Though considered an international friendly, tensions always
seem to be high whenever the Americans and Mexicans meet up on the pitch. Who
are the soccer odds favoring for Wednesday's match in Phoenix.
The USA is listed as close to a +150 favorite, with Mexico
at roughly +215 and a draw at +225 on the soccer odds board or so.
There has been a shuffle in terms of management, with Jurgen
Klinsmann bringing Berti Vogts on board as a special adviser, with assistant
coach Martin Vasquez getting re-assigned to a different role.
It's a risky proposition to make such a change only months
before the World Cup, but obviously Klinsmann thought something had to be done.
We'll see if Vogts' vast tactical knowledge ends up having a positive effect.
In terms of the American's squad for Wednesday, it features
quite a few interesting names.
Though Tim Howard won't be involved, likely starters Matt
Besler and Omar Gonzalez have been included as defenders. Most of the USA's
best attacking players are also in the mix, including Landon Donovan, Michael
Bradley and Clint Dempsey. Young Julian Green, who recently announced his
decision to play with the Americans rather than Germany, is expected to make
his debut on Wednesday.
This will be Klinsmann's last chance to get a look at
various players before the World Cup preparations really kick up a notch in
late May. This is a huge opportunity for some to show their worth in hopes of
making the cut.
Yet again coach Miguel Herrera has gone with a
domestic-based squad for this friendly, with all of his players plying their
trade in Mexico.
Moises Munoz and Alfredo Talavera are the only two
goalkeepers in the squad, while the likes of Rafa Marquez, Paul Aguilar, Juan
Carlos Medina and Luis Montes have all been called up. It looks like both Raul
Jimenez and Alan Pulido will start.
One notable absentee is Oribe Peralta, who reportedly asked
not to be named after an incredibly busy start to his year.
Nonetheless, it's a strong squad and one that will have a lot of unity and
team chemistry, considering seven plays are from club side America, with
Toluca, Leon and Cruz also well-represented. These guys know each other well.
The last time we saw Mexico in action, they had to settle
for a 0-0 draw against Nigeria. They'll be hoping to find the back of the net
against their heated rivals here on Wednesday, with a huge crowd expected at
University of Phoenix Stadium.
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The Americans looked really rough against Ukraine in their
latest friendly last month, but we expect a much better showing on Wednesday.
This is a much strong squad that Klinsmann has named and that alone should give
Obviously getting Donovan and Bradley involved is a huge
boost for the USA and we expect the pair to boss this game, should they both
Of course, it helps that Mexico will be without arguably
their two most influential forwards in Javier Hernandez and Oribe Peralta, both
of whom haven't been listed in the squad. The Americans will have more
experience defensively than they had against Ukraine, even in spite of the fact
DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco weren't allowed to leave the club to take
part in this friendly. Anyone, to be fair, is an upgrade over Oguchi Anyewu and
John Brooks in that back line.
Still, we're not sold on the Americans winning out right and
instead will recommend the draw with our soccer picks.
Soccer Pick: USA 1 Mexico 1