For the second time in less than eight months, the U.S. men's national team went into the vaunted Estadio Azteca and walked away with heads held high.
August's friendly might have resulted in victory -- and perhaps paved the way for future success -- but Tuesday's World Cup qualifying draw resulted in a greater sense of accomplishment. With all of the pressure on Mexico to deliver and with the U.S. operating with a makeshift back line consisting of a largely untested central defense partnership trying to handle Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, the Americans salvaged a historic 0-0 draw. For just the second time in seven attempts, Team USA managed to not lose in a qualifier at Azteca, and is now 0-5-2 at a place that has traditionally been a house of horrors.
Considering where the U.S. mindset was at this time last week and where it is now, it is safe to say that the Americans have emerged from the depths of despair and found a smooth landing spot off which it can build when CONCACAF hexagonal qualifiers resume in June. Here are the U.S. player ratings from Tuesday's battle with rival Mexico (as always, on a scale from 0-10).