It has been seven months since the USMNT came into Azteca and claimed their first victory in Mexico…ever. Without a doubt, Mexico has not forgotten the images of that game. Given it was solely a friendly; the celebrations by the Americans will not be erased. As of now, Mexico has two points (0-2-0), while the USA has three (1-0-1) after two WCQ matches. There will be a lot of factors coming into this game for both teams, so let’s start off with formations.
- Meza, Ayala, Moreno, Salcido
- Zavala, Torrado
- Aquino, Dos Santos, Guardado
I believe Chepo is going to stick with Ochoa. His biggest problem was the repetitive kicking of the ball to either Honduran players, or out-of-bounds. It really did hinder what could have been a lot of possession for Mexico. However, his play during the penalty was simply unlucky. He made a terrific diving play, only to have the ball go directly to Bengston. I do not see the U.S. pressuring Mexico, so expect to see the defense bring the ball up most of the time. This will cancel out Ochoa’s goal kicks, and hopefully he will shine like he has before.
Two other headlines are the absences of ‘Maza’ and Torres Nilo. Chepo will most likely send Salcido to his former position, and bring in Torrado for “experience” in the midfield. Although, watch for Herrera to make a second half sub for Torrado. His control and dribbling are two features Mexico needs. Chepo de la Torre usually doesn’t start the younger guys, which is why I see an Ayala-Moreno centerback situation.
The U.S. will most likely come out with a 4-3-2-1/4-3-3. However, as mentioned before, they are going to sit back. This is not a total must win for them, but more of a “don’t let Mexico get revenge” type of scenario. If the ‘Yanks’ pull a point out of Azteca, they will be jubilant. Moreover, Mexico knows they will be handling the ball for long periods in this game, which is why the 4-2-3-1 should be pivotal. Aquino, Giovani, and Guardado will be in charge of creating the chances, and hopefully find a flustered American defense at their mercy.
Lastly, if Mexico see’s itself with a lead, specifically around the 70th minute, Chepo must throw in a 5-4-1 formation. The substitutions during the Honduras match still has fans scratching their heads. A lead around this point of the match would be a perfect time to see Reyes make his WCQ debut. Mexico can still hold possession, all while having the safety of the extra defender.
Mexico vs USA will begin on Tuesday (3/26) at 10:30 EST. It is the ‘Clásico’ of the CONCACAF, and both teams/fanbases have been waiting for this game for a long time.
…oh and tickets have sold-out. So expect the Azteca to be rocking!