United States vs. Mexico | 2018 International Friendly Match Preview
United States vs. Mexico
Nissan Stadium — Nashville
Tuesday, Sept. 11 — 8:30 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, Univision
A new, younger group of U.S. men's national team players will get their taste of the United States-Mexico rivalry when the teams meet in an international friendly at Nissan Stadium Tuesday night.
Fielding young teams under the direction of interim coaches, both teams are coming off losses to South American opposition on Friday night, with the USMNT falling to Brazil, 2-0, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, while El Tri lost to Uruguay, 4-1, at NRG Stadium in Houston.
“We all know the history between our team and Mexico for all the previous years in games. It’s going to add a whole different look than Brazil,” U.S. coach Dave Sarachan said. “It’s a rival we’ve had and will continue to have. .… The game speaks for itself — USA-Mexico, always a rival, always going to be a very intense game. Again, we’re going to use that experience, for sure, in Nashville to further this group along because that’s the team in our region we’re going to have to compete with.”
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United States Outlook
The USMNT showed early nerves and were punished for some slopping first-half play in their loss to Brazil.
The five-time World Cup champions put forth a first-choice starting XI and it took the Seleção just 11 minutes to take the lead as Douglas Costa blew past Antonee Robinson on the right flank and picked out an unmarked Roberto Firmino for an easy tap-in.
Neymar doubled Brazil’s lead just before the break, converting a penalty kick after Wil Trapp was judged to have pulled down Fabinho in the box.
After halftime, the USMNT played looser and nearly pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute, but Trapp’s low shot from distance was parried out for a corner kick by Alisson. It was the USMNT's 18th loss to Brazil in 19 all-time meetings.
“I think whether it’s home or away, playing against a team like this tonight will really help us in terms of our development when the times are tough, when we’re having to dig in and defend, how we hold onto the ball,” Trapp said. “There’s always lessons to be taken from.”
In El Tri’s first post-World Cup friendly, Uruguay scored three answered goals in a 4-1 win on Friday night.
Five minutes after Jose Gimenez put Uruguay in front, Raul Jimenez leveled from the penalty spot for Mexico in the 25th minute. However, Luis Suarez scored twice in an eight-minute span, his second a 40th-minute PK, before Gaston Pereiro capped the scoring in the 59th minute for La Celeste.
"Of course, the result was bad, no one is satisfied with losing 4-1," caretaker coach Tuca Ferretti said. "But if we put the result to one side and then [look] at the football, I think that football-wise I can be calm because I think they did okay.
"We knew about the strength of the Uruguayan team through the air. Two of the four goals came from that, as well as the penalty, and that's where we suffered most. In 90 minutes I think the players did reasonably well."
The United States and Mexico have met 67 times since the first matchup in 1934, with Mexico leading the overall series 38-28-15. The teams drew 1-1 in their last encounter, a World Cup qualifier on June 11 at Estadio Azteca last June.
The last victory for the United States came in a friendly at San Antonio's Alamodome on April 15, 2015, the last of nine all-time 2-0 wins.
Players to Watch
United States — Kellyn Acosta: The Colorado Rapids midfielder is one of the few players on the United States roster with previous experience of playing Mexico on the senior level — and he did it by starting in that 1-1 draw at Azteca in the Hexagonal stage. He came off the bench late in the Brazil game, so the 23-year-old should be fresh.
Mexico — Jonathan Gonzalez: Ferretti gave five players their first appearance against Uruguay and he promised in a post-match press conference to rotate his squad enough to give all 24 players on his roster some playing time during this international window. That means the American-born Gonzalez, a 19-year-old Monterrey midfielder who was the subject of an intense debate when he made his one-time FIFA switch to Mexico in January, will represent El Tri for the first time against the United States. Now that could be interesting.
United States Roster
|GK||Alex Bono||Toronto FC||1/0|
|GK||Ethan Horvath||Club Brugge||2/0|
|GK||Zack Steffen||Columbus Crew SC||4/0|
|D||Cameron Carter-Vickers||Swansea City||4/0|
|D||Eric Lichaj||Hull City||15/1|
|D||Aaron Long||New York Red Bulls||0/0|
|D||Shaq Moore||Reus Deportiu||2/0|
|D||Tim Parker||New York Red Bulls||2/0|
|D||Antonee Robinson||Wigan Athletic||3/0|
|D||DeAndre Yedlin||Newcastle United||53/0|
|M||Kellyn Acosta||Colorado Rapids||18/1|
|M||Tyler Adams||New York Red Bulls||7/0|
|M||Paul Arriola||D.C. United||17/2|
|M||Marky Delgado||Toronto FC||2/0|
|M||Julian Green||Greuther Furth||11/4|
|M||Weston McKennie||Schalke 04||5/1|
|M||Cristian Roldan||Seattle Sounders FC||4/0|
|M||Wil Trapp||Columbus Crew SC||7/0|
|M||Tim Weah||Paris Saint-Germain||4/1|
|F||Andrija Novakovich||Fortuna Sittard||2/0|
|F||Bobby Wood||Hannover 96||40/12|
|F||Gyasi Zardes||Columbus Crew SC||39/12|
|D||Jose Abella||Santos Laguna||0/0|
|D||Jesus Angulo||Santos Laguna||1/0|
|D||Gerardo Arteaga||Santos Laguna||0/0|
|D||Hugo Ayala||Tigres UANL||46/1|
|D||Luis Rodgriguez||Tigres UANL||7/0|
|M||Roberto Alvarado||Cruz Azul||1/0|
|M||Jonathan dos Santos||LA Galaxy||38/0|
|M||Elias Hernandez||Cruz Azul||24/4|