The USA (left) and Mexico (right) will meet for the 64th time on April 15, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- With their focus on shaping the best possible team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, the United States and Mexico will clash in one of the world’s best footballing rivalries on Wednesday.
A capacity crowd of more than 65,000 is expected at the Alamodome, when the sides meet for the 64th time.
"It’s a huge opportunity playing Mexico in any kind of environment and in any kind of game," U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said about the much anticipated confrontation.
Since the encounter doesn’t fall on an official FIFA international date, it was difficult for either coach -- Mexico's Miguel Herrera or Klinsmann -- to secure many overseas-based players.
"Always, when there’s somebody missing, it’s an opportunity for other ones coming in," remarked Klinsmann, noting that he won't have the services of goalkeeper Brad Guzan (Aston Villa/England), defender Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach/Germany) and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes/France).
Major League Soccer forwards Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/Canada) and Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) will miss out due to red-card suspension and a hamstring strain, respectively.
"When these players, like Dempsey and Altidore now are not there, that’s the moment for other players to use that space and show what you have," Klinsmann continued. "I think we’re going to see some individual performances that will hopefully give us a hint toward the Gold Cup.”
The Mexicans are in a similar personnel situation with influential players such as midfielder Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands) and forwards Javier Hernandez (Real Madrid/Spain) and Giovani dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), among others, remaining in Europe with their clubs.
"It’s still both teams wanting to win and the players wanting to impress," Klinsmann finished.
Since the former Germany national team star and manager took the USA helm in the summer of 2011, the Americans are unbeaten against Mexico, posting a 2W-3D-0L record.