April 15, 2015
By Michael Lewis
GIVING IT THE OLD COLLEGE TRY
Morris scores 1st international goal as USA blanks Mexico, 2-0; Agudelo also scores
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Forward Jordan Morris will always remember the Alamodome.
That's where the 20-year-old Stanford University student scored his first international goal.
Despite being the only non-professional player on the field, Morris electrified, well, some of the capacity crowd of 64,369 on Wednesday night, striking for the first goal of the United States' ......2-0 victory over Mexico in the Border Clash between these two fierce CONCACAF rivals.
Morris lifted the USA into the lead with his first professional goal in three international appearances off a busted play in the 49th minute.
A pass deflected off a Mexican player to an onrushing Morris and the striker did what a striker does best -- sliding a shot under goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Former Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo, returning to the U.S. national team after a year's absence, replaced Morris in the 65th minute and it did not take him long to make his presence felt. Only seven minutes later, midfielder Michael Bradley hit a long ball to Agudelo, and the 22-year-old New England Revolution forward ran across the top of the box before drilling a shot that went off Saucedo and into the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
It was Agudelo's first international match since he was a second-half substitute against the Ukraine exactly a year to the day -- on April 15, 2014. It also was his third international goal in 19 matches.
William Yarbrough, was born in Mexico to American parents, replaced veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando at halftime, and backstopped the Americans in the second half in his second international appearance.
The game kicked off at a rather frantic pace as both teams tried to impose their styles on the other.
The USA tried many quick passes to thwart the Mexicans, who used their usual, methodical buildup into the penalty area.
Eight minutes into the match, it paid off as forward Eduardo Herrera fired a 12-yard shot wide left of the its intended target.
Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman, the only USA field player older than 32 in the Starting XI -- he's 32 -- managed the hosts' first attempt from distance, but his shot skipped past the net on the right side in the 15th minute.
Mexican forward Carlos Esquivel tried his own shot from distance in the 24th minute, but his attempt was even further off the mark on the right side.
Slowly, but surely, Mexico put more pressure on the American backline.
In fact, El Tri fans thought they had something to cheer about in the 40th minute when his close-range shot from the right side of the box hit the outside netting.
Two minutes later, captain and midfielder Luis Montes struck a shot from distance that took a tricky bounce in the area as goalkeeper Rimando was able grab before it could do some real damage.
At halftime, USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann made three substitutions, pulling Joe Corona for Miguel Ibarra at midfield, replacing Greg Garza with Brek Shea on defense and replacing Yarbrough with Rimando in goal.
Mexico coach Miguel Herrera put in Julio Cesar Dominguez for Carlos Salcedo at halftime.
The Mexicans next are scheduled to host Senegal on May 30 before visiting Peru on June 5.
The Americans are to play a pair of games in Europe, traveling to the Netherlands on June 5 and then to Germany on June 10.