The United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) will meet their Mexican rivals in a friendly encounter at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday.
Since the match does not fall under the umbrella of FIFA, it will not feature either of the team’s full strength as the European-based players will not be playing.
Head to head, Mexico leads the rivalry with a margin of 17-32-14, according to Major League Soccer. However, USA has been on the better side since 2000, with 12-5-5.
The most recent match played between the two nations at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, ended in a draw (2-2). Mexico came back in the second half, a goal each from Rafa Marquez and Alan Pulido, to square the U.S.’ first half lead. Chris Wondolowski and Michael Bradley were the scorers.
Wednesday’s encounter will mark Miguel Herrera’s second match against the U.S. since he took over as the manager of the Mexican national football team. He will be contending with Liga MX players on the squad.
According to Bleacher Report, the Mexican defense has not been in its best form owing to Rafael Marquez’s absence and Hector Moreno who was not in his element against Ecuador.
To add value to his back line, Herrera can consider Luis Rodriguez, whose flexibility to play as a defender or in the midfield gives him an edge over other Liga MX defenders.
Jurgen Damm, whose skillfulness in dribbling and athletic speed contribute to his ability to finish plays or create them, has secured a place in the roster. Marco Bueno came as a result of Oribe Peralta’s injury after the Concacaf Champions League semi-final match against Costa Rica Herediano, as reported by El Universal.
Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore do not feature in the U.S. roster. Dempsey is recovering from a hamstring injury; Altidore was given a red card in the match against Switzerland last month, thus is under suspension.
An interesting feature in the encounter will be the inclusion of Mexican-American players in the U.S. team. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough (born and brought up in Mexico to American missionaries) and defender Ventura Alvarado (born in the U.S. to Mexican parents) accepted their first U.S. call-ups last month and will be playing against Mexico on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what it’s going to feel like,” Yarbrough said, according to USsoccer.com. “When you grow up in an American home, my parents would always watch the US national team. But of course, whenever Mexico played, it was shown everywhere. I grew up watching both teams, and when the US or Mexico played, I’d want them both to win. When they played each other, I never really had an incline towards a national team. It’s a question a lot of people would ask me. I was born and raised in Mexico, but I knew where my family comes from. I was sort of stuck in between.
“In the end, I know the great rivalry that goes on between Mexico and the USA, and I play for the USA. All I can say is that I’ll defend the colors of the United States with everything I have. I’ll do everything possible to beat Mexico.”
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