USMNT vs. Mexico
Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus Ohio
Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 8 PM ET
The USMNT will not have Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, and Geoff Cameron available for Tuesday night due to yellow card accumulation. Michael Bradley’s ankle injury has persisted and he will also miss the match.
Filling in for the USMNT is Joe Corona, Brad Davis, Jose Torres (all midfielders), and defender Clarence Goodson. All four have experience with the national team, mainly in Gold Cup play, and Torres and Goodson making the 23-man roster at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
This is the toughest hurdle Jurgen Klinsmann’s team will have to overcome. In comparison that task is a molehill compared to Mexico’s problems.
Mexico lost in the semi finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup to Panama this summer. Their head coach, Jose Manuel de la Torre, was fired after a 2-1 loss to Honduras in Mexico City Friday night and was replaced by his top assistant, Luis Fernando Tena. They are in fourth place (eight points) in the CONCACAF Qualifying standings, five points behind the US.
Only the top three in the standings earn a spot in the World Cup while the fourth place team has a playoff against New Zealand, Oceania Football Confederation winner. The last time Mexico missed a World Cup was 1990, when they used overage players on a youth national team.
The USMNT is playing in familiar territory in Columbus. Clint Dempsey said in an article on The Columbus Dispatch, “As far as World Cup Qualifying games and getting the right results against our rivals, Columbus has been our savior,” (Shawn Mitchell). The US can qualify for the World Cup with a win Tuesday, and a win or tie from Honduras.
The USMNT cannot come out with a slow start like they did in Costa Rica. The beginning stages of the game will be crucial for the US defense, they let in two goals in the first ten minutes against Costa Rica. The pressure will be high for Mexico to score, and score early. The USMNT needs their depth at defense and in the midfield to step up in order to keep Mexico off of the scoreboard. This will be a tall task considering Besler and Gonzalez started the last five games at center back
The United States offense has been flourishing in 2013. They have outscored opponents 44-20 this year, a +24 goal differential.
Predicted USMNT Lineup
USMNT 2-1 Mexico
E. Johnson 27’