Orange Slices: USA vs. Mexico

Orange Slices is our game day, catch-all post that we update during the day of the match. Don’t accept substitutes, imitators or copycats! Ask for fresh, wholesome Orange Slices by name.

Orange Slices! US vs. Mexico

Hello and welcome to game day!

From Snowfairyland to the Hell in the Heavens–for the United States that is. It’s the Azteca and the location almost as much the lede as the team on each side.

In this corner, the United States, phoenixing out of their first World Cup qualifier nadir in Honduras to slap together a 1-0 result on home…ice.

And in the other corner, the champion–Gold Cup 2011 that is–Mexico’s El Tri, needing a tune-up after captiulating in San Pedro Sula on Friday.

Plenty of hitting below the belt, probably a few rabbit punches, definitely not a good clean fight.

Let’s get it on!

TSG’s Official Preview: USA vs. Mexico: On The Road Again



Date Matchup Time Venue TV
March 26, 2013 U.S. Men vs. Mexico * 10:30 p.m. ET Estadio Azteca
Mexico City, Mexico
ESPN, WatchESPN, Univision

The ESPN brought an A team with analysts Alexi Lalas, Alejandro Moreno (terrific) & Taylor Twellman in the house. Oh and of course, Bob Ley and The Knighted, Sir Ian Darke.

Live Commentary: Right here at TSG!


Ah...the Azteca...

Ah…the Azteca…

Supporting Material:

Border Warz: A video history of the US-Mexico rivalry

•’s Simon Borg says the US should go 5-across in the back. Not a bad idea, but enough prep?

• Grant Wahl ponders whether the Azteca has lost it’s aire of invincibility.

• Jon Levy of The Yanks Are Coming with a preview, players to watch for each side and a prediction.

• ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle and Eric Gomez debate whether the US or Mexico is in better form and who has more to lose.

• Must-listen: Terrific ESPN “Bighead and the Redhead Podcast” featuring Ian Darke, Alejandro Moreno (he’s a must follow on Twitter) and Alexi Lalas among others.  Solid primer

• The heartfelt tug-of-war that comes with this rivalry when you’re Mexican-American.

• Landon Donovan trains with the University of Wisconsin. How the players felt he did.


American Outlaws members gather here.


Weather forecast:

TIm Chandler would do okay here Tuesday night. 65, clear and cool in the forecast when the States take the field.

Surf forecast:

It’s sleeping right now (4-5ft, non-breaking) and likely will hibernate again–unless there is a Pacific hurricane–through October, but Todos Santos on Baja’s north side is…



This is Tom Curren–the smoothest surfer who ever waxed a stick, below in the grainy video.

The data on USA v. Mexico:

» With its first victory on Mexico’s home soil last year, the USA is now 1-23-1 all-time in Mexico.

» The lone draw in Mexico was a scoreless stalemate on Nov. 2, 1997, in World Cup Qualifying. The U.S. was reduced to 10 men when Jeff Agoos was shown a red card in the 32nd minute for elbowing Mexico’s Pavel Pardo. The USA also was without four regular starters in goalkeeper Kasey Keller (thumb) and midfielders Claudio Reyna (suspension), Tab Ramos (ACL) and Earnie Stewart (calf).

» The U.S. has yet to post a win in Mexico during World Cup Qualifying, holding a 0-13-1 record heading into Tuesday’s game.

» The U.S. is 1-8-1 in Estadio Azteca, including a 0-5-1 record in World Cup Qualifying.

» Overall, the USA is 16-32-12 all-time in international competition against Mexico and 5-15-5 in World Cup Qualifying. The USA’s 60 previous meetings against Mexico are the most against any country in U.S. Soccer’s history.

From the video archives:

(2007: Benny Feilhaber with a golazo for the United States to win the Gold Cup. The US fell to Mexico 5-0 in 2009.)

(1997: Emergency defending in the box by Eddie Pope; Alexi Lalas treating El Tri as bowling pins in the box)


On the US:

» DaMarcus Beasley vs. Javier Aquino is another match-up to watch today. Klinsmann instruction to Beasley should be, “Stay narrow, stay in front.” Keep it a simple instruction as Beasley–like Fabian Johnson–is known to be all over the place

» What a game for Omar Gonzalez if he goes. Just more than a year ago, Gonzalez was irritated he wasn’t being called into US camp and hinting that he might start paying attention to the murmurs that he–which is eligible–trot out their for El Tri. Gonzo in Azteca it all comes together.

» Can’t see Kljestan starting on the interior as he hasn’t worked in partnership there with Michael Bradley since June 2009 at the Confederation Cup. Expect Edu or Beckerman in there and Kljestan wide (maybe for Zusi if he starts).

