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Dirty Tackle

U.S. winner against Mexico disallowed by controversial offside call that didn't really matter

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle
United States' Clint Dempsey fight for the ball against Mexico's Jesus Eduardo Zavala during an international friendly soccer match, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz
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 (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Kadlubowski)

The U.S. won the first half and Mexico won the second in their Arizona friendly, but it was an Eddie Johnson goal that was controversially ruled offside that decided the ultimately meaningless result. After building up a rather easy 2-0 lead before the half-hour mark, the U.S. let it slip away in the second half as Mexico scored two of their own. Johnson appeared to nab the winner, but was ruled offside by a very close call.

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Offside?

Moments later, Julian Green, who made his debut for the U.S. when he came on in the 59th minute, was fouled on the edge of the box. No foul was given.

The match ended 2-2, but that doesn't really matter. This was a friendly between the two countries' domestic based players scheduled in disregard for the international calendar. What actually mattered here was what the players could impress upon their coaches two and a half months out from the World Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann went with a mish-mash of a starting XI for the U.S. and it bore fruit early with Michael Bradley scoring off of a perfectly arched Graham Zusi corner kick in the 15th minute and Chris Wondolowski scored yet again, this time set up by Tony Beltran in the 28th minute. For Mexico, who enjoyed a home advantage with the Arizona crowd on their side and the U.S. even going so far as to wear their new away kit, it was a mix of old and young. Captain Rafa Marquez headed in their first and 23-year-old Alan Pulido scored the equalizer, giving him four international goals in just three appearances.

Michael Bradley was Man of the Match and 18-year-old Julian Green got his debut jitters out of the way. Before the match, Klinsmann said this match would not decide World Cup roster spots, but after scoring nine goals in his last 10 international appearances, it's going to be very hard to leave Wondolowski off the plane as long as he's healthy. Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, meanwhile, has still never lost a match in 14 appearances for the U.S. (12 wins, two draws).

So what did we learn from this? If the U.S. starts Rimando in Brazil, they will easily win the World Cup.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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