Soccer

Teenager Green makes US debut in friendly draw with Mexico

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The Canadian Press
4/3/2014 1:45:16 AM
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Mexico rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with the United States in an exhibition match Wednesday night.

Highly touted 18-year-old Julian Green made his senior U.S. debut, coming on in the 59th minute as a substitute at midfielder for Graham Zusi.

Green is the product of German club Bayern Munich's developmental system who recently committed his international soccer future to the United States national team.

Born in Tampa, Fla., but raised in Germany, Green has played for both German and U.S. national teams from the U-16 to U-19 levels. He was called in last year by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, but declined the invitation to team camp at that time.

Green appeared to his a shoulder in the 80th minute after he fell down, but was checked out quickly on the sideline and returned to the field.

Mexico turned a dreadful first half into a tight game following captain Rafael Marquez's 49th-minute goal. Mexico became more active on the attack and threatened to tie on almost every run in the second half.

The tying goal came in the 67th minute. Alan Pulido collected the rebound of Paul Aguilar's shot that hit the post and kicking the ball into an exposed net.

Both teams had chances to take the lead late in the match. Second-half substitute Eddie Johnson was ruled offside and his goal nullified in the 85th minute. Mexico's Miguel Angel Ponce took a shot in the 86th minute that barely went over the goal.

Early on, the U.S. looked as if it might run away with another satisfying win over its biggest rival. It took the U.S. less than 15 minutes to get on the scoreboard first.

Midfielder Michael Bradley outran Mexico midfielder Jesus Zavala to a corner kick that went far post from Zusi, and Bradley finished with one touch to give the Americans the early lead.

The U.S. set the pace of the match early, making runs down the field several times and making Mexico's defence work and drawing corner kicks.

The U.S. took a two-goal lead in the 28th minute with some effective passing. Clint Dempsey sent the ball out wide to Tony Beltran, a defender making just his third appearance for the national team. Beltran crossed to Bradey, who found Chris Wondolowski to his left near the goal, and Wondolowski slotted the ball into the net.

The goal elicited chants of "Dos a Cero" from outnumbered U.S. fans, in reference to the final score of several previous U.S. wins over Mexico in the long history of the rivalry.

Mexico's first goal came off a corner kick from Marco Fabian to Marquez, who found space in the box for an on-target header. Four minutes later, Marquez got free for another header that Rimando had to tip over the top of the goal.

The match served a pre-World Cup tuneup for both teams as they evaluate players to be on their respective World Cup rosters. The next U.S exhibition is May 27 against Azerbaijan at San Francisco's Candlestick Park. Mexico hosts Israel in Mexico City on May 28.

Julian Green (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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