USMNT-Mexico World Cup qualifier preview

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Once every four years for more several decades, we’ve been guaranteed a pair of meaningful matches between the United States and Mexico.

There have been glorious wins, including a World Cup victory and four-straight Dos a Cero score lines at home WC qualifiers.

There have been miserable losses, like the esteem sucking CONCACAF Cup loss in 2015 or the Gold Cup walloping that cost Bob Bradley his job in 2011.

[ MORE: PST’s USMNT-Mexico roundtable ]

Most of all, though, there’s a shared bond, as Mexico and the USMNT share a healthy respect and vivid dislike for the opposition.

It’s an exciting time for the rivalry, with both teams boasting national legends in their prime (Michael Bradley, Hector Herrera), nearing the end (Tim Howard, Rafa Marquez), and just finding their footing (Christian Pulisic, Diego Reyes).

Frankly, Mexico has a lot of firepower and has to love its chances of getting at least a point in Columbus on Friday. El Tri boasts PSV star Andres Guaradio, the Galaxy’s Giovani Dos Santos, and in-form Eintracht Frankfurt mid Marco Fabian amongst others (including dangerous striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez).

The Yanks are no slouches either, with both Bradley and Jozy Altidore humming and cohesive from their time with Toronto FC. John Brooks, and Timmy Chandler are counted on for 90 minutes a night at top-half Bundesliga sides, while Fabian Johnson is a known entity for struggling Borussia Monchengladbach.

In other words, yeah, we can hardly wait for Friday.

Recent results

Mexico’s 3-2 win in the 2015 CONCACAF Cup Final gave El Tri its first win in the rivalry since the final match of a three-game win streak on Aug. 10, 2011.

Since that streak ended, the Yanks are 3W-3D-1L against Mexico. Going back to the turn of the century, the U.S. leads the series 12W-5D-6L.

Notable omissions/absences

Out for the U.S.: Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Gyasi Zardes, Kyle Beckerman

Out for Mexico: Paul Aguilar, Javier Aquino, Elias Hernandez, Alan Pulido, Carlos Esquivel, Moises Munoz

What they’re saying

Jermaine Jones on Mexico’s Chicharito: “Everybody who knows Chicharito knows he’s played always on the line. I’m not saying a dirty player but he’s always on that edge.”

Mexico’s Rafa Marquez on troubles in Columbus“This is a different time, with different players that will leave the past behind.”

More reading

— Do U.S. fans outright expect a win?

Mexico out to end Columbus curse

How Christian Pulisic developed into a star

How will the USMNT lineup?

Prediction

MAPFRE Stadium will be rocking, and we suspect both attacks with find desperation working in their favor. Mexico and the U.S. each find the back of the net in a 2-2 draw to start the final round of World Cup qualifying.