U.S. men’s national team set for clash against Mexico at Estadio Azteca
Before the U.S. men’s national team resumes its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying, the group will try to make history by winning its first-ever match at Estadio Azteca against Mexico in tomorrow’s friendly (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2, ESPN3, Univision, MatchTracker, @ussoccer on Twitter).
“It’s one of the biggest games for us and we use that as our own personal motivation. If we get a win here, it’s a big deal for us and that’s what we’re all looking to do on Wednesday night,” U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu told ussoccer.com.
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard says the two countries’ teams are not far apart in skill level.
“It depends who you ask,” Howard said. “I think ourselves and Mexico are always very close. Depending on six months or one year, either team can go ahead. Because both teams are so talented, it doesn’t take much to shift the balance. That’s why we play these games and it’s important to not only win the head-to-head competition but also when it comes to qualifying to finish first because they’re going to want to finish first. Those things are important to say who the best is. When you have two great teams, everyone is going to have an opinion on who is better.”
Said DaMarcus Beasley: “In the last 10 years, the U.S. has been on the top, I think. Mexico wants to have that back and they’re making great strides to have that. It started with the Gold Cup a couple years ago, and I think it’s going to be a great rivalry again. Both teams have great players and it’s always going to be a battle whether it’s a regular game or World Cup match.”
New Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron said he expects Mexico to be a more confident team coming off its Olympic championship.
“If anything, they have the momentum coming off of a gold medal and some of the players are going to be here,” Cameron said. “Our last game was against Guatemala for the qualifier and we have a couple more ahead of us and we want to try and build some momentum. Our goal is to come here, play well and get a win. We know what to expect, it’s going to be hard competition and they’ve got a lot of good players and they’ve been playing well recently. It’s a challenge for us, but I think it’s a challenge we can take advantage of.”
The friendly is the last match before the USA’s return to qualifying when heads to Kingston to face Jamaica at 9:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 7 at National Stadium.
Four days later the teams play again at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 11 in front of an expected capacity crowd at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. That match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision. The U.S. will host a public training session at 10:30 a.m. ET on Sept. 9 at Crew Stadium. Admission and parking are free.
U.S. MNT 2012 SCHEDULE
|Date||Opponent||Result/Time (ET)||U.S. goalscorers/TV||Venue|
|Jan. 21||Venezuela||1-0 W||Ricardo Clark||Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.|
|Jan. 25||Panama||1-0 W||Graham Zusi||Estadio Rommel Fernandez; Panama City, Panama|
|Feb. 29||Italy||1-0 W||Clint Dempsey||Stadio Luigi Ferraris; Genoa|
|May 26||Scotland||5-1 W||L. Donovan (3), M. Bradley, J. Jones||EverBank Field; Jacksonville, Fla.|
|May 30||Brazil||1-4 L||Herculez Gomez||FedExField; Landover, Md.|
|June 3||Canada||0-0 T||None||BMO Field; Toronto, Canada|
|June 8||Antigua & Barbuda*||3-1 W||Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Herculez Gomez||Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.|
|June 12||Guatemala*||1-1 T||Clint Dempsey||Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores; Guatemala City|
|Aug. 15||Mexico||8 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3/Univision||Estadio Azteca; Mexico City, Mexico|
|Sept. 7||Jamaica*||9:30 p.m.||National Stadium; Kingston, Jamaica|
|Sept. 11||Jamaica*||8 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3/Univision||Columbus Crew Stadium; Columbus, Ohio|
|Oct. 12||Antigua & Barbuda*||7 p.m.||Sir Vivian Richards Stadium; North Sound, Antigua|
|Oct. 16||Guatemala*||7 p.m.||ESPN2/ESPN3/Univision||LIVESTRONG Sporting Park; Kansas City, Kan.|
*2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying
USA VS. MEXICO SERIES
- The era of Jurgen Klinsmann began with the last meeting between the United States and Mexico, a 1-1 draw on Aug. 10, 2011, in Philadelphia
- This Wednesday marks the first international friendly between the teams on Mexican soil since the U.S. played to a 2-1 loss on Oct. 17, 1984, at Estadio Neza 86. Perry Van Der Beck provided the USA’s lone goal, which also was Van Der Beck’s first international tally.
- The U.S. has a 15-32-12 all-time record against Mexico in 59 games.
- Since 2000, the USA has posted a 10-5-3 record against Mexico.
