Mexico vs. USA: American Victory Shows Team's Progress

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2012

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - AUGUST 15:  Michael Orozco of the United States celebrates after scoring 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

Although it was only a friendly, the United States Men's National Team's victory over Mexico at Estadio Azteca shows signs that the team is continuing to grow as a program. 

The 1-0 victory marked the first time in team history that the U.S. beat its rival in Mexico. 

It is only one game, but it was a building block for the United States. The team needed a win to gain confidence after missing the Olympics. A win in Mexico bodes well for the future of the team, and they will ride the momentum as they try to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Michael Orozco Fiscal's goal in the 80th minute gave the USMNT a late lead and the team held on for its first win in 25 attempts in Mexico. 

This was not the same Mexico team that just won the gold medal in the Olympics, but the Americans were also without several key players. 

How big was this win? 

After failing to qualify for the 2012 London Games, it gave the U.S. confidence as the World Cup approaches. The team still needs to qualify for the tournament, and they have two opportunities against Jamaica in September to put itself in position to do exactly that. 

Coach Jurgen Klinsmann continues to build the team to compete with the best in the world. 

The USMNT won the game, but Mexico controlled most of the matchup. The Americans played great defense and made the most out of their limited opportunities. 

Klinsmann is leading this team to new levels, but the team is still not working to becoming an international power. The friendly was an encouraging sign for the Americans, and it is a great accomplishment to beat Mexico on their home soil.  

While fans may be disappointed by the team's performance in the Olympic qualifiers, this game is a positive sign. Klinsmann has focused on playing solid defense and that strategy paid off with an upset on Wednesday.

Both teams were playing without key players, so it is unclear how the USMNT will do against a team's best players. The inspired Americans played extremely well in a tough environment, and it will lead to the team continuing strong play in World Cup qualifying.

The team has a good attitude and has not backed down from any opponent. With a strong defense, the Americans will need to continue to work on improving their offense.

Not much was at stake for Mexico in this game, but it will be a game in which the Americans can build on. 

The USMNT is on the rise, and Klinsmann is in the middle of turning this team into an international contender.