Featured Matches
Previous
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
1
0
ESPN3 LIVE 64'
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Bayern Munich
VfL Wolfsburg
2
1
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Paris Saint-Germain
0
0
FT
Game Details
US Pescara
Chievo Verona
1
0
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
FC Penafiel
3
0
FT
Game Details
FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
U.A.N.L
ESPNDeportes 12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Bayern Munich
VfL Wolfsburg
2
1
FT
Game Details
Evian Thonon Gaillard
Paris Saint-Germain
0
0
FT
Game Details
Aldershot Town
Forest Green Rovers
1
1
FT
Game Details
Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
1
0
ESPN3 LIVE 64'
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
US Pescara
Chievo Verona
1
0
FT
Game Details
Heidenheimer SB
TSV 1860 Munich
2
2
FT
Game Details
RB Leipzig
FC Erzgebirge Aue
1
0
FT
Game Details
St Pauli
SV Sandhausen
2
1
FT
Game Details
AC Ajaccio
Tours
1
0
FT
Game Details
Angers
Chateauroux
1
1
FT
Game Details
Arles
Sochaux
2
2
FT
Game Details
AS Nancy Lorraine
Nimes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Clermont Foot
Ajaccio GFCO
3
4
FT
Game Details
Créteil
Niort
1
1
FT
Game Details
Orléans
Brest
1
0
FT
Game Details
Troyes
Stade Laval
0
0
FT
Game Details
Valenciennes
Le Havre AC
0
4
FT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Cambuur Leeuwarden
0
1
FT
Game Details
Almere City
Jong FC Twente
0
1
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
RKC Waalwijk
2
3
FT
Game Details
FC Emmen VV
Jong PSV
5
0
FT
Game Details
Helmond Sport
FC Oss
2
1
FT
Game Details
Jong Ajax
FC Volendam
0
5
FT
Game Details
MVV Maastricht
Sparta Rotterdam
0
2
FT
Game Details
NEC Nijmegen
Fortuna Sittard
5
1
FT
Game Details
Roda JC Kerkrade
FC Eindhoven
2
1
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Achilles '29
2
0
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
De Graafschap
1
0
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
FC Penafiel
3
0
FT
Game Details
Terek Grozny
FC Arsenal Tula
3
0
FT
Game Details
Racing Genk
KAA Gent
3
2
FT
Game Details
Mjallby
Helsingborg
1
2
FT
Game Details
Sandnes Ulf
Viking FK
2
2
FT
Game Details
FC Dallas
Real Salt Lake
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
U.A.N.L
ESPNDeportes 12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Santos
Toluca
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Newi Cefn Druids
Aberystwyth
0
5
FT
Game Details
Prestatyn Town
Connah's Quay
3
2
FT
Game Details
T.N.S.
Bangor City
2
0
FT
Game Details
Arsenal de Sarandí
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
1
0
LIVE 35'
Game Details
Tigre
Racing Club
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Coras Tepic
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Mineros de Zacatecas
Oaxaca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Correcaminos
Dorados de Sinaloa
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
América Mineiro
AA Ponte Preta
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oeste
Boa MG
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Icasa
CR Vasco da Gama
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
Santiago Wanderers
Audax Italiano
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Rentistas
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Liga de Loja
Club Deportivo Cuenca
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Universidad De Costa Rica
Pumas Generalena
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Honduras Progreso
Platense
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 4 hours ago
Read
Sep 9, 2013

U.S. ready to face Mexico on Sept. 10

Will the goals keep coming against the Yanks' biggest foe?

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Sept. 16 Fighting issue. Subscribe today!

THE STATS FROM the March World Cup qualifying match against Mexico couldn't have impressed U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann. His team was outshot 19-1, outmatched on corner kicks 15-2, outcrossed in open play 20-8. Still, a 0-0 draw was acceptable for the Yanks, especially when you consider the venue -- the imposing 105,000-seat Estadio Azteca, where the U.S. has avoided a loss just three times in 11 games.

That was then. The team that faces Mexico in a second qualifier on Sept. 10 in Columbus, Ohio, is coming off a summer scoring binge that couldn't have been predicted from that March match. Over their next 13 games, which included a run to the Gold Cup title in July, the Americans exploded for 41 goals. In fact, the Yanks' 2.53-gpg average in 2013 is tops in the team's 100-year history, and their 12-game winning streak is just three shy of Spain's world record in 2008-09.

Sure, blowout wins against Belize, Cuba and El Salvador in the Gold Cup helped pad the stats. But 10 of those goals came against teams ranked in FIFA's top 15: No. 10 Belgium (4-2 loss), No. 2 Germany (4-3 win) and No. 13 Bosnia-Herzegovina (4-3 win). By Aug. 8, the U.S. had gained 10 spots in three months to rank 19th, with another jump likely when the new rankings are released on Sept. 12.

The biggest question now for Klinsmann and his staff is whether the squad can keep it going in Ohio. "Creating chances is the one thing we have to do better against Mexico," says assistant coach Martin Vasquez, one of just two men (along with U.S. defender Edgar Castillo) to represent both countries at the senior level. "We'll take the same tight approach defensively, but if we put numbers in front of their goal every time and we get down the flank, we'll have opportunities to score."

So what's changed since the beginning of the year, when the U.S. found the net only twice in its first four games? For starters, players got to know their teammates during a rare extended training camp in May, learning tendencies and temperaments. "I think that's really why we started clicking, just having that time together," says midfielder Graham Zusi, who practiced extensively with Jozy Altidore for the first time, then assisted two of his four goals the next month. "After I learned what Jozy likes, it was only a matter of time."

Embracing Klinsmann's high-risk, high-reward system has paid dividends too. After almost two years, the U.S. has finally shed its defense-first mindset and is fully executing the German's free-flowing, possession-based attack.

The game against Mexico -- a side desperate for points after winning just one of its first six games in the final stage of qualifying -- will require far more focus from the U.S. than did the friendlies. All indications are that Klinsmann's squad will keep the shot differential much closer than in its August 2012 and March 2013 meetings with El Tri. Those matches bookended an eight-game stretch during which the U.S. averaged just 7.9 shots per game. In its 13 matches since then, the squad has almost doubled that rate to 15.3 shots per game.

"We are not here to defend or counterbreak," Klinsmann says. "We want to play eye to eye with top teams."

And that's something American soccer fans have waited a long time to see.

Follow The Mag on Twitter (@ESPNmag) and like us on Facebook.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.