As anticipation builds for the kickoff of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga this weekend, today, August 15, 2012 marks a big day for international friendlies before World Cup qualifying resumes in early September. Many teams fresh off the London Olympics or EURO 2012 Championships will not bring their full rosters, as many top players from around the globe are resting in preparation for the start of European league play.
The United States Men’s National Team squares off against neighboring Mexico at 5:00PM PDT from Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Historically speaking, the USA/Mexico soccer rivalry is considered the biggest in the Concacaf, as these two powerhouses have always competed for the top spot to represent North America. Tomorrow marks their 61st meeting dating back to the 1930s, with their most recent fixture coming almost a year ago to the day (1-1 draw in Philadelphia, PA).
Mexico holds the winning record, with 33 wins to the USA’s 15, and 12 draws. In recent history, The US has a far better record than the spell of over 50 years that left the US without a single victory (1937-1979). However, Mexico still retains an undefeated record at home (23-0-1), and thus a clear advantage going into tonight’s match.
The US will be poised to make a statement with Jurgen Klinsmann coaching his first meeting against Mexico since taking over last July. Klinsmann has gotten off to a pretty solid start for the USA, with his first victory over Italy in February. The win was a monumental victory for the US, who was previously winless to the 4-time World Cup Champions, gli Azurri.
We want to measure ourselves with Mexico. And we respect what they’ve done but we’re coming here to win. We’re not coming here to defend, we’re coming here to win.
Tonight, the US attempts another momentum swing since the disappointing non-qualification of the U23 team for the London Olympics. Klinsmann recognizes the match as a significant stepping stone to making a berth into the conversation with elite level teams like Spain, Brazil, Italy and Germany. Currently ranked 36th in the world, the US has plenty of room to improve, most importantly on consistency: after beating Italy on their home turf, they fell 4-1 to Brazil, and drawing against Canada and Guatemala.
We look forward to cheering on the US tonight. Catch all the action on ESPN2 & ESPN3 with coverage beginning at 4:30 PDT.