USA vs. Mexico: American Players to Watch for in Vital 2014 World Cup Qualifier
With suspensions and injuries limiting the talent at his disposal on Tuesday against Mexico, United States men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has added four players to the roster, including a pair worth watching in this week's pivotal qualifier.
Following Friday's 3-1 loss to Costa Rica in hostile territory, the Stars and Stripes, who are currently in second place in the CONCACAF fourth-round group table, will be happy to be back in the States. They'll play host to fourth-place Mexico in a match that could change the complexion of the table.
With a win over rival Mexico and some help from Panama vs. Honduras, the U.S. can clinch a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Below we'll highlight a trio of American players who fans should be on the lookout for on Tuesday.
A 23-year-old midfielder who currently stars for Club Tijuana in Mexico, Joe Corona showed what he could do for the U.S. at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, netting two goals in matchups against Cuba and El Salvador.
Corona made his debut for the senior national team less than 16 months ago, but he has already developed into a dangerous threat in midfield.
To give you an idea of what Corona is capable of, he scored a hat-trick in an Olympic qualifying win over Cuba last year.
You can bet he'll be fired up to see the pitch against Mexico, who he played for briefly at the Under-22 level two years ago.
Veteran defender Clarence Goodson is another one of the players Klinsmann added to his roster ahead of Tuesday's clash, and for good reason.
Which last-minute addition will have the biggest impact vs. Mexico?
The 31-year-old has more than 40 caps for the U.S. men's national team and had a few strong showings for the Americans in the Gold Cup this past summer, scoring goals against Guatemala and El Salvador.
Goodson has five international goals in all, but he doesn't need to be a scorer in order to be effective against Mexico.
If he can play sound, intelligent defense at the back on Tuesday and jump-start the attack with some accurate short passes, he'll prove to be a worthy addition to Klinsmann's roster. Otherwise, he'll likely remain the butt of countless jokes from American fans.
An obvious choice but a necessary one given how huge he's been for the U.S. over the years.
Clint Dempsey has poured in 36 goals in 100 appearances for the U.S. senior national team over the past decade and has netted six in nine appearances thus far in 2013. He also scored the Americans' most recent goal in a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica on Friday night in San Jose, surpassing Landon Donovan for most all-time in World Cup qualifying in the process, according to ESPN senior researcher Paul Carr on Twitter:
Clint Dempsey scores his 13th WCQ goal, breaking a tie with Landon Donovan for most in #USMNT history.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) September 7, 2013
Despite his brilliance against the United States' regional rivals, Dempsey has never scored a goal against Mexico.
The good news for the Americans: There's a first time for everything.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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