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USMNT vs. Mexico: The Pregame Tailgate


The U.S. men’s national team takes on Mexico tonight in a clash of the top two teams in Concacaf World Cup qualifying, with the Americans aiming to catch El Tri in the standings with a win at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Mexico is undefeated in the Octagonal, but enters Friday missing its three best central defenders, though Tata Martino does have his full attack available, with Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano and Jesus Corona poised to test the USMNT defense.

The USMNT will be without some of its biggest stars, with Gio Reyna and Sergiño Dest unavailable due to injury, and Christian Pulisic beginning tonight’s match on the bench as he continues to recover from the ankle injury that sidelined him for two months.

Berhalter’s team still has plenty of firepower though, with Weston McKennie, Ricardo Pepi and Brenden Aaronson set to lead the attack.

The Americans have won two straight home matches in qualifying, including the 2-1 victory over Costa Rica in October, but Gregg Berhalter knows full well that El Tri will provide a much tougher test.

SBI will be providing coverage of the clash of the Concacaf Giants throughout the night so be sure to stay tuned as we provide updates, and analysis before, during and after the match.

Check back in closer to 8 p.m. ET as we provide the starting lineups for both teams.

Here is a rundown of SBI’s pre-match coverage:

  • Why the USMNT has a team capable of pressing Mexico into submission. (LINK)
  • The Five Key Matchups to Watch (LINK)
  • USMNT-Mexico qualifier set to mark the end of an era in the rivalry (LINK)
  • Who will, and who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico (LINK)
  • Ricardo Pepi poised for special USMNT-Mexico showdown (LINK)
  • The SBI Show: Episode 340 (USMNT-Mexico Preview) (LINK)
  • USMNT News: Pulisic won’t start against Mexico, Steffen gets the nod in goal (LINK)
  • Summer lessons have USMNT confident heading into qualifier vs. Mexico (LINK)
  • Yunus Musah takes inspiration from teammates McKennie and Adams (LINK)
  • Yedlin ready to bring experience to dog fight with Mexico (LINK)
  • Why the John Brooks USMNT omission isn’t about form, but about fit (LINK)
  • Three options to complete the USMNT midfield vs. Mexico (LINK)
  • Antonee Robinson riding strong club form into USMNT-Mexico clash (LINK)
  • A look at the biggest USMNT roster omissions (LINK)

SBI’s editorial staff will provide insight and analysis throughout the night in the comments section below. You are welcome to share your own pre-game and in-game thoughts and opinions as well.

Enjoy the action.


  1. Biggest win of the OcTag, to date. Weah was extraordinary, and musah equally so. Those two guys scare Mexico a lot. Mexico also has to be scared to look at three losses to three different USA teams. Winning in Azteca is on the table, big time, and there is work to do before that time comes.

    Honduras could have done us a favor, but as it is, 4th sits on 11 points. 23 is the magic number for third place and USA are three wins away. Jamaica is saving their best players for Tuesday night, we need to jump all over them. Juicy tidbit. Mexico play in Canada and the game starts at 8. The USA game will be over by then. That’s a good chance to heap pressure on both Canada and Mexico Very strong showing tonight, from the team, the coach, and the fans, although the fans could have done better with the dos a cero chant. I mean, who wasn’t waiting for that second goal to come, just for that???

  2. We are witnessing vast improvement from several US players over the last year, which has led to 3 wins over Mexico in one year,

    – Weah has turned from a teenager with speed into a dynamic, formidable wing. A lock starter going forward.
    – A Robinson was another raw athlete who has transformed into a solid two-way player in a year. Another potential lock starter.
    – Musah is only going to get better. A year from now with Qatar on the horizon may see a very solid midfield.
    – Has Zimmerman put himself near the top of the depth chart in the last year? Definitely.


  3. Macho Macho Man, you got to be a Macho Man lol. This is what happens when the ref lets Raul do what he did with no consequence, all the ref’s fault for not punishing the obvious on Mexico, as usual in our region

  4. Tata wants the gap between the Robinsons on the counter and after breaking the midfiled line. ARob has got to be careful getting too high too early in the build out before it’s on because they are looking to get behind him in that situation and have already. That was some high intensity first half that can’t let down. Pepi beginning to find gaps in the area

  5. I don’t get it
    We’ve had more possession (55 to 45)
    we’ve had more shots (7 to 5)
    Passes and pass accuracy at even
    We are winning the one on ones and drawing fouls……
    ……but why are all the commentators acting like Mexico has got us on the ropes???
    Am I missing something????

  6. So nerve-wracking…USMNT playing like it’s first time they’ve played together. At times two players going for same ball, other times neither is. Created lots of half chances and the higher volume of chances and successful pressure could lead to 3-4 goals if they can actually string it together..

    However, Mexico looks like a team that has played together for a long time, waiting for it’s chances and has been more dangerous when they do get them.

  7. Halftime…I disagree with Twellman. This is such an even game. Mexico did have two better chances butthey haven’t controlled the game like he says.

    I think playing over their press is working. Musah and McKennie are winning the 50/50s. I’d like to see Pepi come deeper to get the ball and play in others. Weah stated great and looks tired. Yedlin lucky his giving space to Lozano didn’t end up in the back of the net.

  8. Weah having a good game. Disappointed in A Robinson – typically love him…too many sloppy giveaways.
    Can we get a set piece goal?

  9. The starting 11 we pretty much expected. Weah over Arriola due to good form. Musah starting, look for 60-65 minutes with Busio to plug in. Thinking Yedlin may have started over Dest in this game to focus on containing Lozano. A solid lineup even compared to last summer.


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