The US National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) took another step back last night, losing handily to Mexico, 9-4 at Family Arena in St. Charles, MO.
 
Mexico got on the board first when Erick Tovar found the back of the net just 36 seconds into the game. Gordy Gurson answered for the US team less than a minute later. As the clock ticked down on the opening stanza, Brandon Escoto scored for Mexico with one second remaining.
 
Joey Tavernese’s back-post tap-in for the US at 2:12 of the second quarter tied the score at two, but Hiram Ruiz, Tovar and Bogar Moreno all tallied for Mexico, giving them a 5-2 lead at the halftime break.
 
At 10:04 of the third period, Tovar completed the hat trick to give Mexico a 6-2 advantage. That lead increased to five when Luis Alonso Sandoval scored at 13:41. Taylor Bond answered for the US at 14:21 to close out the quarter with Mexico ahead 7-3.
 
Matt Clare struck early for the US squad with his goal 19 seconds into the final stanza. Mexico answered with goals from Alexis Camarena (2:34) and Christian Gutierrez (11:36) to nail down the 9-4 win.
 
The USNAST fell to 2-5 on its barnstorming tour.  They won’t have to wait long for a shot at redemption. The same two teams meet again Saturday night at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA.