SOCCER | WC QUALIFIERS
USMNT vs Mexico: squads, possible line-ups, injured and suspended players
The USMNT have welcomed back Christain Pulisic to the squad for their home game against CONCACAF qualifying group leaders Mexico on Friday night.
The United States men's national team has a great opportunity this month to get one foot on the plane to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, with a massive home game against Mexico (12 November) followed by a visit to Jamaica (16 November ) in the final round of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
Tournament leaders Mexico are currently three points clear of second-placed USMNT with eight games left to be played, and remain unbeaten after six matches (4W, 2D). Although Gregg Berhalter's team will be confident of securing a victory against El Tri after winning the last two meetings between the teams.
After suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat on the road against Panama (their only loss so far after six games in the CONCACAF final round of qualifying), the USA got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory at home against Costa Rica last month, thanks to a goal from Sergiño Dest and own goal from Leonel Moreira.
The return of the long-term injured Christian Pulisic, missed all three games during the the last round of international fixtures in October, will come as a big boost for the Stars and Stripes. Having not played for Chelsea since August, Pulisic finally saw some minutes for his club in the their last two games (16’ against Malmo; 5’ against Burnley) and could be in line to start against Mexico, though Berhalter will not take that decision lightly.
“For us it’s about progressing him in a safe way,” said the US team coach. “We know he’s valuable to the team. We know we want him on the field, but we’re also not willing to risk anything. It’s about how he feels, and depending on that will dictate what role he plays in the two games.”
Ranked No. 9 in the world, unbeaten Mexico will travel to the US full of confidence for what will be their first of three tough consecutive road games (vs. the USA, Canada and Jamaica).
With a close-to-full strength squad to choose from, coach Gerardo Martino will be hoping European-based stars like Wolves Raul Jimimez (Wolves), "Tecatito" Corona (Porto), "Chucky" Lozano (Napoli), Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid) and Nestor Araujo (Celta Vigo), can snap the two-game losing streak against the USMNT and a victory would put them in pole position to secure the top spot in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament.
USMNT vs Mexico: Injuries and suspensions
Greg Berhalter will be without two key players in Barcelona’s Sergiño Dest, who has a back injury, and Borussia Dortmund’s Gio Reyna, who still hasn’t recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered on U.S. duty in September. Veteran striker Gyasi Zardes, who sprained his MCL a couple of weeks ago, is also out.
Mexico, meanwhile, will be without centre-back Nestor Araujo, who is suspended after receiving a red card against El Salvador.
USMNT squad vs Mexico
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
Defenders: Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Mark McKenzie (KRC Genk), Chris Richards (TSG Hoffenheim), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tim Weah (Lille)
Mexico squad vs USMNT
Goalkeepers: Rodolfo Cota (Leon), Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas UNAM)
Defenders: Nestor Araujo (Celta Vigo/Spain), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Luis "Chaka" Rodriguez (Tigres), Osvaldo Rodriguez (Leon), Jorge Sanchez (Club America), Johan Vasquez (Genoa/Italy)
Midfielders: Edson Alvarez (Ajax/Netherlands), Sebastian Cordova (Club America), Roberto "Piojo" Alvarado (Cruz Azul), Andres Guardado (Real Betis/Spain), Orbelin Pineda (Cruz Azul), Carlos "Charly" Rodriguez (Monterrey), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul), Hector Herrera (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Ricardo "Canelo" Angulo (Chivas)
Forwards: Jose Manuel "Tecatito" Corona (Porto/Portugal), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey), Raul Jimenez (Wolves/England), Henry Martin (Club America), Hirving "Chucky" Lozano (Napoli/Italy)
USMNT possible XI vs Mexico
Steffen; Scally, Zimmerman, M. Robinson, A. Robinson; Musah, Adams, McKennie; Weah, Pepi, Pulisic
Mexico possible XI vs USMNT
Ochoa; Rodriguez, Dominguez, Moreno, Gallardo; Herrera, Guardado, Alvarez; Corona, Jimenez, Lozano