- Mexico is 23-0-1 against the U.S. in its home country, with the lone draw being a scoreless FIFA World Cup qualifying match on Nov. 2, 1997.
- In that 0-0 draw, the U.S. was reduced to 10 men when Jeff Agoos was shown a red in the 32nd minute for elbowing Mexico’s Pavel Pardo. The USA also was without four regular starters in goalkeeper Kasey Keller (thumb) and midfielders Claudio Reyna (suspension), Tab Ramos (ACL) and Earnie Stewart (calf).
- The biggest meeting in series history was the USA’s 2-0 victory in the Round of 16 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea on June 17. Brian McBride and Landon Donovan scored goals in that match.
- Donovan has five goals in 14 games against Mexico.
USA AT ESTADIO AZTECA
Construction on the 105,000-seat Estadio Azteca was completed in 1966, making the behemoth the largest stadium in Latin America and one of the largest in the world. Several notable events have taken place at Estadio Azteca over the last 46 years, including the 1968 Summer Olympics, 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cups and recently the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The stadium, which features a natural grass surface, also witnessed the first international regular-season National Football League game on Oct. 2, 2005, between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. Since 1972, the U.S. has played Mexico at the Estadio Azteca nine times with a 0-8-1 overall record.
U.S. Record at Estadio Azteca (0-8-1)
- Sept. 3, 1972 – L, 1-3
- Aug. 24, 1975 – L, 0-2
- Nov. 9, 1980 – L, 1-5
- July 25, 1993 – L, 0-4
- Nov. 2, 1997 – T, 0-0
- Aug. 1, 1999 – L, 0-1
- July 1, 2001 – L, 0-1
- March 27, 2005 – L, 1-2
- Aug. 12, 2009 – L, 1-2
Before 1966, Mexico contested its international games at Estadio Olimpico Universitario and before that at Estadio Olimpico de la Ciudad de los Deportes. This Wednesday marks the first international friendly at Estadio Azteca since Aug. 24, 1975.
U.S. MNT GOALSCORERS VS. MEXICO (IN MEXICO)
The USA has scored 15 goals during the team’s head-to-head series in Mexico. Alexander Rae leads the list with three goals in three games in 1937. John McEwan had two goals in Mexico during the 1937 campaign. Ten other players have tallied a goal across the border:
- Sept. 12, 1937 – L 2-7 (Alexander Rae, John McEwan) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Sept. 19, 1937 – L 3-7 (George Nemchick, Rae, McEwan) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Sept. 26, 1937 – L 1-5 (Rae) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Sept. 18, 1949 – L 2-6 (Ben Wattman, John Souza) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Jan. 14, 1954 – L 1-3 (William Looby) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Sept. 3, 1972 – L 1-3 (Willie Roy) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Sept. 5, 1974 – L 1-3 (Dennis Vaninger) at Monterrey, Mexico
- Nov. 9, 1980 – L 1-5 (Rick Davis) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Oct. 17, 1984 – L 1-2 (Perry Van der Beck) at Mexico City, Mexico
- March 27, 2005 – L 1-2 (Eddie Lewis) at Mexico City, Mexico
- Aug. 12, 2009 – L 1-2 (Charlie Davies) at Mexico City, Mexico
- DaMarcus Beasley: Beasley made the move to Mexico and Puebla FC in the summer of 2011. Since then, the 30-year-old midfielder has scored seven goals in more than 30 league appearances for La Franja. During his career, he has played in MLS, the Netherlands, England, Scotland and Germany before taking on a new challenge in Mexico.
- Edgar Castillo: The 25-year-old defender is the only current player to have played for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and Mexico’s senior team. Born in Las Cruces, N.M., Castillo made his debut for the Mexican national team in 2007 in a friendly against Colombia, but under a change in FIFA regulations became eligible to play for the U.S. MNT because he had yet to play in a competitive match at the senior level. Castillo switched allegiances and earned his first cap for the U.S. on Nov. 18, 2009, against Denmark. His entire professional career has been spent in Mexico, beginning with Santos Laguna in 2006 before moving to Club America in 2009. While with America, he was sent on loan to Tigres, San Luis, Puebla and Club Tijuana.
