U.S. finds answers on defense 

March, 27, 2013

MEXICO CITY -- They may not have left Estadio Azteca with the win they were hoping for, but Tuesday's thrilling scoreless tie at a jam-packed stadium was one of the most impressive performances the U.S. men's national team has ever delivered in Mexico City.

Playing in cool temperatures and under a full moon, a heavily depleted Yanks starting XI stood toe to toe with Mexico's for 90 minutes, frustrating them so much that boos and whistles rained down at halftime from many of the 94,000 fans rooting for the hosts.

The second half was more of the same, and while Mexico grew more desperate and attacked constantly in the game's final 10 minutes, El Tri couldn't find the winner.

It was a landmark night -- and a landmark week -- for an American squad that proved the U.S. player pool is far deeper than anyone could have imagined.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.