All the ingredients are there for another instant classic between the USA and Mexico in a World Cup qualifying showdown between the two powers in the CONCACAF region. Mexico is in first place in its group and the USA can catch El Tri in the standings with a win Friday night at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.
Mexico might be the road team and it might be sporting a three-point cushion, but there’s serious pressure on head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. That’s because Mexico lost two finals to the USA during the summer: the inaugural Nations League final and the CONCACAF Gold Cup title match. It would be traumatic for Mexico supporters to drop three straight competitive matches. The difference in those previous matches was set pieces, which the Americans dominated. They could prove decisive once again as Mexico deals with key absences on the back line.
The USMNT, which failed to qualify for the last World Cup, will not want to drop points at home for a second time during the qualifying campaign, which reaches the midway point Friday. It’s why the USA decided to host the match in Ohio to give it the best chance at a decided home-field advantage.
WATCH: USA vs. Mexico on fuboTV
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and match highlights as they happen.
USA vs. Mexico live score
MORE: CONCACAF qualifying standings, schedule & highlights
(All times Eastern)
7:37 p.m.: USA vs. Mexico is definitely a bucket list sports event:
7:02 p.m.: That’s some bit of history the USA can achieve with a win:
The last time the 🇺🇸 or 🇲🇽 won 3 straight games against each other in a calendar year………1937.
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) November 12, 2021
7 p.m.: What it’s like just outside TQL Stadium:
USA vs. Mexico projected lineups
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter revealed that Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen will start (though he said it could have easily been Matt Turner) and Chelsea star Christian Pulisic will not. When the roster was announced, he made it clear that Ricardo Pepi would be getting the bulk of the minutes at forward.
USA projected starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Zack Steffen-GK — Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, DeAndre Yedlin — Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah — Brenden Aaronson, Ricardo Pepi, Paul Arriola
USA projected subs: Matt Turner-GK, Sean Johnson-GK, Joe Scally, Reggie Cannon, Mark McKenzie, Chris Richards, Sam Vines, Kellyn Acosta, Gianluca Busio, Sebastian Lletget, Cristian Roldan, Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, Jesus Ferreira
Mexico comes into the match with headaches along the back line, where center backs Nestor Araujo (suspended) and Cesar Montes (injury) are out and Hector Moreno will be a game-time decision. Head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who indicated there are “a few players with knocks,” said that, pending Moreno’s availability, the central defensive pairing will come from Gilberto “Tiba” Sepulveda, Julio Cesar “Cata” Dominguez and Johan Vasquez.
Mexico projected starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Guillermo Ochoa-GK — Jesus Gallardo, Gilberto “Tiba” Sepulveda, Johan Vasquez, Jorge Sanchez — Luis Romo, Edson Alvarez, Hector Herrera — Jose Manuel “Tecatito” Corona, Raul Jimenez, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano
Mexico projected subs: Rodolfo Cota-GK, Alfredo Talavera-GK, Hector Moreno, Julio Cesar “Cata” Dominguez, Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez, Osvaldo Rodriguez, Sebastian Cordova, Andres Guardado, Carlos “Charly” Rodriguez, Ricardo “Canelo” Angulo, Roberto “Piojo” Alvarado, Orbelin Pineda, Henry Martin, Rogelio Funes Mori
DECOURCY: Rivalry is everything when it comes to USA vs. Mexico
How to watch USA vs. Mexico
- Date: Friday, Nov. 12
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV channels: ESPN2
- Spanish-language TV: Univision, TUDN
- Streaming: fuboTV, ESPN+
MORE: How the USA can qualify for the 2022 World Cup
The match will be held at Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium, the home of Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati. The venue opened last May.