USMNT set to face Mexico on Friday in World Cup qualifying
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – The U.S. Men’s National Team kicks off the Final Round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a highly-anticipated clash with rivals Mexico on Nov. 11 in Columbus, Ohio. The biggest match on U.S. soil every four years can be seen live on FS1 and Univision at 7:45 p.m. ET.
The match marks the fifth-straight time the USA has hosted its Final Round World Cup Qualifier against Mexico in Columbus, with the MNT defeating El Triby the same 2-0 score line in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013. This is also the third time in the last five qualifying cycles that the two sides have faced off in the opening match of the ‘Hex’ on U.S. soil — something that has a 0.81 chance of happening.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; WCQ Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Middlesbrough; 11/0), Ethan Horvath (Molde; 0/0), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids; 32/0), William Yarbrough (Club Leon; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City; 8/1), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United; 2/0), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin; 0/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur; 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt; 1/0), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca; 10/0), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach; 13/1), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana; 5/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; 4/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 6/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 29/5), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; 0/0), Julian Green (Bayern Munich; 0/0), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids; 14/0), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; 17/2), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund; 3/2), Caleb Stanko (FC Vaduz; 1/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City; 14/3)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 31/16), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen; 3/1), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg; 6/2)
COLUMBUS – THE FORTRESS
Columbus has served as the spiritual home of U.S. Soccer and the host of USA-Mexico for the past four cycles. In each, the United States has collected 2-0 shutout victories, establishing the rally cry of “Dos a Cero” for U.S. supporters. On two occasions – in 2005 and 2013 – the victories secured the USA’s advancement to the World Cup.
It’s not just against Mexico that the U.S. has had success in Columbus. The MNT is unbeaten in 11 matches at MAPFRE Stadium, holding an 8-0-3 lifetime record with a remarkable 10 shutouts. Even more importantly, nine of the matches have been World Cup qualifiers. The USA is 7-0-2 in those contests, most recently running out 4-0 winners against Guatemala on March 29 earlier this year on Matchday 4 of the Semifinal Round of qualifying.
A RIVALRY THAT RIVALS THE BEST
Imagine if Ohio State and Michigan were the size of countries. Now you can start to appreciate the rivalry that is USA-Mexico. In the world of global soccer, there are the storied matchups like Barcelona-Real Madrid in Spain, Rangers-Celtic in Scotland and Boca Juniors-River Plate in Argentina. What they all have in common are decades of history, classic moments, and off-the-field differences that combined make up a rivalry bigger than sport. In this contest between North American neighbors, the tides turned for good in the biggest meeting of their 82-year history on June 17, 2002 , when the United States defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. “Today is a funeral,” remarked one Mexican fan. “We used to have soccer over them. Now we have nothing.”
TIM HOWARD NAMED NO. 1 GOALKEEPER
U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann spoke about the team’s goalkeeping situation during Sunday’s roster announcement, making clear that veteran net minder Tim Howard was the clear first-choice goalkeeper going into qualifying matches against Mexico and Costa Rica. A veteran of 110 U.S. appearances and 32 World Cup Qualifying caps, Howard saved two penalty kicks during the Colorado Rapids shootout victory against the LA Galaxy on Sunday, sending the club to its first Western Conference Final since 2010.
EXPERIENCE AGAINST MEXICO
Klinsmann’s roster features 17 players that have previous experience with Mexico, while 11 have appeared in World Cup Qualifying matches against El Tri. With four caps, captain Michael Bradley leads the list of U.S. players with World Cup Qualifying experience against Mexico, while Howard and Jozy Altidore have each played three qualifiers against the USA’s biggest rivals.
While Mexico holds an all-time 33-18-14 advantage, the rivalry has developed over three distinct stages and become much tighter of late. After losing the first meeting between the nations in 1934, Mexico dominated the series, running of a 24-match unbeaten streak from 1937-1980. As the end of the century came, the tide slowly began to turn, with Mexico holding a 5-3-6 edge from 1985-1999. Things have been difference since the new millennium, with the U.S. holding an overall 13-6-5 advantage, including the ultimate 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
MNT IN 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP QUALIFYING
- Ending with a 4-1-1 record (13 points), the U.S. finished on top of its Semifinal Round World Cup Qualifying group, which also featured Trinidad & Tobago, Guatemala and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
- The MNT defeated St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6-1 (Nov. 13), drew 0-0 at Trinidad & Tobago (Nov. 17) and lost 2-0 at Guatemala (March 26), before defeating Guatemala 4-0 (March 30), St. Vincent and the Grenadines 6-0 (Sept. 2) and Trinidad & Tobago 4-0 (Sept. 6)
- Jurgen Klinsmann has utilized 30 different players during the course of the team’s first six World Cup Qualifying matches.
