One of the most heated rivalries in international football is about to open a new chapter on Wednesday night.
The USMNT will take on recent Olympic champions Mexico at the Azteca in Mexico City in preparation for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica in September.
The Azteca Stadium is a fortress when it comes to Mexican football; the United States has never won there. Ever.
In fact, the United States hasn't beaten Mexico since 2009, with Mexico now holding a 32-12-15 advantage over the Stars and Stripes (via FIFA.com).
Mexico recently won a memorable Olympic gold at the expense of world superpower Brazil, defeating the Brazilians 2-1 in a game which saw Mexico score just 28 seconds into the match through Oribe Peralta.
The Olympic gold is the first major international final win for Mexico, and the New York Times' Sam Borden described it as "another reminder of the gap in quality between Mexico and the United States."
Wednesday's matchup should prove to be another quality display from both teams, so let's take a look at each team's chances.
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
When: Wednesday, August 15th at 8 p.m. ET
Where to watch: ESPN2, ESPN3, Univision
Live Stream: MatchTracker at ussoccer.com and via Twitter @ussoccer
USA Team Breakdown
USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has picked a relatively young and inexperienced squad for the clash against Mexico, with only three players on the roster that have played against Mexico on Mexican soil.
Sporting Kansas City's Matt Besler and San Jose Earthquakes' Steven Beitashour are looking to win their first senior caps with the national team, while Brek Shea earns a call-up for the first time since the United States' famous 1-0 win over Italy in February.
Some glaring omissions include veterans Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo. Dempsey, of course, is being chased heavily by Liverpool in this transfer window (via Daily Mail), while Bocanegra is still sorting out his career with liquidated Scottish club Rangers (per MLSsoccer.com).
Despite missing some veteran presence, the United States still boasts a strong backbone, with Tim Howard as the mainstay in the net, and Landon Donovan, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu and Herculez Gomez all travelling to Mexico City.
This is one more game in USA's recent run against world-class opposition, including recent games against Italy and Brazil. Fans and players alike will be hoping that this young squad can pull off what no other American team has done: a win at the Azteca.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Sean Johnson (Chicago), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico), Brek Shea (Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, Germany), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
Forwards: Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna, Austria), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
Mexico Team Breakdown
Mexico, coming off their Olympic victory, has picked an almost entirely home-based squad, with only four players on the squad that play their football outside of Mexico.
Despite this, Mexico is still fielding a almost full-strength squad, with Hector Moreno anchoring the back-line in front of Guillermo Ochoa. Andres Guardado will be holding down the midfield and feeding lethal Manchester United man Javier Hernandez.
Missing out on the trip to Mexico City are Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Salcido, who were on the gold-medal winning Olympic team (per AP via ESPN.com).
A huge facet of this tie in Mexico's favor is the fact that the game will be played at the Estadio Azteca, where the United States has never won. Jose Manuel de la Torre and his squad will feel pretty good about coming out of this game with a win.
Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio, France), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)
Defenders: Francisco Javier Rodriguez (Stuttgart, Germany), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Severo Meza (Monterrey), Hugo Ayala (UANL Tigres), Jorge Torres Nilo (UANL Tigres), Enrique Perez (Morelia), Adrian Aldrete (Club America)
Midfielders: Jesus Zavala (Monterrey), Manuel Viniegra (UANL Tigres), Edgar Gerardo Lugo (Santos Laguna), Pablo Barrera (Cruz Azul), Andres Guardado (Valencia, Spain), Angel Reyna (Monterrey)
Forwards: Elias Hernandez (UANL Tigres), Aldo de Nigris (Monterrey), Javier Hernandez (Manchester United, England)
You can't go against history. The United States, at best, will come out of the Azteca with a draw, but my heart tells me that Mexico will continue its dominance over the U.S. at the Azteca with a 3-1 win.
Both rosters courtesy of ESPN
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