The final phase of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualification kick starts with a blockbuster tie between two arch rivals – USA vs Mexico.
The Yanks don’t have a spectacular record against the Mexicans but will be banking on their home soil to turn the tide in their favour. Mexico on the other side must be remembering their heart in the mouth stuff in the 2014 qualification process and will be looking not to repeat that again. Juan Carlos Osorio’s men have always been the underachievers and they will be hoping for a better outcome with a much improved squad.
USA vs Mexico Schedule and Venue:
Kick off: 11th November 7:45pm (12th November, 6.15 am IST);
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus (Ohio,USA)
Mexico: 17, USA: 24
USA won one and drew one in their 2 friendlies last month. They beat Cuba 2-0 but were held by New Zealand. Mexico, on the other hand, won both their friendlies last month, they won against New Zealand and Panama in an identical scoreline of 1-0.
USA vs Mexico Team News:
USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann has chosen the best possible squad for their first two WCQ matches. Tim Howard is back in goal and Yedlin, Johnson are also available. The home team will be missing star player Clint Dempsey though as he is injured, but young sensation Christian Pulisic is in the team and everybody has high hopes on him. The striking pair of Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood are in good form for their club and can cause the Mexican back four problems, at least Klinsmann will be hoping so.
Mexico have called Rafael Marquez back in defense, also Carlos Vela and Giovani Dos Santos are back after Osorio decided to omit them for the last few matches. High flying Javier Hernandez will be leading the attack for El Tri while in defense the pair of Diego Reyes and Hector Moreno will be shielding Guillermo Ochoa’s goal. The Porto trio Hector Herrera, Miguel Layun and Jesus Corona are also selected and they will play a pivotal part as well. Osorio prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation and that may see Guardado playing in the midfield.
- Mexico have never won in MAPFRE Stadium, there 4 visits in Columbus has been nightmares as they have lost all four of them.
- First time ahead of any competitive game, Mexico has this much players playing in the top divisions in Europe. A total of 13 players in the squad are playing in Europe’s elite divisions, most ever in Mexico’s history.
- Mexico won the last game when these sides met, a 3-2 win in the Confederations Cup Play-off match.
- USA were unbeaten in the WCQ matches against Mexico during the 2014 WCQ process. They won at home 2-0 and drew at Mexico 0-0.
- Javier Hernandez is just 2 goals away from becoming the top scorer of Mexico, he will surpass Jared Borgetti, who scored 46 times for Los Mexicanos.
USA: Howard; Johnson, Yedlin, Gonzalez, Besler; Bradley, Kljestan, Pulisic, Zusi; Wood, Altidore
Mexico: Ochoa; Vidrio, Marquez, Moreno, Layun; Herrera, Guardado; Vela, Giovani, Lozano; Hernandez
Players to Watch:
USA: Christian Pulisic, Fabian Johnson, Bobby Wood
Mexico: Hector Moreno, Carlos Vela, Hirving Lozano, Marco Fabian
USA vs Mexico Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough), Ethan Horvath (Molde), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS (9): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Guillermo Ochoa (Granada), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)
DEFENDERS (8): Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Diego Reyes (Espanyol), Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas/Mexico), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina), Miguel Layun (Porto)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas), Jesus Dueñas (Tigres), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven), Hector Herrera (Porto), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt)
FORWARDS (7): Raul Jimenez (Benfica), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Jesus Corona (Porto), Jurgen Damm (Tigres), Oribe Peralta (Club América), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad)
Let us know your prediction for the USA vs Mexico game, in the comments below!
Photo by robert.melok