Tyler Adams' First International Goal Lifts USA Past Rival Mexico, 1-0, in Nashville

Continuing to test itself against some of the best in the world, the U.S. Men’s National Team was buoyed by a second-half surge and utilized a 71st minute strike from Tyler Adams – his first international goal – to earn a 1-0 victory against regional rivals Mexico in front of 40,194 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. With the victory, the USA improves its all-time mark against Mexico to 19-34-15 and extends its series advantage since 2000 to 14-7-6.
Tyler Adams
Tyler Adams

NASHVILLE (Sept. 11, 2018) — Continuing to test itself against some of the best in the world, the U.S. Men’s National Team was buoyed by a second-half surge and utilized a 71st minute strike from Tyler Adams – his first international goal – to earn a 1-0 victory against regional rivals Mexico in front of 40,194 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. With the victory, the USA improves its all-time mark against Mexico to 19-34-15 and extends its series advantage since 2000 to 14-7-6.

The MNT utilized a high press to break up Mexico’s passing lanes early on, but the visitors carried possession for much of the first half. El Trí forced two important stops out of Zack Steffen, with the USA goalkeeper pushing Edson Alvarez’s snap header off a corner kick over the bar in the 15th minute before smothering Roberto Alvarado’s one-time effort in the 37th.

The USA had its first-half opportunities as well, with Gyasi Zardes earning a free kick just outside the area, before Kellyn Acosta’s take was blocked by the wall in the 28th minute. Later in the half, Zardes laid a pass for Tim Weah, with the 18-year-old taking a low first-time hit that Mexico goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez got down well to save.

As so many USA-Mexico clashes have been, the second half became a physical affair, which boiled over after the hour mark. It began as Diego Lainez was judged to have fouled Matt MIazga in the U.S. box, with the pair exchanging a healthy dose of words and gestures. Play restarted, but stopped soon again when Angel Zaldivar delivered a two-footed tackle on Wil Trapp at midfield that forced referee Ricardo Montero to show a straight red card in the 67th minute.

Up a man, the USA needed just four minutes to take advantage. Working with more space, Kellyn Acosta sprung Antonee Robinson down the left, allowing the full back to deliver a low cross into the box. Adams met the cross with a late run and one-timed his effort past Hugo Gonzalez in the 71st minute. The goal was the 19-year-old midfielder’s first for the U.S. MNT.

With Mexico unable to create much in the attack while down a man, the USA weathered the physical play to earn the 1-0 victory over its regional rival.

The MNT will continue to test itself against top international sides with a pair of Kickoff Series matches next month. The USA will host Colombia on Thursday, Oct. 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas, UDN), and follow that up with a match against Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN).

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Tyler Adams (Antonee Robinson) 71st minute: It took the USA just four minutes after the going up a man to find the opening goal. With more space to work with, the USA took advantage, with Kellyn Acosta slotting Antonee Robinson in down the left side. The full back centered a low pass into the box where a late run from Adams allowed him to one-time his effort past Hugo Gonzalez USA 1, MEX 0 [WATCH] FINAL.

Key Save and Defensive Plays:
USA – Zack Steffen, 15th minute: The first good chance of the match came from Mexico as Roberto Alvarado’s corner kick from the left picked out Edson Alvarez at the near post. The defender snapped his header towards goal, but Steffen pushed the ball over the bar to force another corner kick. On the ensuing take from the right, Steffen easily claimed the ball at the back post.

USA – Zack Steffen, 37th minute: Catching the U.S. in transition, Mexico broke out with another dangerous attack when Diego Lainez sped down the right before beating Wil Trapp into the penalty area. Once there, Lainez dashed along on the end line and centered for Alvarado, but his first-time effort was smothered a yard off the line by Steffen.

MEX – Hugo Gonzalez, 40th minute: Tim Weah helped the U.S. attack find its footing late in the second half. Minutes after blasting a long-range effort to earn a corner kick, Weah forced El Trí goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez into action for the first time. Intercepting a pass in midfield, Wil Trapp quickly transitioned to Gyasi Zardes, who switched the ball to the left for Weah. The winger took the pass in stride and one-timed a low effort from outside the box that Gonzalez did well to block.  

MEX – Hugo Gonzalez, 62nd minute: The U.S. continued to pressure and came close again thanks to a quick restart from Julian Green. The substitute midfielder played to the left for Antonee Robinson who took some space before whipping in a cross for Zardes that Gonzalez claimed it at the near post.   

