USMNT vs Mexico Preview: Weakened rosters won’t weaken atmosphere

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  • The United States is 12-5-5 vs Mexico since 2000
  • Mexico has not held the United States scoreless on American soil since 2003
  • The US and Mexico have never matched up in San Antonio

The United States takes a domestic-heavy roster into a likely hostile environment when they take on Mexico in the Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday at 8:30pm ET.

The Alamodome has shipped in a sod turf which it laid down just three days before the match, and reports are surfacing that the Mexican delegation is extremely unhappy with the field conditions, putting the match in jeopardy.

Should the match proceed as planned, the US will get yet another look at its available squad as Jurgen Klinsmann preps for a full few years of competitive play. He’s tinkered plenty so far, and there’s no indication that will end in San Antonio.

The match will have a different feel to it, with a heavy Mexican contingent expected in the Alamodome. It will no doubt test the players’ resolve in a truly hostile environment. While they played a few road European friendlies not long ago, those were somewhat poorly attended and had an atmosphere fitting for a friendly. This game proves to be different.

One storyline to watch is the goalkeeping situation. Nick Rimando has been tested by William Yarbrough, and it will be interesting to see who gets how much time and how that individual performs. Yarbrough is also one of many Mexican-Americans on the roster, an intriguing side story to watch unfold. Besides the goalkeeper, there’s Ventura Alvarado, Miguel Ibarra, Joe Corona, and Greg Garza. Jozy Altidore is not on the roster, serving a one-game suspension for his second yellow against Switzerland.

Unlike the United States, a country that has struggled mightily since the conclusion of last summer’s World Cup, Mexico has thrived on its success. Miguel Herrera has mixed experimentation and consistency very well, and as a result Mexico has won four of their last five matches. For this game, he’s gone incredibly young on his roster.

ROSTERS:

United States

GK: Bill Hamid, Nick Rimando, William Yarbrough

DEF: Ventura Alvarado, Matt Besler, Brad Evans, Greg Garza, Omar Gonzalez, Brek Shea, DeAndre Yedlin

MF: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Miguel Ibarra, Perry Kitchen, Lee Nguyen

FW: Juan Agudelo, Julian Green, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski, Gyasi Zardes

Mexico

GK: Cirilo Saucedo, Jonathan Orozco

DEF: Francisco Rodriguez, Julio Cesar Dominguez, Osvaldo Alanis, Adrian Aldrete, George Corral, Gerardo Flores, Hiram Mier, Efrain Velarde, Carlos Salcedo

MF: Luis Montes, Antonio Rios, Jurgen Damm, Luis Rodriguez, Mario Osuna

FW: Oribe Peralta, Erick “Cubo” Torres, Eduardo Herrera

First Leagues Cup will be an all-Liga MX affair

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Given Major League Soccer’s record against Liga MX sides when both teams are bringing their best players to the party, it’s no surprise that the former has been left out of the Leagues Cup Final.

Instead, Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will meet on Sept. 18 for the first ever crown in the history of the competition pitting teams from Mexico, Canada, and the United States top flights.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Choosing not to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan Dos Santos, and Carlos Pavon amongst others, the LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to Cruz Azul in Carson, California, getting an Emil Cuello goal but allowing the below delightful winner from Orbelin Pineda just after halftime.

The Galaxy were in the midst of a nasty four-match fortnight, and opted for this match — a tournament semifinal against a league which has bossed its league — to rest their men. Not a choice we love, but a fair choice given the Galaxy’s mere 4-point advantage on 7th place in the West.

Tigres needed penalties to get past Club America in an absolutely bonkers semifinal.

The match was level at 2 after regulation, with two own goals, a penalty, and a 90th minute red card doled out to Tigres’ Roger Martinez.

The second Tigres own goal, which came before the club outlasted America 5-3 in penalties, came deep in stoppage.

USWNT lawsuit goes to trial May 5

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LOS ANGELES (AP) A judge has set a May 5 trial date for the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the women’s national team against U.S. Soccer.

District Judge R. Gary Klausner assigned the date at a hearing Monday in Los Angeles, which came less than a week after mediation between the two sides broke down.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

The players sued U.S. Soccer in March, alleging institutionalized gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

The federation claims that compensation for each team is the result of separate collective bargaining agreements, and that the pay structures are different as a result.

The sides had agreed to mediate the dispute after this summer’s World Cup in France. The U.S. beat the Netherlands in July for its second straight title, and fourth overall.

The players and U.S. Soccer had requested a trial date after the Tokyo Olympics, which start July 25.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Zappacosta off to Roma as Chelsea trusts youth

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Tuesday was a great day to be Reece James.

Not that it hasn’t been a good summer altogether with Frank Lampard in charge of Chelsea.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Lampard sanctioned the loan of Zappacosta to AS Roma, which puts James firmly in line for first team reps at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old James has earned his place after two seasons on loan at Wigan Athletic, and Cesar Azpilicueta will either need rest or time at center back at some point.

As for Zappacosta, he was a curiosity buy who was serviceable during his time at Stamford Bridge. At Roma, though, he’ll… also be second choice to club captain Alessandro Florenzi.

Lampard is definitely giving the Blues’ youth a chance to shine during this transfer ban, and this may well be the best opportunity of James’ career.

Predicting the USMNT September call-ups

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The United States men’s national team has just a pair of friendlies remaining before its next CONCACAF competition, the Nations’ League.

Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT will meet Uruguay and Mexico in September, and the looming CNL — you know Berhalter wants some sort of crown given the Gold Cup Final loss to El Tri — certainly hints at a strong XI even with players like Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Tyler Boyd (Besitkas) and Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf, on loan from Man City) settling into new digs.

[ MORE: Klopp “couldn’t afford” Coutinho ]

Before we dare to name a 23-man outfit for these matches, we should note that there’s no guarantee every big team will want to release their players in September. But this projection will act under the assumption that his best healthy men will accept invitations or that, at least, Berhalter will invite his best healthy men.

The MLS playoff push may actually force his hand in that Berhalter may respect teams in said playoff race due (though MLS does not have every team playing over the break).

We’ll assume for this exercise that DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle) and Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig) don’t miraculously come fit.

Now for the Big Berhalter Questions (BBQs):

  1. Since Gyasi Zardes has scored three goals and an assist in his last six MLS games and there’s no chance Berhalter ignores him, who will not get a look: Tim Weah (Lille), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas) or … wait, it’s gonna be Boyd.
  2. Wil Trapp has been poor in a USMNT jersey, but has three assists in his last six MLS matches so will he…. book his place, too.

Finally, I’m not going to say that this 23-man roster will be correct, but it will be fun.

Goalkeepers (3)

Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
Kasey Keller (Millwall)
Pick the guy who you think I should pick here and pretend you like it better than:
David Bingham (LA Galaxy)

Defenders (8)

John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Matt Miazga (Reading)
Aaron Long (West Ham New York Red Bulls)
Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Tim Ream (Fulham)
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)

Midfielders (6)

Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)
Julian Green (Greuther Fuerth)
Paxtom Pomykal (FC Dallas)
Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)

Forwards (6)

Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)
Timothy Weah (Lille)
Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders)
Paul Arriola (DC United)
Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)