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United States v Mexico: Herrera´s men take aim at out-of-form hosts

Mexico will hope to take advantage of United States’ poor form to claim their first win against their rivals since 2011.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA have only earned two victories in their nine friendlies since last year’s World Cup, while Mexico have lost just once in eight matches in the same period.

The local rivals will continue their respective preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday and Mexico will be favourites to secure their first win against USA since the 2011 continental championships, when they came from behind to triumph 4-2.

USA failed to win in last month’s international break, losing 3-2 to Denmark and drawing 1-1 with Switzerland, while Mexico defeated Ecuador and Paraguay with 1-0 scorelines.

Klinsmann named his squad on Sunday and will rely on a relatively inexperienced attacking group, with captain Clint Dempsey (hamstring) and Jozy Altidore (suspended) both unavailable.

Apart from 32-year-old Chris Wondolowski, Klinsmann’s forwards are all under 24 years of age, while three of the remaining four – Gyasi Zardes, Julian Green and Jordan Morris – have played fewer than five matches for their country.

Zardes cannot wait to write his own chapter in the storied history of USA versus Mexico.

“I’ve grown up watching Mexico play USA numerous times,” the 23-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy striker told his club’s website.

“I have a bunch of Mexican friends that I always used to compete against and bet against, and now just to be able to be on the field, represent against my country against Mexico means the world to me.”

Mexico may have found a new hero in Eduardo Herrera after the 26-year-old forward scored with his first touch against Paraguay on April 1 and he has been included in Miguel Herrera’s squad again.

Herrera made his debut in the closing seconds against Ecuador, but failed to touch the ball, only to make up for that in spectacular fashion, volleying Juan Carlos Medina’s free-kick past Paraguay goalkeeper Justo Villar.

The Pumas UNAM striker has had to work hard to break into Mexico’s squad after struggling for form in the three seasons prior to 2014-15.

Herrera managed five goals in 2011-12, five in 2012-13 and four in 2013-14 – when on loan at Santos Laguna – but the Mexico City-born attacker has struck 12 times in 30 games this season.

Mon 13 Apr, 2015
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