[More coming…]

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt C in Tampa on 2013/03/26 at 9:16 AM

    I think Klinsi’s going to try to find a way to get Beckerman on the field. He was there last August. Can follow directions. Is a bit of a “hard man.” Would sit deep and free up Junior. He does seem to be able to keep his cool. Makes simple passes. Finally, he lives and trains at altitude in Salt Lake. There’d be no worries about having to sub him for fatigue. If Klinsi wants Edu out there, as many have written, he might sit Gonzo.

    Or maybe Klinsi just makes one change and slots Edu for Yellowcardboy.


    • Posted by s44 on 2013/03/26 at 10:52 AM

      Let’s hope Klinsmann leaves Goodson out. Perfect guy to start a hoofer game in the snow… perfect guy to get humiliated by quick Mexican box play in decent conditions.


    • Posted by s44 on 2013/03/26 at 10:54 AM

      Also, is it true Orozco is with the team?


      • That is what I read this morning. My question is that we now have 24 but only 23 can suit up so did we add him because of another injury or do we really believe he will take a spot from Goodson/Besler? I guess the experience card is something he has over every other CB but he’s missed all of their trainings so I don’t see how effective he’d be. I guess we’ll find out tonight.


  2. Posted by BlairJ on 2013/03/26 at 9:48 AM

    I feel like I’ve seen a 10 minute video from US fans perspective, at some point in the past, when the US has played at Azteca, but I’ve searched online and can’t find it anywhere. I just remember part of the video was fans being escorted into the stadium and then being surrounded by security the whole game. I feel like it was video from 2009 when the US went up early from CDs goal. Anybody seen that or know where to find it online?


      • Posted by BlairJ on 2013/03/26 at 10:10 AM

        Yeah, I found that last night and thought it might be it, but the video I think I remember was different. It had footage from the fans perspective and not necessarily behind the scenes with the team. Maybe I’m making this all up, but thank you regardless.


        • Posted by K.L. on 2013/03/26 at 1:21 PM

          No, you’re definitely not making that up. I’ve seen it as well, but I can’t find it now either. To bad, because it was an excellent video. Really showed what it is like to be behind enemy lines.


    • Posted by crow on 2013/03/26 at 10:55 AM

      id really like to take video of the whole experience today as i work in the video field and have a pretty nice camera, but was warned to leave it behind at the hotel or i might lose it forever. im going to try to take some video on my phone but i dont have a very good phone camera.


  3. Posted by crow on 2013/03/26 at 10:53 AM

    Grant Wahl stopped by Boomo´s last night which was pretty cool. i wanted to ask him about a few things, john anthony brooks, stuart holden, the strauss article, but so many people were mobbing him.

    i did ask about the lineup and he said even though its rumoured that it will be the same albeit jones, he wouldnt be surprised if klinsmann is bluffing.

    so far everyone has been great here in mexico city. a few nasty glances or razzing but its been very tame especially considering the takeover of some of the local bars by us fans. im sure things will change today though lol

    FIFA has shut down costa rica! huzzah!


    • Posted by Matt C in Tampa on 2013/03/26 at 11:40 AM

      Are you in the Zona Rosa? I had a hard time finding food to eat there….even at the Friday’s type restaruants. Resorted to beer, chips and cigars. That seemed to do the trick. Have fun and keep your head low.


  4. Posted by twewlife on 2013/03/26 at 11:50 AM

    SI’s operatic coverage of the USMNT is hilarious. Lose one game: US must win. Win one game: US surges with confidence.


  5. So 3 hours. Checking in.


  6. Posted by Blair Johnston on 2013/03/26 at 10:09 PM

    This has nothing to do with the US draw tonight, but can someone at TSG look into Tony Meola’s Wikipedia page…it’s awesome.

    Gems include:
    Tony Meola was the original drummer for New Jersey’s Hottest cover band(tm), “MUSHMOUTH”. Meola still plays with the band on occasions, and he often fills in when Mushmouths’ full-time drummer, Bob Docherty, is unable to play due to soccer related injuries. (Injuries that Docherty brings upon himself by trying to emulate his hero, Tony Meola).

    In 2012, Tony Meola was inducted into the Mullet Hall of Fame, class of 2012. Tony was inducted in his first year of eligibility. Curator of the Hall, Scott Clifford commented, “Tony’s dedication to the Kentucky Waterfall is unparalleled.

    Other things seems to be written by fans, friends or maybe even Tony himself. Anyway, I thought it was funny.

    Great draw!!


  7. Posted by surfndave on 2013/03/30 at 8:44 AM

    …call me superstitious (or worse) but I haven’t perused TSG since Costa Rica. Curran??? Oh yeah, absolutely! As a relative newcomer to the USMNT, I’m proud to say I’m 0-1-1 at Azteca (TV viewing, on the outside looking in). <–With nothing but absolute respect to the oldtimers, Outlaws, and strategists who have followed the Team forever. Time for a surf check…


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