Arena changes 7 US starters vs Mexico, wary of altitude

Bradley became only the sixth American to score at Azteca in the sixth minute, when he intercepted a Javier Hernandez pass, raced in on goal and snapped a 35-yard line drive over the head of goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.

A downpour began during second-half injury time. The Estadio Azteca is 7,820 feet (2,384 meters) above sea level, which obliged the usa to train for the altitude.

Mexico is now 40-2-8 in qualifying matches at home, including 3-0-1 at Estadio Azteca in the Hexagonal.

"Here you know that if you catch a ball right, that with the thin air the ball's going to really fly", Bradley said.

Mexico soccer team supporter Hector Rivera said, "We have nothing against the American team apart from the fact we want to beat them". "Points are hard to come by here", said USA captain Michael Bradley, who scored the only American goal in the sixth minute, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The bad start in the Hex meant that every point now is worth its weight in gold". And this was the first time it came in a World Cup qualifier in which the U.S. got a point.

The Americans (2-2-2) pulled even with second-place Costa Rica on points (eight) but remained behind on goal differential. In this case, after a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday in Colorado, Arena planned to swap out at least seven and perhaps the entire group. Three teams from the CONCACAF region will qualify for next years World Cup, while the team in the fourth place will have a playoff match against Asias fifth-placed nation.

In glancing at the Hexagonal table, Mexico are a lock to reach Russian Federation with Costa Rica a close second, assuming the Ticos handle their business on Tuesday at home against Trinidad and Tobago.

The next round of qualifiers will be held in September when the boys in red, white and blue face Costa Rica at home and then go to Honduras just four days later.

For the USA, the tie kept the team unbeaten in seven games under coach Bruce Arena and kept the Americans unbeaten in Mexico City since 2009.

"I'm ashamed that there's perhaps some discord on the political side", Arena said. "We've made up some lost ground".

"It's a shame to give away the goal that we did", said Bradley.

On social media, the rivalry also got political at times. "And obviously a big part of it is this idea of team, of spirit, of mentality, of (guts) and understanding that we have good players, we have a good team, but we're not good enough to just step on the field and think that things are going to take care of themselves".

Fans booed and whistled "The Star-Spangled Banner," as usual when the Americans play in Mexico, and there was an occasional T-shirt disparaging U.S. President Donald Trump. Even if Beasley had an outstanding game, the 35 year old is not good enough to be a first team fullback at the highest global level.

The U.S. was 0-19-1 in Mexico City - getting outscored 81-14 - before a 1-0 exhibition win five years ago.

"And I think Bruce came in and has done a really good job of just little by little, making sure that we get back to who we are".

Take Sunday's lineup, which featured an unusual five-man backline and four players who started the night having played fewer than 50 minutes for the national team this year.

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