Additional Notes:

  • The MNT improves its record against Mexico to 19-34-15 and leads the series since 2000 with a 14-7-6 mark.
  • Wil Trapp captained the side for the sixth time. Trapp has worn the armband in every U.S. match this year except for the 3-0 win against Bolivia on May 28. 
  • Collecting his fifth cap, Zack Steffen became the second-least experienced goalkeeper to make his first appearance against Mexico after Jonny Walker, who made his third and final MNT appearance in a 1-0 win against El Trí on April 28, 2004.
  • Nine of players in the Starting XI are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (FC Dallas) Zack Steffen (FC DELCO), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Tim Weah (New York Red Bulls/BW Gottschee), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
  • Tyler Adams’ 71st minute strike was the first of his senior international career.
  • Antonee Robinson recorded his second international assist on Adams’ goal.
  • Zack Steffen made three saves to keep his second career clean sheet.
  • With an average of 23 years, 5 days, the Starting XI was the youngest the MNT has put out against Mexico in the modern era (1990-present). The next youngest lineup against El Trí in that timespan came on March 12, 1991, a 2-2 draw in Los Angeles (23 years, 289 days).
  • The match was the sixth consecutive game in which the MNT lineup averaged under 24 years.
  • Midfielder Weston McKennie exited the match in the 40th minute with a left knee sprain.
  • At 18 years, 201 days, Tim Weah became the third youngest player in the MNT’s modern era to start against Mexico after Christian Pulisic (18 years, 54 days; Nov. 16, 2011) and Jozy Altidore (18 years, 92 days; Feb. 6, 2008).
  • Adams and Trapp made their team-leading sixth appearances of 2018.  
  • Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers were deployed as the MNT’s center back pairing for the third time. The duo partnered in the 1-0 victory against Paraguay on March 27 and the 2-1 defeat at Ireland on June 2.
  • With the MNT dressing 20 players, goalkeeper Alex Bono and defender Aaron Long were healthy scratches from tonight’s matchday squad.
  • The MNT moves to 2-2-1 all-time at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium.  
  • This is the second time the MNT has played on September 11. The first came in 2012, a 1-0 win against Jamaica in Semifinal Round World Cup Qualifying in Columbus, Ohio.
  • During their stay in the New York area last week, the U.S. Men’s National Team met with members of the NYPD and FDNY Soccer Teams at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, exchanging jerseys and touring the museum.

- U.S. Men’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Mexico
Date: September 11, 2018
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.
Attendance: 40,194
Kickoff: 8:10 p.m. CT / 9:10 p.m. ET
Weather: 69 degrees; cloudy

Scoring Summary:    1          2          F                                                         
USA                             0          1          1
MEX                            0          0          0

USATyler Adams (Antonee Robinson)                   71st minute

USA: 1-Zack Steffen; 19-Shaq Moore (2-DeAndre Yedlin, 85), 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 3-Matt Miazga, 15-Eric Lichaj (17-Antonee Robinson, 56); 20-Wil Trapp (capt.); 23-Kellyn Acosta (10-Cristian Roldan, 85), 4- Tyler Adams, 8-Weston McKennie (16-Julian Green, 40), 11-Tim Weah (25-Marky Delgado, 90+2); 9-Gyasi Zardes (7- Bobby Wood, 80)
Substitutes not used: 12-Ethan Horvath, 13-Andrija Novakovich, 21-Tim Parker
Head coach: Dave Sarachan

MEX: 1-Hugo González; 19-José Abella, 3-Hugo Ayala (capt.), 2-Oswaldo Alanís (21-Jesús Angulo, 90+3), 17-Gerardo Arteaga; 4-Edson Álvarez, 5-Victor Guzmán (23-Jesús Gallardo, 80); 18-Diego Lainez (11-Elías Hernández, 74), 24-Roberto Alvarado (10-Alan Pulido, 74), 16-Erick Aguirre; 14-Ángel Zaldivar
Substitutes not used: 12-Gibran Lajud, 6-Jonathan Dos Santos, 8-Luis Rodriguez, 20-Jonathan González
Head coach: Ricardo ‘Tuca’ Ferreti

Stats Summary: USA / MEX
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 3 / 3
Saves: 3 / 2
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 12 / 8
Offside: 0 / 0

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Matt Miazga (caution)                   38th minute
MEX – Edson Álvarez (caution)               66
MEX – Ángel Zaldivar (sent off)               67
USA – DeAndre Yedlin (caution)              88
USA – Bobby Wood (caution)                  89

Referee: Ricardo Montero (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Carlos Mora (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Gerson Lopez (GUA)
4th Official: Juan Gabriel Calderon (CRC)

ussoccer.com Man of the Match: Tyler Adams