For the 5th consecutive CONCACAF Hexagonal, the match between the United States Men’s National Team and Mexico on American soil will be played in Columbus at Mapfre (formerly Crew) Stadium. All 4 previous matches have ended with the same 2-0 scoreline in favor of the home team. Tonight, Jurgen Klinsmann will pick 18 of these 26 gents to try and write Chapter 5:
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), Alan Gordon (LA Galaxy; 1/0), Aron Johannsson (Werder Bremen; 3/1), Bobby Wood (Hamburg; 6/2)
The roster does have some interesting faces, although the core of the team is largely made up of players from this summer’s somewhat successful run through Copa America. Timmy Chandler, Jermaine Jones, and Aron Johannson all return to the fold, while as many as 7 players could hypothetically get their first taste of the rivalry. Cameron Carter-Vickers, in particular, could be slated for a late cameo to cap-tie him to the United States. With no Kellyn Acosta or MLS Defender of the Year Matt Hedges, Carter-Vickers is the only real tie in to Dallas as he is son of former Dallas Maverick Howard Carter.
Almost assuredly the most important debutant in the series will be Christian Pulisic, who at this point, has almost blown by the description of ‘promising prospect’ with 2 goals and 2 assists to close out the CONCACAF semifinal round. The US will need a big game from him to help pressure a loaded El Tri side. Whether the US line up in a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, the danger will most likely have to come through Pulisic on the outside as there’s not much else in the way of proven commodities out wide. It’ll be cold and inhospitable to Mexico per usual, but it’s hard to see Mexico getting blanked given their firepower. This still seems like one the US will pull out though by putting two in the back of the net, and Tim Howard’s pretty hot right now, so...Prediction: USA 2, Mexico 0.
How to watch:
Time: 6:45 pm CT
Location: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, OH
TV: FS1, Univision
Online: Fox Sports 2 Go