PASADENA, CA - JUNE 25: It may be a friendly, but it could still be scrappy. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The United States Men's National Team have traveled to Mexico City and will face Mexico in a friendly at Azteca Stadium tonight (5 pm PDT, ESPN2/Univision). The United States are heading into the friendly trying to be their most optimistic, but the chances of an historic victory against their rivals appear to be rather dim. Not only did Mexico just win gold in men's soccer at the Olympics last weekend, but this roster may have some motivation to show they belong with the Olympic squad in the senior team mix. Oh, and the U.S. have never won at Azteca.
I think there's a hope that for the Americans, the pressure's off, and that may provide a bit of reverse psychology for a squad that is full of MLS newbies. Considering the European season for many leagues is about to start and the match is in North America, it does make some sense that USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann is giving new players some minutes to see if they can be incorporated into the senior pool. And although Klinsmann has been claiming that the United States can win tonight, the expectations are low and few should be up in arms if Mexico wins in their national stadium.Still, as they always say, the game has to be played. I'm not usually too excited about friendlies, since they don't count and all, but I'm less than enamored that Chivas USA's star goalkeeper Dan Kennedy didn't get selected to the squad. Not to take anything away from Tim Howard, Nick Rimando, or Sean Johnson, but I think Kennedy deserves a shot with the national team and this game seemed like the perfect opportunity.
For Mexico, Chicharito is back! Considering the fact that Robin Van Persie was added to his club team today, I'm sure Chicharito has major motivation to get a regular place in Manchester United's lineup. A good performance tonight from the home fans should go a long way to help him get some confidence before starting the English Premier League season.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!