USA vs Mexico – World Cup Qualifying

USA plays host to Mexico beginning the fifth round of North American World Cup qualifying. The first match of the stage puts two of the fiercest rivals on the pitch on November 11 at MAPFRE Stadium.

Featured in a group, with Costa Rica, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago, and Panama, the six nations begin the final phase of qualifying for the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Three automatic berths will be earned from this region. The fourth place CONCACAF team from this group will only advance to a playoff round, which will then take on an Asian team that finishes in fifth place of their last qualifying round.

Match: USA vs Mexico

Region: CONCACAF

Date/Time: November 11, 2016 / 6:45 PM CDT

Location: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

3-Way 1×2 Lines:
Home: +170
Away: +175
Draw: +220

Handicap/Spread Odds:
Home: 0/Pk -115
Away: 0/Pk -105

Total Over 2.5:
Over +120
Under -140

Most Recent World Cup Qualification Meeting:

On September 10, 2013 the two met in a World Cup Qualification match that the USMNT won 2 – 0.
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The Unites States Men’s National Soccer Team begins their final push to the 2018 World Cup and, as expected, Mexico is among the biggest obstacles they will face in the final qualifying stages. The two rivals square off at MAPFRE Stadium on Friday, November 11 at the home of the MLS’ Columbus Crew.

Both the Unites States and Mexico cruised to Fourth Round first-place finishes en route to this fifth round of action in CONCACAF. The USA took group C that featured Trinidad & Tobago, who also advanced out of that group, as well as Guatemala and St Vincent’s in the Grenadines.

United States

The Unites States cruised to a 4 – 1 – 1 record in the fourth round of qualifying, and outscored their three opponents 20 – 3. Scoring 12 goals in the two-legged series against St. Vincent’s makes those stats look awfully gaudy.

The USMNT has tasted plenty of success in Columbus, Ohio in the history of the series, as Mexico has yet to win a match here in four attempts. That goes along with the 7W – 2D – 0L record all-time for the U.S team in Columbus, OH.

Highlighting head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster is, once again, Michael Bradley. The 29-year-old midfielder will be making his 125th International Cap for the US squad with his appearance in this match. If you follow MLS, you are also aware that he just lifted Toronto to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they will face a familiar opponent. The MLS is featuring an All-Canada Eastern Conference Final this year, with the first leg being played on November 22 at Stade Saputo in Montreal. The return leg will be played on November 30 at BMO Field in Toronto to decide who goes on to the MLS Finals.

Bradley’s Toronto teammate Jozy Altidore is among the four true forwards on the 26-man roster that Klinsmann’s has decided on. Klinsmann was quoted on the CONCACAF USA team page, stating that he expanded the roster to see how healthy Jermaine Jones might be. He also said that he wanted options at his disposal that he might not normally have with the 23-man base roster he will submit come the big tournament in Russia.
Altidore accounted for six goals in the fourth round and only trailed Guatemala’s Carlos Ruiz, who finished the stage with eight goals.

Seattle Sounders up-and-coming star Jordan Morris has been asked to join the squad, and he is joined by two 18-year-olds who are making impacts in Europe. Borussia Dortmund midfielder Cristian Pulisic is already making a name for himself in Bundesliga, and fellow 18-year-old Cameron Carter-Vickers is possibly going to get his first cap with the national team this week. Carter-Vickers has yet to appear in league play for Tottenham of the English Premier League, but he has gotten time in some cup matches with the Spurs, and captained the USA U-20 squad on October 10 in a 2 – 0 loss against England.

Oh, and there will be no big return announcement pertaining to Landon Donovan. Let’s just say he and Klinsmann don’t exactly see things eye-to-eye, and a return to the Galaxy was all Donovan had in mind when he returned to the game this past summer.

Veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard was at least asked to the squad, although Brad Guzan is likely to get the start in this contest in net.

Mexico

Mexico took five wins and a draw from their group A fourth-round matches, with their only hiccup coming on the final day against Honduras. The 0 – 0 draw did not mean much to Mexico, who were clearly through to this stage at 5 – 0 with 15 points, but Honduras needed that result to finish one point above Canada to reach the fifth round themselves.

Jesús Manuel Corona led Mexico in scoring in the fourth round of CONCACAF qualifying with three tallies, and midfielder Andrés Guardado (2) was the only other Mexican player with more than one goal scored in group A play.

Mexico appeared in a group with Honduras, Canada and El Salvadore and, as mentioned, Honduras escaped to the fifth round over Canada by a mere point with the draw against Mexico on the final day of the fourth qualification round. El Tri outscored the three nations 13 – 1 in the 6-match home and home process.

Toluca goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera did a stand-up job in the final match of the fourth round of qualifying for Mexico, holding Honduras to a clean sheet in a 0 – 0 draw. Guillermo Ochoa will almost assuredly be in net for this big of a contest to start the fifth round of qualification for entry to the World Cup.

Mexico manager Juan Carlos Osorio has amassed a 12 – 2 – 1 record in 13 months with the national team. That lone loss came in the Copa America this past June, when Chile handed them their ass in a 7 – 0 beatdown in the quarterfinals. Chile of course, went on to win a second Copa in two years, as South America celebrated the Centenario edition of the Copa in 2016.

Final Analysis & Prediction:

Analysis:

These two will meet on the second leg of the round in June of 2017 in Mexico, likely putting the top two teams in another heated match for heads-up points against each other.

Analysis here is going to point to some goal-scoring taking place in Columbus, because these two know that this fifth round is likely going to come down to how they play against each other.

Most pundits will likely have the USA and Mexico moving on to Russia, with three spots available from these six nations competing.

Prediction/Play:

Two plays have our attention here, and each will come when goals are scored between these rivals that simply do not like each other one damn bit!

The Both Teams to Score Prop Bet is listed on average at -115, depending on your book and the time you see it, and in line with that, the total jumps out at plus money.

BetDSI offers +120 on the Over 2.5, and that will happen when someone breaks the 1 – 1 deadlock in the second half of play at MAPFRE Stadium on Friday night.

The Over 2.5 at +120, and the Both to Score Prop at -115 or so should each be on your board, and 2 – 1 might not even be enough to settle this one, so buckle up!

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

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