One rival beat Germany and made a run into the knockout stage of the World Cup, while one lost to Trinidad and Tobago and failed to make it to Russia, but the expectations will be similar when Mexico visits the USMNT at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
[ MORE: Projected USMNT XI vs. El Tri ]
The young USMNT comes off an encouraging if non-threatening performance against Brazil in a 2-0 loss last week, while interim boss Ricardo Ferretti’s fairly young Mexico was battered 4-1 by Luis Suarez and Uruguay.
Now they meet in Nashville, with Mexico on a very good run in the rivalry. El Tri drew the USMNT at Azteca last time out, but controlled the match aside from Michael Bradley’s rocket from just inside the half line. Before that, Mexico won a pair of meaningful matches including the CONCACAF Cup win in 2015.
Orbelin Pineda (Guadalajara) and Raul Jimenez (Wolves) have left Mexico camp, while the USMNT has sent John Brooks (Wolfsburg) and Paul Arriola (DC United) back to their clubs, meaning there will be plenty of change in the XI from the Brazil loss.
Dave Sarachan has said there could be as many as 5-6 changes to the Starting XI, and it’s a safe bet that 25-year-old Wil Trapp, Tyler Adams, and Weston McKennie will remain in the fold. Trapp wore the captain’s band against Brazil and did fine, as did teenagers Adams and McKennie.
DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Miazga will probably also return to the field, while there’s a question whether Sarachan will hand another start to Zack Steffen or opt to give another goalkeeper a cap. Tim Weah, Eric Lichaj, Cameron Carter-Vickers, and Kellyn Acosta are also good bets to start, with either Gyasi Zardes or Andriya Novakovich joining Weah in attack.
Sarachan could also opt for the Red Bulls pairing of Tim Parker and Aaron Long at center back, who would have plenty of experience sitting behind Adams. Cristian Roldan and Marky Delgado could also play over Trapp in the center of the park, while Shaq Moore, Antonee Robinson, Alex Bono, Ethan Horvath, Cristian Roldan, Julian Green, and Bobby Wood are all options and fill out the roster.
A win would be nice at home, and surely both sides will be keyed up for a beautiful rivalry renewed in Tennessee. Now, how much of the crowd will be in green?