The United States beat Mexico 1-0 on Tuesday night in a friendly that provided glimpses of both sides' futures and perhaps the resurgence of a once-heated rivalry.
The night's lone goal came courtesy of Tyler Adams, whose right-footed shot in the 71st minute gave the New York Red Bulls midfielder his first international goal. The score followed several testy exchange between the two sides that culminated with Mexico striker Angel Zaldivar's red card for a challenge on U.S. captain Wil Trapp in the 67th minute.
Both teams arrived into Nashville under similar circumstances -- squads led by interim coaches that prioritized youth for their respective starting lineups. Entering the match, only three players in U.S. boss Dave Sarachan's starting lineup had senior-side experience against Mexico. For Ricardo Ferretti's young Mexico side, four players made their international debuts at Nissan Stadium.
Mexico had the better opportunities in the first half, with 13 touches in the attacking penalty area compared to only four for the United States. The U.S. relied on steady goaltending from Zack Steffen, with the Columbus Crew stopper making several early key saves -- including a deflection over the bar off Edson Alvarez's rising header in the 14th minute.
Steffen, however, dodged a potential handball in the 31st minute when he slipped on the pitch at the border of the box while handling a loose ball.
A sequence in the 37th minute provided a glimpse of Mexico's emerging generation. Club America youngster Diego Lainez raced past U.S. captain Wil Trapp along the goal line to place a tap-in for Cruz Azul star Roberto Alvarado, only for an out-of-position Steffan to dive back toward the net and cradle the ball.
The U.S. suffered an injury setback when midfielder Weston McKennie came out in the 40th minute after suffering a left knee sprain. ESPN's Sebastian Salazar reported McKennie -- who plays for German side Schalke 04 -- told medical staff the setback was a non-contact injury, rather than a result of a knee-to-knee contact. Julian Green came in for McKennie.
Zaldivar's red card was preceded by a brief confrontation between Lainz (listed as 5-foot-5) and 6-4 defender Matt Miazga that briefly served as a reminder of a rivaly that has seen its share of contentious moments.
The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 12 friendlies against Mexico, its last loss of the kind being in 1999 in San Diego.