If the US had taken care of business at the Gold Cup this summer, this game would not have been necessary. But after losing to Jamaica in the semi-final, Jurgen Klinsmann must now get the US ready to play in the region’s biggest rivalry USA vs. Mexico. The winner goes to the 2017 Confederations Cup.
The US 23-man roster was released on Saturday. Klinsmann has opted to go with a team of experienced veterans who have played in a number of big games. For the most part, it’s the usual suspects. The only really surprising call up is Ventura Alvarado who had a nightmare of a Gold Cup. DaMarcus Beasley figures to earn his final US appearance (it just wouldn’t be right to let an all-time US great end his international career on a missed penalty in a consolation game) with Klinsmann stating that most of the players over the age of 30 can expect to start being phased out.
Not only is the US national team playing in a massive game against its biggest rival in front of an already announced sell-out crowd of 93,000 at the Rose Bowl, but the U-23’s can also qualify for the Rio Olympics as well on Saturday. Both games will be vital in cooling off Klinsmann’s seat that is growing ever warmer after a disastrous showing at the Gold Cup and getting beaten by Brazil in September. With World Cup Qualifying beginning in just over a month, it’s vital that the US get its act together and starts winning again.
For Mexico, the biggest issues have been injuries. Earlier this week Gio Dos Santos was ruled out with an injury. It was also reported that both Andres Guardado and Rafa Marquez would be out as well, but they have been included on Mexico’s 23-man roster and interim manager Tuca Ferreti expects both of them to play. Mexico comes into this game having not lost a game since the Copa America in June (an unbeaten streak of 10, of which only 4 games were wins). Most importantly, they did win the Gold Cup over the Cinderella of the tournament, Jamaica. They played a pair of highly entertaining draws in September against Trinidad & Tobago and Argentina.
• Clint Dempsey leads this US in goal scoring this year with 9. Jozy Altidore is second with 4.
• The last time Mexico lost a game on US soil was back in April against the US. It is their only loss on US soil dating back to June of 2014 when they lost to Portugal in Foxborough.
• Clint Dempsey has never scored against Mexico.
• Michael Bradley leads all active US players in goals scored against Mexico with 4.
• The last time the US played Mexico in the Rose Bowl was the 2011 Gold Cup Final, which was won by Mexico 4-2.
• On Tuesday, Mexico named former Sao Paulo manager Juan Carlos Osorio as new full-time manager.
USA trails 19-33-14
San Antonio, Texas
USA 2 Mexico 0
Next Game Up
USA vs. Costa Rica
Red Bull Arena
Harrison, New Jersey
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