Stats & Info: 2012 Team USA

USA halts Mexico despite poor passing

August, 16, 2012

Credit: Miguel Tovar/Getty ImagesThe United States' Michael Orozco celebrates after scoring during a friendly match against Mexico at Azteca Stadium on Wednesday in Mexico City, Mexico.
The United States won a road game in Mexico for the first time, topping Mexico 1-0 on a Michael Orozco Fiscal goal in the 80th minute. The win ended a 24-game road winless streak against Mexico, a drought that began with a 7-2 loss in 1937.

Even more notably, the win came at Estadio Azteca, where the USA had been outscored 20-4 in nine previous meetings, posting an 0-8-1 record. Tying it all together, Orozco Fiscal is the third American to score at Azteca in the last 25 years, joining Eddie Lewis in 2005 (lost 2-1) and Charlie Davies in 2009 (1-0 loss).

Mexico’s home domination wasn’t only against the United States. Mexico was 9-0-1 in its previous 10 home games, last losing 1-0 to Paraguay in 2007. Mexico lost at Estadio Azteca for the ninth time in 120 games since the stadium opened in 1966.

Tim Howard played the hero with two late saves, and he actually led the United States with 46 touches in the game. Seven different Mexican players had more touches, led by Andres Guardado with 83.

The United States won despite completing 221 passes to Mexico’s 489, and doing so at a 74.7 percent clip compared to Mexico’s 83.9 percent success rate.

The attacking-third numbers looked even worse for the Americans, who completed 30 passes in the final third all game, compared to 138 for Mexico. Guardado alone matched USA with 30 passes completed into the attacking third.

Here you can see all of Geoff Cameron's clearances on Wednesday, courtesy of Stats & Info's Albert Larcada (note that all seven were in the box): click here.

Klinsmann Continues Streak-Busting Ways

Wednesday's victory on the road against Mexico was not the only streak stopped recently by the United States under Jurgen Klinsmann.

In February of this year, Clint Dempsey scored the game's only goal to give the United States its first-ever win over Italy, ending a 10-game winless streak that began in 1934. It was the 1st time USA got a road point against any of the eight teams that have won the World Cup.

Also, in November of last year, the USA scored three first-half goals en route to a 3-2 win over Slovenia, ending a 7-game road losing streak against European teams going back to 2008.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

LeBron James' triple-double helped lead the United States to victory over Australia, but if the U.S. is to move on to the gold-medal game, it will need the 3-pointers to fall against Argentina.
After a scare against Lithuania, the United States men’s basketball team has cruised to victories over Argentina and Australia, and continues a quest for its 14th gold medal in the 17 Olympics in which the United States has played men’s basketball.

The U.S. improved to 14-0 against Australia in FIBA tournaments, but the competition will take a step up in the semifinals against Argentina, the third-ranked team in the FIBA rankings.

Argentina has two of the three leading scorers in the tournament, with Luis Scola averaging 19.7 points a game, and Manu Ginobili 19.3, a combined 39 a contest. But in the group play game between these teams, the United States held those two to 27 points.

In that contest, the U.S. led by only one point at halftime, but pulled away by outscoring Argentina 42-17 in the third quarter. The key, as it has been throughout the tournament for the Americans, was 3-point shooting.

The U.S. went 19-46 on 3-point shooting in that game, and through its first six games, has made 96 3-pointers, 44 more than any other team. The Americans are shooting nearly 45 percent from 3-point range in the tournament, also best of any team.

When the 3s aren’t falling, the Americans have struggled. In the close call against Lithuania, the U.S. went just 10-33 on 3-pointers. It’s also led to some tight scores early in games. The U.S. went 8-25 against France in its opener, and only led by one at the end of the first quarter. Against Tunisia, the Americans were 10-25 on 3-point shooting, and led by six at the end of the first quarter.

But 3-point shooting hasn’t been the Americans’ only strength. The U.S. has had 114 second-chance points, no other team has more than 75. Team USA also has 159 fast-break points, with no other team having more than 98. However, potential finals opponent Russia has allowed 43 fast-break points, fewest in the tournament.

The Americans are also performing defensively, leading all teams with 71 steals, fueling their fast-break offense. However, Argentina has allowed just 26 steals, the third-lowest mark of the tournament.

An area of concern could be offensive rebounding. In the near-loss to Lithuania, the Americans were outrebounded 36-24 on the offensive glass.

LeBron James has already made his mark on these Olympics, with a triple-double against Australia, the first by an American man in the Olympics. With the potential for two more games, James could keep writing his name in the record book. He enters the semifinal game against Argentina with 236 career points in Olympic play, third-most all-time by a USA player, trailing only David Robinson and Michael Jordan.

With a gold medal, James could also become the third player to win an NBA Championship and a gold medal in the same year, joining Jordan and Scottie Pippen.