Stats & Info: Tim Howard

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.

USA needs close-range scoring in Mexico

August, 15, 2012
Ian Walton/Getty Images
Tim Howard will try to lead USA to a win in Mexico for the first time.
For the first time since 1984, USA and Mexico will play a friendly on Mexican soil.

USA has never won a match in Mexico, holding an all-time record of 0-23-1. The Americans are 0-8-1 all-time at Estadio Azteca, while Mexico is 79-8-32 in that arena.

Mexico is riding high coming off its first ever Olympic men’s soccer gold medal, but none of the Olympic players will compete in the friendly.

Prior to the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the United States was in the top 15 in the FIFA World Rankings, while Mexico was only the 3rd-highest ranked team in CONCACAF and was 33rd overall.

Mexico beat the USA, 5-0, in the 2009 Gold Cup Final and has made its way into the top 20 (and at one point the top 10) in the FIFA rankings since then, while the USA has fallen to 36th in the current rankings.

The last time the two squads faced one another was in a friendly a little over one year ago, when the United States drew the Mexicans 1-1. In that match, the Americans were only able to muster two shots inside the penalty area, as seen by their shot chart below.

Wednesday's match can be seen at 7:30 ET on ESPN2.

• Roster by club country: USA 10, Mexico 6, Germany 3, England 2, Austria/Scotland 1.

• San Jose is the only club with three players on the roster (Beitashour, Gordon, Wondolowski).

• Four other clubs have two players on USA roster: Hoffenheim (Johnson & Williams), Real Salt Lake (Rimando & Beckerman), Sporting KC (Besler & Zusi), Tijuana (Castillo & Corona).

• Landon Donovan has 49 international goals; the rest of roster has 22. Seventeen of those 22 belong to DaMarcus Beasley, who last scored an international goal on October 11, 2008 (two goals in WC Qualifier vs Cuba). No other player has more than Herculez Gomez’ four goals.

The USA attempted only two shots inside the penalty area during its last meeting with Mexico, including the lone goal by Robbie Rogers in the 73rd minute.

• Six USA defenders have total of 21 caps, none with more than six (Johnson & Castillo).

• DaMarcus Beasley has 96 career caps. If he plays, he’ll pass Alexi Lalas into sole possession of 13th place on USA’s all-time list.

• Tim Howard has 78 caps, three behind Brad Friedel for 3rd-most among keepers in USA history. He has 41 wins, 12 behind Kasey Keller for most in USA history. His 27 shutouts are third in USA history, five behind Tony Meola.

• Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and DaMarcus Beasley are the only three on the USA roster to have previously played Mexico at Azteca. Donovan and Howard played in World Cup Qualifying in 2009. Donovan and Beasley played in World Cup Qualifying in 2005.

• No players on this roster were on the Olympic roster.

• Roster by club country: Mexico 13, Spain 2, England/France/Germany 1.

• Monterrey and Tigres have four players each, the only clubs with multiple players on the Mexico roster: Monterrey (Severo Meza, Jesus Zavala, Angel Reyna, Aldo do Nigris), Tigres (Hugo Ayala, Jorge Torres Nilo, Manuel Viniegra, Elias Hernandez, Andres Guardada).

• The Mexico roster has a total of 57 international goals; 25 of those are Chicharito’s.

Contributions from Paul Carr, Antonio Rusinol, Albert Larcada and John Zoni