‘A forgettable performance for USMNT’ - Mexico draw bores Alexi Lalas but former defender praises group's 'mentality'

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Alexi Lalas 2023
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The USMNT came away with a 1-1 draw against Mexico in a dull affair missing stalwarts from both sides as the World Cup cycle begins.
  • Faced Mexico in Continental Clasico
  • Uneventful draw
  • Looking ahead to busy summer

WHAT HAPPENED? The U.S. men's national team was up against Diego Cocca's Mexico in a one-off friendly in the Continental Clasico. The game ended in a 1-1 draw and was largely an uninspiring and uneventful affair. Mexico opened the scoring in the 54th minute following a cheap giveaway by veteran Aaron Long and Uriel Antuna made it count. El Tri weren't able to see out a win, though, as Jesus Ferreira seized the only good chance for the USMNT in the 80th minute, capitalizing on an error at the back.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "I don't think either team distinguished themselves and I think it was ultimately a forgettable performance. But I like that after gifting Mexico a goal this USMNT had the mentality and ability to get back into the game despite playing in a huge pro-mexico environment. Moving on," wrote former U.S. international star Alexi Lalas on Twitter.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The game small potatoes in the bigger rivalry, taking place at a time when European players remained on club duty. The rosters had many newcomers and the idea was for these players to get in the mix ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

There weren't many key takeaways but important minutes for youngsters Alan Sonora, Aidan Morris and a brief cameo by Caleb Wiley were the high points of the game from an American perspective.

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Aaron Long USMNT 2022 Jesus Ferreira celebrate USMNT Mexico friendly 2023 Sergino Dest USMNT Netherlands World Cup 2022

WHAT NEXT? The USMNT will be competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Nations League starting in June. These tournaments will be key in incorporating young, uncapped talents in the roster in the cycle leading up to the next World Cup.

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