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USA vs. Mexico | International Friendly Match Preview

USA vs. Mexico
Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 8:30 pm ET
Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas
Watch on Fox Sports 1, UniMás, UnivisionDeportes.com

The United States national team will resume their rivalry with Mexico on Wednesday, facing off against El Tri in a friendly at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Neither side will be at full strength – the friendly is not in a FIFA window and most of the sides’ European-based players will remain across the pond – but that doesn’t mean Wednesday’s match won’t be heated. Things always get taken up a notch when the US and Mexico meet, and with the contest set to be played in a 65,000-seat dome less than 150 miles from the border, you can bet Wednesday’s encounter will be turned up to 11.

PREMATCH CONTENT

HISTORY

The US are 17-32-14 all-time against Mexico, but 12-5-5 against their regional rivals since 2000.

The sides drew their most recent meeting 2-2, with Mexico scoring twice in the second half to cancel out the US’s two-goal halftime advantage at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona last April. Chris Wondolowski and Michael Bradley scored for the US, who had a would-be late-winner disallowed when Eddie Johnson was controversially whistled offside in the 85th minute. Rafa Marquez and Alan Pulido had the goals for El Tri.

US OUTLOOK

The US will be looking to build on what might have been their strongest outing under Jurgen Klinsmann in their last match, a 1-1 draw at 12th-ranked Switzerland which saw the 10-man US hold a lead until the 80th minute.

This isn’t the full group, but Wednesday’s pressure cooker should provide a solid test for several fringe players looking to make a statement in one of the final friendlies before this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

One of the more intriguing aspects of Wednesday’s contest is the presence of several Mexican-Americans on the US roster. This will be the first time lining up against El Tri for goalkeeper William Yarbrough and defender Ventura Alvarado, both Liga MX players who accepted their first US call-ups just last month.

Yarbrough is a particularly interesting case. Unlike many other Mexican-American dual nationals, who were raised in the US by Mexican parents, the Club Leon ‘keeper was born and bred south of the border to American missionaries. That creates an interesting dynamic for the 26-year-old, who isn’t quite sure what he’ll be going through on Wednesday night.

“I don’t know what it’s going to feel like,” Yarbrough said in a story published on 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.”

MEXICO OUTLOOK

El Tri have had a solid post-World Cup run of results, and they will be gunning for their third win in a row and their fifth victory in their last six matches on Wednesday.

While Mexico have had success following up their run to the Round of 16 in Brazil, they’ve struggled in recent years against the US. El Tri are on a five-game winless streak against the Americans, with their last win coming all the way back in the 2011 Gold Cup final.

If they are to snap that winless streak, Mexico will have to do it with a relatively inexperienced roster. Head coach Miguel “Piojo” Herrera's 19-man squad is youthful, though it does feature experience along the back line in Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez (who is looking for his 99th cap) and up top with Club América forward Oribe Peralta.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

US – Brek Shea

Shea’s education at left back will undoubtedly continue on Wednesday night, with Klinsmann likely to run the Orlando City player out as part of his starting lineup. We know all about Shea’s ability to get forward – he has two goals in four games with the USMNT in 2015 – but Wednesday will be more of an indicator of how far the 25-year-old has progressed on the defensive side of the ball. Mexico’s got plenty of talent on the wing, and Shea will have to be solid in the tackle, smart with his positioning and judicious with his runs forward if the US want to build on their solid performance at Switzerland.

Mexico – Erick “Cubo” Torres

After starting slowly on his short-term loan to Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara, the Houston Dynamo Designated Player has come on strong in recent weeks, helping his boyhood club climb all the way to the top of the Liga MX table. Plenty of eyes will be on Torres if he plays on Wednesday, with the striker set to make a rare appearance in Texas before he joins the Dynamo later this year.

ROSTERS

US

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club León)

DEFENDERS (7): Ventura Alvarado (Club América), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Brek Shea (Orlando City), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)

FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

MEXICO

GOALKEEPERS (2): Cirilo Saucedo (Club Tijuana), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey)

DEFENDERS (9): Francisco Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Osvaldo Alanis (Santos Laguna), Adrian Aldrete (Santos Laguna), George Corral (Querétaro), Gerardo Flores (Cruz Azul), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Efrain Velarde (Monterrey), Carlos Salcedo (Chivas Guadalajara)

MIDFIELDERS (5): Luis Montes (Club León), Antonio Rios (Toluca), Jurgen Damm (Pachuca), Luis Rodriguez (Chiapas), Mario Osuna (Querétaro)

FORWARDS (3): Oribe Peralta (Club América), Erick “Cubo” Torres (Chivas Guadalajara), Eduardo Herrera (Pumas UNAM)

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