U.S. wins before Olympic qualifying
FRISCO, Texas -- Playing their final match against Mexico before CONCACAF Olympic qualifying starts for the U.S. under-23 men, the Americans wanted to make sure they used an attacking, aggressive style.
Mix Diskerud had a goal and an assist within a two-minute span in the first half as the U.S. established itself early in a 2-0 win Wednesday night.
"We knew this would be a challenge," U.S. coach Caleb Porter said. "We approached training trying to get control of the game. We've been trying to get possessions and not play back and defensive."
Diskerud set up the first goal when he curled a corner kick from the right side that Juan Agudelo headed into the left corner of the Mexico net in the 35th minute from the top of the goalie's box. The corner kick was setup after Agudelo was fouled by Mexico captain Ricardo Mier while chasing a loose ball.
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"It (goal) was almost a replay of the training session before the game," Agudelo said. " I noticed my defender was a little rattled and not as focused as the others, so I went by him."
Diskerud's goal came in the 36th minute after he deflected a pass from Freddy Adu from outside the top left corner of the 6-yard box. Adu fired a shot from outside the penalty area that brushed against the left leg of Diskerud and into the right corner of the net.
Wednesday's friendly was a tuneup for both teams before Olympic qualifying starts on March 22nd. The United States will play Cuba in its first match in Nashville, Tennessee, and Mexico will play Trinidad and Tobago on March 23rd in Carson, California.
"The U.S. team has been together for a longer time, they played better together," Mexico coach Luis Fernando Tena.
Mexico forward Marco Fabian who plays for Mexican first-division team CD Chivas and has been rumored as a target of Manchester United and FC Barcelona, did little. The closest Fabian came to scoring was on a line drive shot from 35 yards that keeper Sean Johnson easily scooped up in the 65th minute.
The majority of the 7,432 announced crowd was there to cheer Mexico.
"This was a great environment," Agudelo said. "The way we implemented what we did in training and put into the game is something we can build on."
Ricardo Bocanegra almost scored on Mexico's first shot when he fired a right-footed volley from outside the top of the penalty areas that forced starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid to make a diving two-handed save to his right side. Hamid only played in the first half and finished with three saves before he was replaced by Johnson. Johnson finished the game with five saves.
The U.S. under-23 team last played Mexico during qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Games, with Mexico winning 4-0.
"We have great chemistry, have enough pieces in the attack to be dangerous and they play for each other," Porter added..
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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