- Joe Corona: The midfielder is a teammate of Castillo’s at Club Tijuana. Corona, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in San Diego, played one year of college soccer for San Diego State in 2008 and was a teammate of U.S. MNT call-up Steven Beitashour with the Aztecs. The 22-year-old made one appearance with Mexico’s U-22 side at the 2011 Pan American Games, but that did not tie him to the country because it was not an official FIFA competition. He scored four goals in the USA’s unsuccessful effort to qualify for the London Olympics. Corona has played for Tijuana since 2009 and helped the club earn promotion from the Mexican second division by scoring in the promotion playoff final in a 2-1 win against Irapuato on May 21, 2011. Corona also scored Tijuana’s first-ever goal in the first division. He continues to live in San Diego and commute to Tijuana.
- Herculez Gomez: Gomez spent seven years in MLS before making the move to Liga MX in January 2010 with Puebla. The 30-year-old striker has bounced from team to team, but always has worked his way into the starting lineup. Following a short spell with Puebla, Gomez moved to Pachuca and Estudiantes Tecos before landing at Santos Laguna where he helped guide the team to the Liga MX 2012 Clausura title by scoring 19 goals in all competitions. Gomez has played club alongside Mexico call-up Edgar Gerardo Lugo at both Santos Laguna and Puebla.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal: The Orange, Calif., native has spent his entire professional career with San Luis, but also gained experience on loan with the Philadelphia Union during the 2010 MLS season. He made his professional debut for the Potosinos in 2006 and made nearly 100 league appearances for the club in the last six years. He was part of the USA’s team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
- Jose Torres: The Texas native has become a mainstay for Pachuca since coming up through the youth system in 2006. Torres has made more than 100 appearances for the Tuzos since 2006. He was part of the team as Pachuca won the Liga MX 2007 Clausura championship – its last title. Torres broke into the starting XI in 2008 and has been a constant for the squad since then.
JURGEN KLINSMANN FACT FILE: Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is in the midst of his second year and first full calendar year in charge of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Below are some of his past accomplishments as a player and coach.
- Klinsmann was named the U.S. Men’s National Team head coach on July 29, 2011, making him the 35th coach in the history of the program.
- Klinsmann’s record as head coach of the Men’s National Team is 7-5-3, and he led the team on a five-game winning streak that started with a 3-2 victory on Nov. 15, 2001, against Slovenia and was capped off by a 5-1 win against Scotland on May 26, 2012.
- Klinsmann’s U.S. coaching debut was a 1-1 draw against Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. During Klinsmann’s abbreviated 2011 tenure, opponents outscored the USA by a 7-5 margin. The USA’s two victories during the Klinsmann era in 2011 include a 1-0 win against Honduras (Oct. 8) and a 3-2 victory against Slovenia (Nov. 15).
IN FOCUS: MEXICO
- Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación A.C. (Mexican Football Federation)
- Founded: 1927 (Joined FIFA in 1929)
- Head Coach: Jose Manuel De La Torre
- FIFA Ranking: 18
- Highest FIFA Ranking: 4 (1998, 2006)
- Lowest FIFA Ranking: 33 (2009)
- Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals (1970, 1986)
- Héctor Moreno scored his first international goal to lift Mexico to a 2-1 road victory against El Salvador on June 12 to maintain the Group B lead in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Moreno also assisted Jesús Zavala’s tally earlier in the match.
- Javier “Chicharito” Hernández has scored 23 Premier League goals in 55 matches in his first two seasons with Manchester United. He was the leading scorer of the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup with seven goals as Mexico went on to beat the U.S. 4-2 in the championship on June 25 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
- Mexico is 6-1-0 in international competition this year, with the one loss coming against Colombia (a 2-0 defeat) on Feb. 29 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
- Mexico’s U-23 team defeated Brazil 2-1 on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Wembley Stadium in London to capture the country’s first and only Olympic gold medal in the London Games.
MEXICO ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio, France), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
DEFENDERS (7): Francisco Javier Rodríguez (Stuttgart), Héctor Moreno (Espanyol), Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hugo Ayala (UANL Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (UANL Tigres), Enrique Pérez (Morelia), Adrian Aldrete (Club América)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Jesús Zavala (Monterrey), Manuel Viniegra (UANL Tigres), Edgar Gerardo Lugo (Santos Laguna), Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul), Andrés Guardado (Valencia), Ángel Reyna (Monterrey)
FORWARDS (3): Elías Hernández (UANL Tigres), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey), Javier Hernández (Manchester United)
FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING – CONCACAF SEMIFINAL ROUND
Following Wednesday’s match, the USA and Mexico look ahead to the remainder of the Semifinal Round of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying. For CONCACAF, this qualifying process consists of three groups of four teams each, comprised of the top six seeds (USA, Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cuba) being split into three groups and joined by six previous group winners from the second round (Panama, Canada, El Salvador, Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, Guatemala). The top two teams from each group advance to the Final Round, with that stage to be played from February through October 2013. The top three teams automatically qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth-place team would then play a two-game playoff against the champion of the Oceania region to determine the other World Cup-bound team.