- Jozy Altidore leads the team in scoring during 2018 World Cup qualifying with six goals in as many matches.
- Midfielder Jermaine Jones is the only U.S. player on caution watch, having picked up a yellow card in the team’s 0-0 draw at Trinidad & Tobago on Nov. 17, 2015.
USA ROSTER NOTES:
- A total of 15 players have been part of a U.S. World Cup roster, while 20 have previous World Cup Qualifying experience.
- The 26 players ply their trade in seven different countries: USA (8), Germany (7), England (4), Mexico (3), Canada (2), Norway (1), Liechtenstein (1).
- Michael Bradley leads all cap-winners on the roster with 124 appearances. The captain’s four World Cup Qualifying appearances against Mexico also leads the list of 11 USA players that have previously faced El Tri in qualifying.
- Tim Howard leads the roster with 32 World Cup Qualifying appearances and sits fourth on the MNT’s all-time list. With his next WCQ appearance, he will tie former teammate DaMarcus Beasley for third all-time.
- Bradley and Howard also lead the team with 10 games played against Mexico.
- Tallying three times during the MNT’s two World Cup Qualifying matches in September, Jozy Altidore is the USA’s all-time leader in WCQ goals with 16. Altidore also sits third on the MNT’s all-time goal scoring list with 37 total.
- Nine players have previously played in a World Cup Qualifying match against Mexico in Columbus: Altidore, Bradley, Howard, Alejandro Bedoya, Omar Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan and Graham Zusi.
- Four players on the U.S. roster have scored goals against Mexico: Bradley (3), Altidore, Michael Orozco and Bobby Wood (1 each).
- While John Brooks and Julian Green both scored in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, each is looking for his first World Cup Qualifying appearance. Four others are also hoping to debut: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Lynden Gooch, Ethan Horvath and William Yarbrough
- Altidore and Wood have combined for 10 goals in the six matches they have started up front together.
- Four players hail from Champions League clubs on two different continents. Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) and Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach) are carrying the flag in the UEFA Champions League, while Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) and Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca) have their clubs in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
- Julian Green returns to MNT camp after tallying both October friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand. Green made his international debut in a 2-2 draw against Mexico on April 2, 2014.
- Forward Aron Johannsson makes his first MNT camp appearance since coming off the bench in the USA’s 4-1 defeat to Brazil on Sept. 8, 2015, in Foxborough, Mass.
- Carter-Vickers receives his first call-up to the senior MNT. The 18-year-old Tottenham Hotspur defender was part of the U.S. squad at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
- With his next assist, Bradley will tie Cobi Jones for second on the MNT’s all-time assist list (21). Landon Donovan holds the record with 58.
GOALKEEPERS (3 ): Guillermo Ochoa (Granada/ESP), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul)
DEFENDERS (8) : Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Diego Reyes (Espanyol/ESP), Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina/ITA), Miguel Layun (Porto/POR)
MIDFIELDERS (7) : Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal/ESP), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas), Jesus Dueñas (Tigres), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Hector Herrera (Porto/POR), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy/USA), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER)
FORWARDS (7) : Raul Jimenez (Benfica/POR), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Jesus Corona (Porto/POR), Javier Aquino (Tigres), Oribe Peralta (Club América), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/ESP)
- Mexico rattled off five-straight victories to breeze through a Semifinal Round World Cup Qualifying group that featured Honduras, Canada and El Salvador.
- Mexico Results: 3-0 win vs. El Salvador (Nov. 13), 2-0 win at Honduras (Nov. 17), 3-0 win at Canada (March 25), 2-0 win vs. Canada (March 29), 3-1 win at El Salvador (Sept. 2), 0-0 draw vs. Honduras (Sept. 6)
- Since taking over last October, Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has amassed a 12-1-2 record with El Tri. Mexico’s only loss under Osorio thus far came in a 7-0 defeat to Chile in the Quarterfinals of June’s Copa America Centenario.
- Currently sitting on 45 international goals, Mexico striker Javier Hernandez sits just one back of Jared Borgetti on El Tri’s all-time scoring list.
- Three U.S. players have club teammates on the Mexico roster. Omar Gonzalez plays with Hirving Lozano at Pachuca, Timmy Chandler teams with Marco Fabian at Eintracht Frankfurt and Alan Gordon and Giovani dos Santos are both forward with the LA Galaxy.
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