Back in late October Mexico was just minutes away from missing out on its first World Cup after a solid run of qualifying since 1994, but a late goal from American Graham Zusi in Panama City offered a much needed lifeline to a battered Mexican squad. El Tri fans would have never expected the favor. But momentarily it seems a bitter rivalry stalled and respect amist the two sides existed.
Five months later and El Tri has had a chance to regenerate after a chaotic year. Miguel Herrera has taken the reigns and replenished the teams morale. With a successful start to 2014 El Tri remains fresh and undefeated with Herrera at the helm with a 4-0 victory over South Korea and an entertaining 0-0 draw in March with Nigeria.
The events that occurred during qualifying have build up for an awkward meeting with the United States in April. The tension between the two sides isnt as high as it usually tends to be. The match doesnt appear to be one for bragging rights because as it stands the United States is top of the CONCACAF. On the contrary this fixture is one that is catered to benefit both squads in the long run. With very little time left for the World Cup games of high intensity such as this one are the perfect warm up for Brazil 2014. Its unorthodox to see a mutual respect between the two sides but if there is it will be seen in Wednesday’s friendly.
The United States will have a nearly complete squad with many of its key players returning to the MLS.
El Tri will have a less experienced squad at its disposal as Herrera is still keen on seeing more players in action with the national team and particularly those who have not yet assured a spot to Brazil 2014 such as Marco Fabian, Alan Pulido, and Isaac Brizuela.
Fabian who has been key for Cruz Azul’s campaign will finally get a chance to prove Herrera wrong. Fabian will hope to continue his run of good form the against the Yanks. Wednesday’s clash will be perfect for fine tuning the squad against a nearly complete US roster.