The USMNT kicks off against Mexico on Wednesday night in San Antonio, with bragging rights on the line between the two rivals.
Jurgen Klinsmann has picked a side full of MLS talent, with American-based players making up 13 of the 22 roster spots.
[ PREVIEW: USMNT vs. Mexico ]
Without the likes of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore and with the match being a friendly, Klinsmann could go many ways with his starting XI.
Miguel Herrera picked a very inexperienced Mexico side complete with only Liga MX players, and has already named his starters for the match at the Alamodome. Two players with ties to the MLS will start against the U.S., Erick “Cubo” Torres (on loan at Guadalajara from Houston Dynamo) and Carlos Salcedo, who played the past two seasons with Real Salt Lake before moving to Liga MX.
Here is Mexico’s starting lineup (5-3-2)
Florer – Mier – Rodriguez – Salcedo -Velarde
Osuna – Montes – Esquival
Torres – Herrera
Klinsmann tinkered with a 3-5-2 earlier in the year, but sent out a 4-4-2 in the draw against Switzerland, in which the United States played rather well. Below we take a look at a potential lineup Mexico might face from the USMNT.
Goalkeeper: William Yarbrough — Yarbrough made his first-team debut against Switzerland, coming on at halftime for Nick Rimando. The 26-year-old was born and raised in Mexico by American parents, and plays on Liga MX side Club Leon. Klinsmann could hand the dual-citizen his first start, and will likely use two keepers in the match.
Defenders: Brek Shea, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin — Brek Shea continues his transformation into a wing-back, and with Yedlin flying in from England for the match, look for the recent Tottenham debutant to hold down the right side opposite of Shea. In the middle, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez have the most experience for a high intensity match like USA vs. Mexico. Ventura Alvarado could get some trial minutes, and has experience against the opposition as he represents Club America in Liga MX.
Midfielders: Julian Green, Mix Diskerud, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona — Klinsmann knows how talented Julian Green is, and flew him in from Germany for the match despite his struggles this season. Getting Green minutes is crucial to his development, so a start could be in line for the 19-year-old. Mix Diskerud will likely sit in behind Michael Bradley in the center of the pitch, adding some solidarity to a relatively inexperienced squad. Joe Corona plays in Liga MX and can run on the wing, which could cause problems for Mexico paired with the speedy Shea and Yedlin in the back.
Forwards: Gyasi Zardes, Juan Agudelo — With Jozy Altidore unavailable, Klinsmann has the option of letting some young players get big minutes. Zardes and Agudelo have the talent to be the future of the U.S. attack, and getting on the scoresheet against Mexico would be massive for the confidence of either young striker.