ABOUT THE MATCH
CARSON, Calif. (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team defeated archrival Mexico 3-0, behind goals from Mario Rodriguez, Christian Dean and Jordan Morris at StubHub Center. The win was the second-straight for the U-23 MNT over its Mexico counterpart, after the USA won 2-0 in the last matchup between the two nations on Feb. 29, 2012.
In eight matches between the U.S. U-23 MNT and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23 tournament), the USA has gone 6-2-0, (4-0-0 on U.S. soil) including tonight’s win.
U.S. goalkeeper Cody Cropper, who saved all seven shots on goal he faced, earned his first shutout of 2015 and the first for any U.S. U-23 MNT goalkeeper this year.
The U-23 MNT next comes together for the Toulon Tournament, which runs from May 27-June 7 in Toulon, France. The USA will face France (May 27), Netherlands (May 29), Costa Rica (May 31) and Qatar (June 2).
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mario Rodriguez (Luis Gil), 48th Minute: Starting from the center, U.S. midfielder Fatai Alashe played a ball out to the left where Luis Gil ran onto it and continued with pace down the left side. Gil angled a pinpoint cross past a closing defender into the box where a sliding Rodriguez volleyed it into the lower right-hand side of the net for the first goal of the game. USA 1, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Christian Dean (Dillon Serna), 58th minute: Mexico’s Bernardo Hernandez was called for a foul on Mario Rodriguez on the left side of the field, earning the U.S. a free kick. Dillon Serna sent the left-footed free kick into the box where an unmarked Christian Dean headed his shot past helpless Mexico goalkeeper Luis Cardenas into the left side of the frame for his first goal with the U.S. USA 2, MEX 0 (SEE GOAL)
USA – Jordan Morris (Shane O’Neill), 68th minute: From a corner kick, Luis Gil sent a high looping ball to the far side of the six yard box. Shane O’Neill ripped in a hard, one-time cross as the ball bounced to him and Morris met the pass with a leaping, left-footed volley that Cardenas got a hand to but was unable to keep from powering into the goal for the final margin. USA 3, MEX 0 (FINAL)(SEE GOAL)
Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 1st minute: Before the game was a minute old, Mexico played a ball through the middle and ripped a shot that forced Cody Cropper into a diving save, which he barely reached and pushed out of play.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 33rd minute: Mexico’s Angel Saldivar pushed at top speed from the right side and flicked a last chance effort at goal before reaching the endline, which Cropper brought in with two hands to keep the game level.
MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 41st minute: Luis Gil brought down a deflected ball in the box from 15 yards out, took a touch and a turn, and fired on goal. The shot went straight at Cardenas , who dropped to a knee and collected.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 45th minute: Mexico whipped in a dangerous cross from a corner kick, and Cropper dove out to snag a flick-on right in front of goal , preserving the scoreless the first half.
MEX – Luis Cardenas (Save), 54th minute: Daniel Metzger was first to a deflected ball just outside of the Mexico box, collecting it and sending a hard shot at goal from distance. Cardenas dove and just reached the ball to knock it out of play.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 64th minute: Angel Saldivar shrugged off his defender at the top of the box and sent a curling shot to the far post, which Cropper leaped for and tipped out of play.
USA – Cody Cropper (Save), 73rd minute: A long bouncing ball was played into the box which a streaking Mexico player met with a tricky header. Cropper was equal to the task, diving and deflecting the bal l to safety to keep the shutout.
- The U-23s began the game in a diamond 4-4-2 formation, the same formation used by the senior U.S. team in its match against Mexico on April 15.
- Mario Rodriguez scored the game’s first goal; it was his second of the year.
- Rodriguez, a Los Angeles-area native from North Hollywood, made the start at forward. The Borussia Mönchengladbach forward spent time playing in the LA Galaxy’s youth system.
- Jordan Morris has now scored twice against Mexico in as many games, recording a goal with the senior MNT last week against Mexico in San Antonio, and again tonight. Morris also scored for the U.S. U-23 MNT in the team’s win over Bosnia earlier this year.
- Luis Gil now leads the team with four assists in 2015.
- Gil wore the captain’s armband for the third straight game.
- Oscar Sorto, a Los Angeles native who plays for the LA Galaxy, made the start for the U-23s, playing in his club’s home stadium, StubHub Center.
- It was also a homecoming for Jose Villarreal, who plays for the LA Galaxy and entered in for Alejandro Guido in the game’s 24th Minute.
- Christian Dean’s goal was his first at any level of his Youth National Team career with the USA.