The defensive breakdowns. The Jozy Altidore red card. The hat trick surrendered to the son of the devil, "Little Nicky" Bendtner.
Indeed, for the U.S. men's national team, 2015 is a room that won't stop spinning.
For a team needing a shot in the arm in this CONCACAF Gold Cup year, tonight's home showdown against El Tri may be panacea. The stars'n'stripes are unbeaten in their last twenty matches (17-0-3) on American soil.
The match doesn't fall within an official FIFA international break, so Jurgen Klinsmann's roster is heavy on players from North American clubs. New York City FC's Mix Diskerud, a Klinsmann favorite in the central midfield, is back in the fold for the first time since his tenure in the Five Boroughs began. It comes at a bit of a cost: Mix will be absent for NYC's Thursday night rematch against Philadelphia Union at Yankee Stadium.
Despite the shoddy state of the pitch down in South Texas, we're going to put on our red-white-and-blue-tinted glasses and assume the match will take place as scheduled! After all, the narratives are as juicy as our favorite member of Three 6 Mafia. Let's dive right in!
TONIGHT'S ROSTERS & STARTING LINEUPS
GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)
DEFENDERS: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
GOALKEEPERS: Cirilo Saucedo (Tijuana), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey)
DEFENDERS: Francisco "Maza" Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Julio Dominguez (Cruz Azul), Oswaldo Alanis (Santos), Adrian Aldrete (Santos), George Corral (Queretaro), Gerardo Flores (Cruz Azul), Hiram Mier (Monterrey), Efrain Velarde (Monterrey), Carlos Salcedo (Chivas)
MIDFIELDERS: Luis "Chapo" Montes (Leon), Antonio Rios (Toluca), Jurgen Damm (Pachuca), Mario Osuna (Queretaro), Luis Rodriguez (Chiapas)
FORWARDS: Oribe Peralta (Club America), Erick "Cubo" Torres (Chivas), Eduardo Herrera (Pumas)
HOW TO WATCH
Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
April 15, 2015
8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PT (Fox Sports 1 & UniMas)
To find Fox Sports 1 on your dial, CLICK HERE.
RUNNIN' THE NUMBERS
- 2-2: The last time these two teams met -- April 2, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona -- the result was a 2-2 draw. Michael Bradley and Chris Wondolowski scored in the first half-hour, and the U.S. took that famous "dos a cero" scoreline into the break. El Tri struck twice in the second half courtesy of Rafa Marquez and Alan Pulido.
- 0: Mexico manager Miguel Herrera brings a 14-4-4 overall record into San Antonio, but he has not registered a win against the United States.
- 4: The American roster features four players from clubs in Mexico's top division: Alvarado, Corona, Garza, and Yarbrough.
- 18th: Mexico's current place in the FIFA World Rankings.
- 9: From tonight's U.S. roster, nine are holdovers from the 2014 World Cup squad: Beckerman, Besler, Bradley, Diskerud, Gonzalez, Green, Rimando, Wondolowski, and Yedlin.
- Jurgen Klinsmann, on the importance of the matchup going forward: "I see this kind of a game as a huge opportunity for players to come in and play in front of a sold-out stadium and loud crowd, a lot maybe pro-Mexico, but these are the games where you mature and where you try to express yourself and show what you have, and therefore we are thankful that we can play this game."
- Mexico manager Miguel Herrera, on calling up a younger squad: "Bringing these young players isn't just to see them and leave the match. We're going forward with every intention of winning it and knowing you don't lose these rivalry matches."
- U.S. goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who was raised by American missionaries in Mexico, on growing up with both teams: "[W]hen the US or Mexico played, I’d want them both to win. I was born and raised in Mexico, but I knew where my family comes from. I was sort of stuck in between."
- Retired U.S. veteran Cobi Jones on the primacy of the USA-Mexico rivalry: "I hope the younger players understand the history and tradition there. The ‘Dos a Cero’ came from some place and I hope they understand that. I hope they take a look back to see what it’s about and have an underlying need and want to beat Mexico."
- Klinsmann on the advantages of calling up U.S. players with club experience in the Mexican league: "It’s definitely helpful having players be a part of our roster that play in Mexico and have the experience with Mexican sides, not only on the field but also with their environments. They know their culture inside out."
JUST IN CASE: YOUR PARTING GIFT