In Jurgen Klinsmann's debut as manager, the U.S. managed a 1-1 draw with Mexico after coming alive in the final third of the match.
For the first hour, the U.S. struggled to maintain possession and get quality chances. Mexico made them pay with a set piece goal early in the first half.
After Klinsmann made several major substitutions, the American attack came to life, as Robbie Rogers scored the equalizer in the 73rd minute.
Here's a look at each American's performance in the match.
Howard wasn't challenged many times in the match and wasn't at fault for the goal. Set piece defense wasn't very good throughout the match, but that could be attributed to lack of attention and ball-watching on the part of the players instead of Howard's ability to marshal a defense.
Cherundolo managed to get forward a few times to set up attacks and was solid defensively. He showed composure when Mexico was applying a ton of pressure in the first half. He and Bocanegra are still undoubtedly the two best American defenders right now.
Orozco Fiscal committed a few nervy fouls and was generally shaky on defense, though he was never soundly beaten. His distribution out of the back was nothing special as well. He's certainly not the answer to who Bocanegra's partner in the center of defense should be.
The American skipper unquestionably turned in the best performance of any defender. While he was beaten a time or two, he showed a great deal of composure on most occasions. He also came very close to scoring with a fine headed effort in the second half.
He was better than Jonathan Bornstein, but as any U.S. soccer fan knows, that isn't saying much. His distribution was nightmarish, and he struggled to contain Pablo Barrera.
His one saving grace is that he has a good deal of pace and could possibly turn into a decent wingback, but the defending is certainly lacking.
It wasn't that Jermaine Jones turned in a poor performance, but that it was entirely forgettable. He only made one forward run of note and whiffed on a Landon Donovan cross. He was never a major part of the attack and wasn't the defensive force he is for club sides. Hopefully he'll be in better form in the future because he can be a major part of the U.S. midfield.
Beckerman was able to string together some nice passes and looked alright as a holding midfielder. He was certainly more influential than Jones.
It would've been nice to see him get forward more often, and it looked at times like the Mexicans could easily pass around him, but overall he did a fine job.
The saying that soccer is a game of two halves is a perfect representation of Donovan's match. In the first half, he played on the right wing and spent too much time chasing the ball instead of getting forward and generating attacks. He did swing in a couple nice crosses, but the performance was nothing of note.
In the second half, he moved to a more central position, and the positional change greatly changed the game. He was involved in most of the buildup play, created a bunch of chances, and truly showed his class.
If Michael Bradley's performance proved anything, it's that he is best as a holding midfielder. In the match, his best work came from a more withdrawn position instead of as a true attacking midfielder, as he was able to pick out quality passes to the wings. Also, by playing so far forward, his ability to track the ball and win possession wasn't on display.
In the first half, Torres was nowhere to be seen. In the second half, he moved a bit more towards the middle and proved that he is much better in a central role. On the whole though, he was never really involved in the attack and didn't do anything of note except for missing a shot or two.
Buddle got very little service in his time on the pitch, so he wasn't very influential in the attack. He did a good job of holding the ball up a few times but never got in dangerous positions and wasn't a goal threat. Overall, a forgettable performance.
Agudelo replaced Buddle around the hour mark, and it made all the difference for the American attack.
Agudelo was all over the pitch, winning the ball and setting up his teammates while getting into the box himself. He came up with a fantastic pass to set up Brek Shea's assist on the goal and was generally a menace. This performance proved that when he's part of a fluid front four instead of a pure lone striker, Agudelo is a force offensively.
Shea came on for Jermaine Jones at the hour mark, and he was hugely influential in the Americans' second half turnaround. Not only did he create a picture perfect pass to give Robbie Rogers a tap-in, but he was able to win the ball, tackle when necessary, and maintain possession. His MLS form certainly shown through in the match, and hopefully Klinsmann will give him more chances in next month's friendlies.
Rogers came in for Michael Bradley in the 71st minute. He used his pace to great effect and found himself all alone for an equalizing tap in only two minutes after his entrance. He was also dragged down on a breakaway in the 86th minute, but the Mexican Torrado only received a yellow card.
I'd be interested to see how if given a start, Rogers could be just as influential with his pace and positional sense.
Clark came on very late for Torres, and his only action of note was wasting a fine individual effort by Donovan by taking a bad shot instead of passing or looking for a better scoring opportunity.
Grade: N/A as he didn't play long enough, but if he played more, the grade wouldn't have been good.
Overall, Klinsmann's debut player selection was a mixed bag; some starters like Castillo floundered, and substitutes like Brek Shea were fantastic. I wouldn't be surprised if Agudelo, Shea, and Rogers get more playing time in next month's friendlies to further prove their quality.
As could be expected, Klinsmann will need to figure out what to do with the defense, as Cherundolo and Bocanegra aren't getting younger.