USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann has scheduled a friendly with Mexico on Tax Day. This date falls outside the FIFA calendar so clubs were not compelled to release players, thus the game will feature very MLS- and Liga MX-heavy rosters. This is the third of five friendlies on the national team calendar before the Gold Cup kicks off this summer.
USMNT Captain, Clint Dempsey, is out with a hamstring injury, although it is reported to be a different hamstring that kept him out of the last USMNT friendly against Switzerland. With the captain out for these warm-up matches, Michael Bradley donned the armband for the first and second time in the loss to Denmark and draw with Switzerland. Surprisingly US Soccer has announced already that Bradley will lead the team out in the Alamodome. It is not surprising that Bradley is again the captain, it is surprising that US Soccer and Jurgen Klinsmann actually announced something the day prior.
Brad Evans has been called back into the fold for the first time since being one of the last seven players cut from the World Cup roster in the pre-Brazil camp. Evans is likely in camp as a backup center back and might not see any minutes.
DeAndre Yedlin is one of the few European-based players that was called in for this friendly. After making his debut for Tottenham Hotspur's first team on Saturday, thoughts were that Yedlin would stay in London. Yedlin recently admitted that right back is his favorite position, expect him to start in that spot. Klinsmann is not securing his release for a midweek friendly to sit on the bench.
In what is becoming less and less of a surprise with every call-up, Sounders Academy product and current Stanford Sophomore Jordan Morris is again joining the full national team. Morris will turn 21 in October.
Lastly, Gonzalo Pineda will be joining Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Stuart Holden on site for pregame, halftime and postgame analysis. This will be Pineda's Fox Sports 1 TV debut.
Roster and Lineups:
Goalkeepers: Orozco (Monterrey), Saucedo (Tijuana)
Defenders: Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Julio "Cata" Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Oswaldo Alanis (Santos Laguna), Adrian Aldrete (Santos Laguna), George Corral (Queretaro), Gerardo Flores (Cruz Azul), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Efrain Velarde (Monterrey), Salcedo (Chivas)
Midfielders: Montes (Leon), Antonio Rios (Toluca), Jurgen Damm (Pachuca), Rodriguez (Chiapas), Osuna (Queretaro)
Strikers: Torres (Chivas), Oribe Peralta (America), Eduardo Herrera (Pumas)
What To Watch:
- There were many complaints about the Alamodome field conditions leading up to this match. There is a temporary grass surface installed above the typical turf field. Apparently when Mexico showed up on Monday to inspect the pitch, the installation was still not complete. The field to be a talking point.
- Ventura Alvarado from Club America grew up in Phoenix with parents of Mexican descent. He had realistic options to represent either the USA or Mexico and chose the USA. Alvarado debuted as a sub in the two recent friendlies in Denmark and Switzerland but if he sees the field against Mexico today it will likely be an emotional appearance for the 22 year old.
- It is only a friendly. But can it ever only be a friendly against Mexico? The Alamodome has long been sold out, expect a raucous pro-Mexico crowd but with a noticeable American contingent chanting Dos a Cero for 90 minutes. It will be interesting to see how much both teams put into the match as it comes on short rest where the domestic campaign for all involved, well except Stanford's Jordan Morris, is in full swing.
- Fox Sports 1 is rolling out all the bells and whistles for this match. They have been on site at the Alamodome with a large contingent of on-air talent for Tuesday and Wednesday's Champions League broadcasts leading up to the marquee event and have a one hour pregame broadcast window. This is likely a preview of what we should expect from Fox Sports going forward as they continue to invest in soccer rights.
How To Watch:
Match Date/Time: Wednesday, April 15th, 7:30 PM Central Time, 5:30 PM Pacific*
TV: Fox Sports 1 and UniMas
*note: US Soccer lists kickoff at 5:30, it is likely closer to 6 as the Univision Deportes start time is listed at 5:56 PM.