Bradley's stunning early goal helps US to 1-1 tie at Mexico

Mexico's Carlos Vela celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against the US during their World Cup soccer qualifying match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, Sunday, June 11, 2017. Arena of course led the US to the biggest win in the series with the 2-0 Round of 16 victory at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and has a 7-4-1 all-time record against El Trí, going 2-2-0 in World Cup Qualifying. El Tri are famously nasty at home, posting a monstrous 40-2-7 all-time record in qualifiers in Mexico.

They may not be in second long, though, since Costa Rica plays Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday.

Mexico was trying to sweep the Americans in a qualifying cycle for the first time 1972. "We've prepared very well these last two weeks tactically and it worked out great".

That goal made it an end-to-end affair, though Mexico ended the half strongest, despite losing Oswaldo Alanis - replaced by Jesus Gallardo - to injury.

Before Sunday, Beasley had played just four minutes this year. Assuming he plays, that is.

The most surprising lineup change may have been in goal, though, where Arena went with Guzan in place of Tim Howard.

"I thought we had a good game today", said Arena. "We have a sense of where guys will be after this game tonight and realize we'll need some new bodies on the field on Sunday".

"Last time we did this in Columbus, it was a maybe", Gonzalez said. "Now we're in third place (in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying) and I couldn't be happier". "We might make a couple changes to that, but we're pretty set on what we're going to do on Sunday".

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio says midfielders Jesus Corona and Andres Guardado, and defenders Nestor Araujo, Miguel Layun and Rafael Marquez will miss the game. He will occasionally put it in the back of the net, but normally defers to his forwards to do the scoring.

Don't expect El Tri to take their foot off the gas on Sunday, however. Team USA tied Mexico 0-0 in 2013. With the remainder of the games in this round being played on Tuesday, it's possible the US could fall to fourth, but Arena said he was pleased with the progress his team has made since taking over at the end of past year. The U.S. will face Mexico Sunday in a 2018 Russia World Cup qua.

Mexico holds a commanding all-time lead in the series, posting a 34-18-14 record against the United States through the history of the matchup.

Arena said 38-year-old Tim Howard remains the Americans' No. 1 goalkeeper, but for this match he preferred Guzan, partly because Howard is coming off surgery to fix the adductor muscle in his right leg, an injury sustained against Mexico last fall that still affects his kicking.

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.

As if we could go with anyone else. However, if the Hershey, Pennsylvania native leads the United States to its first qualifying win in Mexico's deathtrap of a stadium, you might as well start forgetting about Landon Donovan. He hasn't faced anything like the Azteca during his young worldwide career, but he does have plenty of big game experience with Dortmund in the Bundesliga and Champions League.

The United States is now in third place with seven points in this hexagonal stage and need to rack up points with teams like Panama and Honduras not far off. Mexico's 21-year-old attacker Hirving "Chucky" Lozano is a bona fide star, and is reportedly on his way from Pachuca to Manchester City.

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