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Soccer

USA vs Mexico: Three USMNT players to watch

With injuries riddling the USMNT ahead of their next World Cup Qualifiers, Acosta could play a critical role as they prepare for their first vs Mexico.

Update:

The US men’s national soccer team will take on Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on Thursday, March 24 at 10 p.m. ET. The USMNT are tied with El Tri for second place in the standings with 21 points.

The USMNT has never beaten Mexico on Mexican soil in the history of the World Cup Qualifiers in CONCACAF, but will look to change that this Thursday. The team is riddled with injuries, including midfielder Weston McKennie, who’s proven to be their best player. That means Kellyn Acosta could play a big role in the next three games as the USMNT take on Mexico, Panama, and Costa Rica. Let’s take a look at three critical players for the USMNT’s next World Cup Qualifiers.

Kellyn Acosta

Kellyn Acosta is capable of operating as a No.6 or a No.8, or even a fullback if needed, and has taken on a pretty extensive role for LAFC. Acosta has helped the team remain undefeated in the 2022 season, including an impressive performance in their 3-1 win over Vancouver on Sunday. Now, he’ll have to fill an even bigger role on the international stage as he will likely be the replacement for Weston McKennie, who’s out with a foot injury.

Zack Steffen

With goalkeeper Matt Turner out with an ankle injury, it’s Zack Steffen’s time to shine. He is finally back in action after missing much of the year with shoulder and back injuries. Since his return, he’s conceded one goal for Manchester City in their 4-1 defeat of Southhampton. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter will start Steffen as long as he’s healthy. It will be his first start with the USMNT this year.

Jesus Ferreira

Jesus Ferreira finally ended an 11-game scoreless streak (for country and club) with an impressive hat trick in FC Dallas’ 4-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday, and he did it within the span of ten minutes. The last goal, scored by Paul Arriola, was set up by Ferreira. It’s possible he could get the go-ahead to play vs Mexico now that he’s broken that streak, and with the attackers he’ll have around him, his talent for linking up and getting the assists could be just what the USMNT needs from him.

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