United States take on their primary continental rival when they host Mexico in a soccer friendly at the Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday (8:30 PM ET).
Mexico have the historical upper hand over their northern neighbours, with 35 wins to the USA’s 18 in 68 previous encounters. Things have been much tighter in recent times, with the last 10 fixtures, from 2011 onwards, yielding three wins apiece and four draws.
The two teams are generally considered the strongest in CONCACAF, although United States’ failure to qualify for this summer’s soccer World Cup in Russia damaged not only their pride but their standing within the continent. Those would certainly not be restored by victory on Tuesday but it would represent part of a process of recovery for the men’s national team.
That process will not get fully underway until a new, permanent head coach is put in place, but interim Dave Sarachan has started to lay the groundwork by utilizing a variety of younger talents in his seven matches in charge. Indeed, he fielded a team with an average age of just under 23 years old in USA’s 0-2 defeat to Brazil on Friday.
An early goal from Roberto Firmino, added to by a Neymar penalty towards the end of the first half, saw Brazil on their way to a pretty easy victory. USMNT showed good persistence to continue competing and prevent the result from becoming any uglier, but there were not a great deal of positive signs from their work in possession and going forward.
That was perhaps to be expected against a team as strong as Brazil, especially given the inexperience in the US ranks. It takes a certain amount of courage to start midfielders as young as Tyler Adams (19) and Weston McKennie (20) against that calibre of opposition, and McKennie said afterwards that it was a good learning and bonding experience for the group.
In truth, with friendlies against Colombia, Peru, England and Italy still to come before the end of the calendar year, it may only be intangible things of that nature that the United States can cling to. With that said, Tuesday’s opponents Mexico have also embarked on a rebuilding process that will make them slighter weaker than they would otherwise have been.
Mexico qualified for Russia 2018 and began the tournament with a shock win over holders Germany. Just as it looked as if they might be in line to secure first place in their group and get the sort of winnable second round draw that would have finally allowed them to reach the last eight for the first time since 1986, defeat to Sweden on the final match day saw them finish second. They then fell to a 0-2 defeat to Brazil in the last 16.
Mexico had one of the oldest squads at the World Cup and it was therefore inevitable that changes would have to be made after the tournament with Qatar 2022 in mind. Rafael Marquez and Oribe Peralta retired from international action shortly after. Other mainstays such as Carlos Vela Hector Moreno, Giovani Dos Santos and Javier Hernandez have not been included in the squad for this international break.
Like United States, Mexico are yet to appoint a new head coach, and it was therefore Tigres coach Ricardo Ferretti who was tasked with putting together the relatively young group that fell to a slightly unfortunate 1-4 defeat to Uruguay in Houston on Friday. Four players made their national team debuts, including 18-year-old Club America midfielder Diego Lainez, but it was still a result achieved more through Uruguayan efficiency than outright superiority.
There are a further four uncapped players amongst Ferretti’s charges, which further demonstrates the inexperience in the squads of both teams coming into Tuesday’s game. United States began their renovation process a little sooner due to their failure to qualify for the World Cup, but both teams are at a similar stage of development.
Our Preview’s USMNT vs. Mexico Picks & Predictions Verdict
The result is difficult to predict, but there are likely to be a good number of goals. Three of the last five matches between the sides have ended with three or more, and the youth of those involved this time around means that there is a good chance of a repeat in Nashville.
This is our U.S vs Mexico betting prediction and pick for this intriguing international friendly soccer match: