Mexico vs. USA Highlights: American Victory Shows How Far Program Has Come

Sam R. QuinnSenior Analyst IIIAugust 16, 2012

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - AUGUST 15: Javier Rodriguez  of Mexico fights for the ball with Herculez Gomez of the United States during a FIFA friendly match between Mexico and US at Azteca Stadium on August 15, 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Miguel Tovar/Getty Images)
Miguel Tovar/Getty Images

The United States' men's national team beat Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Wednesday night, knocking their rivals down a peg after El Tri won the gold medal at the 2012 London Games.

It took 80 minutes, but the Americans got on the board first thanks to a nifty run by Brek Shea, followed by a cross, a mad scramble in the box, a heel touch and tap-in goal by Michael Orozco-Fiscal.

Surely, not many people had the Americans coming out on top in their pre-game predictions. That pessimism would have been warranted, as the United States' struggles at Estadio Azteca are well-documented.

No United States soccer team had ever beat Mexico at Estadio Azteca. This is a groundbreaking victory for the program. It speaks volumes for how far Jurgen Klinsmann has brought this team in his short tenure.

Of course, this wasn't Mexico's best starting XI, but the quality of players on the field was enough to make this an impressive win. The United States didn't put the best team on the field that it could either, so you can dispel the argument that this win means nothing.

Over the last 30 years, visiting teams have left Estadio Azteca with a win on just two occasions. For an undermanned American team to come into hostile territory and steal a victory from Mexico is nothing short of spectacular.

Prior to the lone goal of the game, it looked like Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and his band of relentless attackers would beat Tim Howard and find the back of the net. The American side seemed to have given all it had, and succumbing to a prolonged Mexican onslaught looked like a foregone conclusion.

That was not the case though, as Klinsmann has changed the culture of the USMNT in just over a year. We saw this team notch a similar victory over Italy back in February to stop a 10-match winless streak against the Italians that began nearly 70 years prior.

The United States' men's soccer team used to be looked at as a farce, one of the laughingstocks of the international soccer community. This victory—among others—has served to change the culture of a once forgotten team.

The men's national team had compiled a stomach-churning 1-23-1 record at Estadio Azteca since the stadium opened nearly 50 years ago, but thanks to this most recent win, we can forget about those struggles.