A big home game for the United States men's national team doesn't even begin to describe what tonight's US-Mexico clash in Columbus really is about. The US can inch just a little closer to Brazil with a win while the Mexicans are hoping to get a point with their qualifying run starting to inch closer to the life support section rather than the usual well alive mode.
Despite Friday's 3-1 loss in Costa Rica, coach Jurgen Klinsmann's squad can secure a seventh straight trip to the World Cup finals tonight. The US (4-2-1) would need to defeat El Tri (1-1-5) while Honduras (3-3-1) either beats or ties visiting Panama (1-2-4).
Time: Tuesday, Sept 10, 2013, 7 pm CT
Venue: Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
TV Info: ESPN, WatchESPN.com, UniMas
Preview: I'll let the boys over at Stars and Stripes FC handle the big lifting in the preview section. Seriously, if you don't have that blog bookmarked by now, do so. You won't regret it as they follow the national teams much closer than any other site out there.
United States have carved out an 11-5-4 mark against El Tri since 2000, including a 9-2-3 record on home soil.
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke), Jose Torres (Tigres UANL) Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Jesus Zavala, Hector Herrera, Christian Gimenez, Fernando Arce, Andres Guardado
This is a big one for sure for the US. The roster changes aside, you always win your home games. I say it for FC Dallas and I say it for the USMNT. The loss of Michael Bradley will be a tough one again to overcome in this one. The US will need a big time performance from the midfield and that means someone like Beckerman or Jones needs to have a massive game in the middle.
Defensively, the US needs to be better than what we saw on Friday night in Costa Rica. I believe Klinsmann will get things sorted out in the back for this one.
I think the US will come out on top in this one in a gritty hard fought match, 1-0. Either Donovan or Dempsey will net the game-winner.