Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Despite a number of ups and downs for the U.S. over the past year, including a pretty scary semifinal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, the USMNT is about to finish the year 9-2-2, making it the most successful year ever for the team.
However, if you were to talk to most USMNT fans, they would give you a much different picture of the current state of the team and its coach, Jurgen Klinsmann.
For better or for worse, Klinsmann has not seemed to care one iota about the conventional wisdom surrounding the U.S. program, tactics, or players.
He has shown a willingness to throw caution into the wind, trying out at least seven different formations during his tenure. He has encouraged the U.S. to be more adventurous on the attack, has refused to call-up players that most fans think are crucial to the success of the team and called up players many fans think are undeserving.
Perhaps the biggest example of this was his most recent roster for the do-or-die October qualifiers when Klinsmann left Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd off the roster and instead called up Eddie Johnson and Alan Gordon.
And when injuries to his left-back options eliminated Fabian Johnson, Edgar Castillo and even Jose Torres and Brek Shea from the roster, Klinsmann refused to call in backups, relying on Carlos Bocanegra and Michael Parkhurst to get the job done.
South of the border, Jose Manuel de la Torre has taken Mexico to a 19-4-2 record since taking the helm in early 2011 including wins over Paraguay, New Zealand, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, the United States, Chile, Serbia, Venezuela and Brazil. De La Torre also famously led Mexico to the 2011 Gold Cup with a 4-2 dismantling of the United States in the final of that tournament.
Advantage - Mexico