The United States Men's National Team fell to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup to lose out on a ticket to the Confederations Cup. It was a one-sided game that ended up somehow becoming a five-goal thriller. Paul Aguilar's volley in the 117th minute stunned the U.S. and gave the Mexicans a win for the storybooks.
This was a huge examination for the USMNT of where they currently stand and they failed miserably despite the close score. We were able to find out a lot from this loss to our biggest rivals. This is what we learned:
Nothing has changed since the Belgium game
Jurgen Klinsmann was criticized for his negative approach to games in the World Cup. He bunkered and put 11 players behind the ball against Belgium and it cost the Americans. This game was almost an exact replica of that one. The U.S. sat back and allowed Mexico to enjoy possession and create chance after chance.
Back in 2011 we were promised a "proactive" style from Klinsmann in his introductory press conference. Nearly four years later we've seen very little evidence of that ever coming to fruition. If anything, the USA's mindset during important games has regressed to the negative and reactive side.
There comes a point in time when all the promises that were made fall to the wayside and answers must be given from the manager.
This roster needs a major overhaul
Aging players. Players who just simply aren't good enough. It's time for a complete overhaul of the USMNT player pool. Klinsmann (if he's still in charge) needs to forget about his personal admiration for players and biases against others and start incorporating fresh talent.
Kyle Beckerman and DaMarcus Beasley have had great careers, but they're past their best soccer and need to be sent off with their retirement presents already. There are several players out there who have earned looks with great play with their club teams. It's time to give those players a chance.
There are also several young players who could be introduced to the side as well. Matt Miazga and Jordan Morris are two under-23 players who could easily upgrade the quality of the roster.
Mexico is just better
It always seems like Mexico have more talent the U.S., but they've never been able to put it together for a final product. The USMNT always used teamwork and spirit to break the Mexicans and win. Well, those days are over. Not only do El Tri have more talent that us, but they've found out how to play as a unit. They are the true and rightful kings of CONCACAF. It's now up to U.S. Soccer to find a way to catch up.