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USA vs Mexico: Giving Julian the Green Light

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Chris Wondolowski (Photo: Shaun Clark - Football.com)
Chris Wondolowski (Photo: Shaun Clark - Football.com)


USA will be facing Mexico tonight at University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, in which both teams won’t be looking for a win, but a standout performance from certain players to see who should round out the rest of the roster for the upcoming World Cup. Both teams will be without their European-based players since the match is being played on a non-FIFA date for friendlies, with the exception of teen-sensation Julian Green of Bayern Munich. The German-American was granted permission to join the U.S. National Team in training camp.

Why Does this Match Matter?

It really doesn’t matter. Both U.S. and Mexico fans should be aware that win or lose, this game does not indicate whether USA or Mexico are preparing well for the World Cup. However, it does give them a chance to look at certain young players who might have a shot at the World Cup roster. Jurgen Klinsmann will be keeping an eye out for Green.

The winger has only made one appearance with European giants Bayern Munich, so how he will perform on the senior side of the national team remains a mystery. Considering that he trains for Bayern Munich, it’s safe to assume that he is better than most of the players in the U.S. roster.

Should Green put on an electrifying performance against Mexico (and the next two friendlies), then having him as the starting right wing (or left wing, thus potentially placing Alejandro Bedoya to leftback) for the World Cup roster could be a reality. With possible starting members Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and Michael Bradley playing in the friendly, expect Green to be given a lot of space to operate the wings.

This match also serves as a chemistry builder for the Stars and Stripes as other key A-squad members like Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez will be using this opportunity to gel with the national team. USA will also see the return of Maurice Edu and Michael Parkhurst, who are hoping for a late push to grab a roster spot.

Mexico on the other hand will not only be without their European-based players, but they will lose the service of Santo Laguna’s Oribe Peralta and Leon’s Jose Juan Vazquez (Personal reasons and visa issues, respectively). El Tri will be using this match to take a closer look at Tigres UANL’s Alan Pulido who scored a hat-trick in his national team debut against South Korea.

One thing Mexico fans should notice is that Pulido scored three goals off handy Peralta assists and a paper-thin Korean backline. Now, he’s coming up against Bradley, Gonzalez, Parkhurst, and Maurice Edu, all known to have a toughness that the Koreans did not possess.

Pulido likely won’t compete for a starting nod over Manchester United’s Javier Hernandez or Peralta, but he could raise some brows with a strong showing to show that he deserves a ticket to Brazil.

Is this Match Worth Your Time?

If you love pretty colors or crave Domino's Pizza, then tune in and gander at the new United States away kit. 

USA and Mexico don’t really play attractive soccer with their A-squad. This match features half of each team’s A-squad. Nothing is at stake and most of the players have to return back to their clubs for another match coming up in three to four days.

In other words, it’s likely this will be a dull affair. Although most of the players will play as if nothing is at stake, Green is meditating on how to leave a standing impression on coach Klinsmann and 5 percent (give or take) of the United States population that’ll be tuning into the game. If he puts on a show, you’ll regret missing out. Just watch this match.

Prediction

USA 1 – Mexico 0

A lame result, but hey, you can tell your kids or grandkids 20 years down the line about the time you witnessed the debut of 2022 World Cup champion Julian Green who changed the landscape of U.S. Soccer forever.