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Diego Lainez 8/10 in first career start but stunted attack dooms Mexico

A Mexico red card helped turn the tide in the United States' favor, as Tyler Adams' first international goal stood up as the winner in Nashville.
Tyler Adams describes the feeling of scoring his first goal for the U.S. in a 1-0 win over Mexico, especially as a New York native on Sept. 11.
Taylor Twellman explains why the United States' win over Mexico didn't answer all the questions about the rebuilding USMNT squad.

After a promising start against the United States, Mexico eventually stumbled to a 1-0 loss during Tuesday night's friendly in Nashville, Tennessee. Although there were glimpses of an efficient and fluid attack during first half, El Tri ultimately failed to capitalize on chances in the final third. Following last week's 4-1 defeat by Uruguay, Mexico exits the international break without a result.

Positives

For fans of Mexico who are feeling a bit down, it is important to remember that there is hope and potential within this young squad. Names such as Jose Abella, Gerardo Arteaga and Diego Lainez were brilliant for Mexico. Other young starters such as Victor Guzman and Erick Aguirre also had a few noteworthy highlights during the loss. Result aside, the squad's depth looks to be in a decent state in several positions.

Negatives

Finishing remains an issue. Regardless of all of the eye-catching movement from Mexico, nobody was able to score a single goal. Defensively, seasoned names such as Hugo Ayala and Oswaldo Alanis should have also been far more superior against an inexperienced American opposition.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- In a friendly match that was intended to give minutes to several untested players, there can't be much criticism of manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti. As for those who wondered why Jonathan Gonzalez wasn't given any minutes, a report emerged after the game that the Mexican-American had injury issues.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Gonzalez, 6 -- Unfair to say that the lone goal was his fault. That said, Gonzalez didn't have very many chances to compensate after only needing to make a couple of saves in the loss.

DF Jose Abella, 7 -- The 24-year-old, who looked comfortable in the defense and attack, was a key player in Mexico's transition going forward. Abella was impressive with his runs and crosses on Tuesday night.

DF Hugo Ayala, 5 -- The team captain had a forgetful evening. After not needing to do much in the first half, Ayala did little to stop the late U.S. attacking surge.

DF Oswaldo Alanis, 3 -- Alanis looked uncomfortable out there, which also might not be that surprising when you consider that he hasn't played much over the last several months. If the veteran wishes to remain relevant to Mexico, he'll have to have a more significant presence in defense.

DF Edson Alvarez, 5 -- Another budding talent that still need to fine-tune their game. Despite his distribution and interventions, Alvarez let the United States take control of his area far too many times during the second half.

DF Gerardo Arteaga, 7 -- The 20-year-old Santos Laguna player just moved up a few spots in Mexico's depth chart. Arteaga confidently dominated the left flank and was a key playmaker through his passing.

A stellar first start for Diego Lainez couldn't overcome Mexico's inability to finish off multiple chances to score in Tuesday's loss to the United States.

MF Erick Aguirre, 6 -- Aguirre should be given credit for the incredible amount of responsibility he was given as the lone man in the heart of the midfield, but the 21-year-old quickly became overwhelmed once the United States began to pressure higher up the field in the 2nd half.

MF Victor Guzman, 6 -- Guzman did an excellent job of connecting with Lainez, Aguirre, and Roberto Alvarado during the 1st half, but quickly ran out of energy as the game progressed.

MF Diego Lainez, 8 -- By far, Mexico's best player of the night. The 18-year-old was the most dangerous attacking option with his breathtaking dribbling. Lainez was unlucky to not finish with an assist.

FW Roberto Alvarado, 6 -- A bit of an inconsistent evening for the Cruz Azul up-and-comer. Although he occasionally connected well with his squad, Alvarado sometimes looked lost as one of Mexico's two strikers in a 5-3-2.

FW Angel Zaldivar, 2 -- The only highlight from Zaldivar was a red card earned in the 67th minute. Other than that, the striker did little to have an impact in the game.

Substitutes

FW Alan Pulido, N/A -- Substituted on during the 74th minute for Alvarado.

MF Elias Hernandez, N/A -- Substituted on during the 75th minute for Lainez.

MF Jesus Gallardo, N/A -- Substituted on during the 80th minute for Guzman.

DF Jesus Angulo, N/A -- Substituted on during the 87th minute for Alanis.

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