The greatest rivalry in CONCACAF will add another chapter to its legacy when the United States hosts Mexico in a friendly on Friday night just outside of the Big Apple. El Tri have long had the upper hand in this rivalry, and they come into this friendly confident following Mexico’s 1-0 win over the USMNT in the Gold Cup Final two months ago. Mexico holds a 35-19-15 record against the United States.
- United States vs. Mexico
- Date and Time: September 6, 2019, 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
- US Television Coverage: FS1
- Betting Line: Mexico PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
This will be the first action for both national teams since the Gold Cup. Mexico got off to a great start at the Gold Cup, but Tata Martino’s offense was surprisingly held in check during the knockout rounds. El Tri could only muster a goal against Costa Rica, Haiti, and the United States on their way to their eighth Gold Cup title, so this team will be looking to re-discover that goal scoring panache they had earlier this year.
Martino called up most of his stars for this friendly. Raul Jimenez is making the trip despite dealing with a broken wrist, and he is complemented by Hirving Lozano and all-time leading scorer Javier Hernandez. The promising young Uriel Antuna is in the mix and the reliable Guillermo Ochoa will be in net once more.
Gregg Berhalter is still finding his way with the USMNT. The Americans performed better than expected at the Gold Cup, avoiding the abject disaster some were predicting, but falling short to Mexico regardless. Berhalter is continuing to rework the national team, and the starting lineup is going to be full of young players on Friday.
The most capped player that was called up for selection is Brad Guzan (60 appearances for the USMNT), and roughly half the roster has made less than 10 appearances for the national team.
United States Player to Watch
It would be easy to continue to focus on Christian Pulisic, but there is another young player that could prove instrumental to the USMNT in the future.
Paxton Pomykal is set to make his first appearance with the men’s senior team. Pomykal has been one of the USMNT’s stars at the youth level, tallying a baker’s dozen caps with the U18 team and a dozen appearances for the U20 team prior to his debut. The young midfielder was the United States’ best player at the U20 World Cup a few months ago, and Berhalter is hoping that he can transition that into success on the senior team. His development is crucial for an American side that lacks quality play in the midfield.
Mexico Player to Watch
At this stage of his career, you would expect Andres Guardado to take some time off rather than captain El Tri at friendlies, but Guardado has always relished the chance to play for his country. He will be making his 162nd career appearance for Mexico on Friday, and Guardado is closing in on Claudio Suarez’s claim as the most capped player in Mexican national history. The midfielder is still playing at a high level and will be a true foil for the young Americans.
The USMNT are still finding their way. This Soccer team has a lot to discover about itself and its talent, and the inexperience up top makes me think its unlikely they’ll beat a solid El Tri squad.
United States vs. Mexico Prediction: Mexico 2, United States 1
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