The USMNT will travel to Mexico City and play against the Mexican national team in front of a packed Estadio Azteca, this Wednesday, August 15, 2012. As storied as the Mexico vs US soccer rivalry is, we must remember that this will simply be a friendly, where both teams will not be using their true A-squads.
The USMNT: Testing out new players
Klinsmann has decided to use this rare chance to play at the Estadio Azteca to test out USMNT players who usually don’t play as starters. Following is the US roster:
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim).
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Tijuana), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Forwards: Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Alan Gordon (San Jose).
As you can see, many US starters weren’t even called up to the team; this squad is composed mainly of MLS based players. Klinsmann hopes to give the future of the USMNT (i.e. this roster) a chance to play in the most hostile environment possible (please let me know if there’s any other stadium as hostile to the USMNT as Estadio Azteca).
Mexico: A chance to impress Chepo
The Mexican roster is also lacking several of its star players (no Olympic Gold medalists were called up), consisting mostly of Liga MX based players. It appears Chepo wants to give many of these players a chance to impress him and earn a spot in the September WCQ matches against Costa Rica. Following is the Mexican roster:
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).
Defenders: Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Stuttgart), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres), Enrique Perez (Morelia), Adrian Aldrete (Club America).
Midfielders: Jesus Zavala (Monterrey), Manuel Viniegra (Tigres), Edgar Gerardo Lugo (Santos Laguna), Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul), Andres Guardado (Valencia), Angel Reyna (Monterrey).
Forwards: Elias Hernandez (Tigres), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United).
Prediction: Playing at home, in front of 100,000 screaming fans, and with plenty of talent on the field, Mexico is a big favorite to win this match. The USMNT is missing too many of its key players, and for many who will get to play, this will be their first peak at a truly hostile environment. Mexico should win this game by a two or three goal margin. Final score will be Mexico 3 – USA 1. Of course, the result here is the least important thing, it’s all about trying out new players and giving them valuable experience (this applies to the US mostly).
Television: The US vs Mexico friendly match will be televised this Wednesday, August 15 at 8 PM EST on ESPN 2, Univision and ESPN 3.