The United States men’s national team head south to face Mexico on Thursday in World Cup qualifying and a win for either team will put them on the verge of qualification for Qatar. The Americans face concerning injury issues, and their depth will be tested in front of a high-energy El Tri fan base in Mexico City. The U.S. have never won at Mexico in World Cup qualifying, but an upset win here would put the team within arm’s reach of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Here are storylines, how you can watch the match on Paramount+ and more.
How to watch and odds
Date: Thursday, March 24 | Time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: Estadio Azteca — Mexico City, Mexico
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live stream: Paramount+
Odds: Mexico -105; Draw +210; USA +305 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Mexico: No Luis Rodriguez, Carlos Salcedo, Miguel Layun or Diego Reyes in defense, means some young guys will get chances, but the staples of Nestor Araujo, Hector Moreno and Jesus Gallardo are there. Young, talented Johan Vasquez (Genoa) and Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy) are also in the squad and could potentially have roles off the the bench. But, the expectation is for a veteran-led squad everywhere on the pitch, with Hector Herrera manning the middle. In attack, expect Raul Jimenez to be flanked by Jesus Corona and Hirving Lozano and for this team to aim to dominate possession and be ultra patient in attack to limit the counter.
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United States: Among the players missing are star goalkeeper Matt Turner, Barcelona right back Sergino Dest, Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie, winger Brenden Aaronson and striker Daryl Dike. Berhalter has to find options to replace them. For Turner, Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen is expected to slide back into the starting role, having played well against El Tri in the 2-0 win in November. Not having Dest opens up a chance for Reggie Cannon or DeAndre Yedlin, one would think. But the big question is when it comes to McKennie. Does Gregg Berhalter put Yunus Musah in the box-to-box role next to Tyler Adams? Musah’s defense has improved but he’s still a significant downgrade on that side of the ball. That would allow Luca de la Torre be the creator along side them. Or does Kellyn Acosta start next to Adams and then make Musah the engine in the middle to get the attack going? His team selection will be telling as how to they approach this match.
El Tri come out hot, control the pace and get a goal in both halves to take all three points to kick-start a pivotal make-or-break qualifying window. Pick: Mexico 2, United States 0