The U.S. currently leads Group A with four points and holds the goal differential edge over Jamaica following a group-opening 3-1 victory against Antigua & Barbuda and a 1-1 draw against Guatemala . Mexico is atop Group B with six points after defeating Guyana and El Salvador.
GROUP A STANDINGS
|Antigua & Barbuda||2||0||1||1||1||3||-2||1|
Group A Schedule
USA 3, Antigua & Barbuda 1
Jamaica 2, Guatemala 1
USA 1, Guatemala 1
Antigua & Barbuda 0, Jamaica 0
USA at Jamaica
Antigua & Barbuda at Guatemala
Jamaica at USA
Guatemala at Antigua & Barbuda
USA at Antigua & Barbuda
Jamaica at Guatemala
Guatemala at USA
Antigua & Barbuda at Jamaica
GROUP B STANDINGS
Group B Schedule
Mexico 3, Guyana 1
Costa Rica 2, El Salvador 2
Costa Rica 4, Guyana 0
Mexico 2, El Salvador 1
Mexico at Costa Rica
Guyana at El Salvador
El Salvador at Guyana
Costa Rica at Mexico
Costa Rica at El Salvador
Mexico at Guyana
Guyana at Costa Rica
El Salvador at Mexico
On the field for USA:
June 12, 2012 – Estadio Mateo Flores – Guatemala City, Guatemala – 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Semifinal Round
USA 1 Clint Dempsey 40
Guatemala 1 Marco Pappa 83
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson (20-Geoff Cameron, 46), 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson; 7-Maurice Edu, 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 10-Landon Donovan (14-Kyle Beckerman, 90+3), 8-Clint Dempsey, 9-Herculez Gomez (17-Jozy Altidore, 64)
Subs not used: 2-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 11-Joe Corona, 12-Brad Guzan, 16-Jose Torres, 19-Chris Wondolowski
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
GUA: 1-Ricardo Jerez Jr.; 4-Erwin Morales, 5-Carlos Gallardo, 14-Luis Rodriguez, 3-Elias Vasquez; 6-Wilfred Velasquez, 11-Jose Manuel Contreras (15-Manuel Leon, 46), 18-Carlos Figueroa (16-Marco Pappa, 46); 10-Mario Rodriguez (17-Dwight Pezzarossi, 46), 20-Carlos Ruiz, 19-Marvin Avila
Subs not used: 2-Rafael Morales, 7-Jose del Aguila, 8-Gonzalo Romero, 9-Jairo Arreola, 12-Paulo Cesar Motta, 13-Alejandro Galindo, 21-Juan Paredes, 22-Minor Lopez, 23-Jonathan Lopez
Head coach: Ever Hugo Almeida
Aug. 10, 2011 – Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pa. – International Friendly
USA 1 Robbie Rogers 73
Mexico 1 Oribe Peralta 17
USA : 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 5-Michael Orozco Fiscal, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 2-Edgar Castillo; 7-Kyle Beckerman 4-Michael Bradley (16-Robbie Rogers, 72), 8-Jermaine Jones (17-Brek Shea, 60) ,10-Landon Donovan, 11-Jose Torres (15-Ricardo Clark, 84); 9-Edson Buddle (18-Juan Agudelo, 60)
Subs not used: 12-Bill Hamid, 13-Zach Lloyd, 14-Heath Pearce
Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann
MEX : 1-Guillermo Ochoa, 16-Efrain Juarez (22- Paul Aguilar, 75), 4-Rafael Marquez (2-Francisco Javier Rodriguez, 69), 15-Hector Moreno, 3-Carlos Salcido; 7- Pablo Barrera (21-Christian Bermudez, 72), 6-Gerardo Torrado, 17-Antonio Naelson (10-Giovani dos Santos, 55), 8-Israel Castro, 18-Andres Guardado; 19-Oribe Peralta (9-Omar Arellano, 62)
Subs not used: 11-Javier Aquino, 12- Alfredo Talavera, 13-Jesus Zavala, 20-Jorge Torres Nilo
Head coach: Jose Manuel de la Torre