by Phil Stephens
U.S. U23'S SHACKLE "EL TRI"
Agudelo, Diskerud post 1st half goals
Dallas Soccer News Editor
FRISCO, TX--After rolling through much of the first half of Wednesday’s match with Mexico at a leisurely pace, the U.S. Olympic hopefuls struck for two goals in a one-minute blitz that changed the course of the game shortly before intermission.
The Americans were hogging most of the action, but not really dominating the game until forward Juan Agudelo, in the 35th minute and midfielder Mix Diskerud, in the 36th minute, stunned El Tri for a pair of goals that put them up 2-0 and proved to be the final score at FC Dallas Stadium.
Diskerud assisted Agudelo on the first goal, while Freddy Adu aided Diskerud on the second marker.
Agudelo was a real engine for the U.S., earning him the U.S. Soccer Man of the Match designation. But midfielder Alfredo Morales, available to the team just on game day, played a big factor, covering several positions.
Even with a two-goal lead, the U.S. had to claw through a disciplined Mexican team that never slacked off in the second half. U.S. Coach Caleb Porter began to sub liberally as the second half wore down.
Agudelo echoed his coach’s comments in saying the U.S. team knew Mexico was going to be a challenge. They welcomed the competition to see everything they worked on in the two weeks come to life on the pitch.
“When we put the guys together, Adu was allowed to come inside instead of the usual fast outside play,” Porter said. “Having Gyau start stretched the Mexican defense.”
The coach used Porter used the fast combination of Agudelo, Morales and Gyau to emphasize the American speed advantage. They wanted to control the game with possession up front.
“We used the guys looking to be the playmakers,” Agudelo said. . . . “It was positive the way we implemented what we did in training into the game.”
The players and Porter were also excited to get the atmosphere of a lively, if somewhat sparse crowd of 7,342 on a Wednesday night. They felt it was crucial heading into the Olympic qualifying matches.