The United States and Mexican national teams are set for a duel in the desert on Wednesday night in Glendale, Ariz.
The CONCACAF rivalry will be renewed once more before both sides make their final World Cup preparations. Both coaches value the opportunity to evaluate their squads in a competitive environment. USMNT head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will have one last chance to evaluate his North American talent ahead of the May 12 deadline when World Cup rosters must be announced.
Wednesday night will also be the highly-anticipated debut of Bayern Munich’s Julian Green for the USMNT. The 18-year-old phenom made his one-time change of association on March 18. The new recruit has the chance to bolster a traditionally lackluster American attack. Supporters will have their first glimpse of the talent in something other than a YouTube video. Green won’t be the only player trying to book a ticket to Brazil.
After a calf injury earlier this month, Seattle Sounders defender Brad Evans was removed from the roster. Real Salt Lake right back Tony Beltran will make the trip to Arizona in place of the injured Evans. Beltran and others on Wednesday’s roster will have their last chance to impress the coaching staff. Players like Michael Orozco, DeAndre Yedlin, Maurice Edu and Brad Davis are all fighting for World Cup roster spots. Time is running out for them to make their case.
Puebla defenders DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco have been denied the chance to play for the USMNT by their Liga MX club Puebla. In a statement released Monday, Jürgen Klinsmann said that he was “disappointed in the decision by Puebla.”
Once Klinsmann and his staff establish the final 23-man roster for Brazil in May, the USMNT will play three matches on American soil to prepare for the so-called ‘Group of Death’. The Stars and Stripes will take on Azerbaijan (May 27), Turkey (June 1) and Nigeria (June 7) before they begin their World Cup campaign against Ghana on June 16.
The last time the North American rivals met, the USMNT defeated the Mexican side 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio with goals from Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson.
Wednesday night’s match will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. with the kickoff set at 10 p.m. EDT.