The Little Hawk

The Unfriendly Friendly

Alberto Ortiz, Reporter

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The US and Mexico have released their rosters for the friendlies this month including for when they play each other September 11th in Nashville, Tennessee.  The US plays Brazil and Mexico plays Uruguay on September 7th. After looking through both of the rosters, they tell me that both countries are thinking the same thing, It’s time to start rebuilding the national team for the future. There are a lot of newcomers on both lists and both teams have a significant amount of young and promising players. The average age for the US squad is 23 years and 241 days, with 10 players playing in the MLS and while the rest play in Europe. While the average age for the Mexican squad is 24 years and 204 days. While 19 of the players on the list play in the Liga MX, 1 plays in the MLS and the other 5 in Europe. These lists have some things in common, both teams currently don’t have a confirmed coach. Both teams have  “part-time” coaches, so it’ll be interesting how the teams will play and approach their friendlies this month. Like I mentioned before there was a lot of young people called up and some for their very first time.

Both teams are looking to see if these young players can take their current stars spots as some may be getting too old and won’t be considered to participate in Qatar 2022. The likes of Hugo Gonzalez and Gibran Lajud are looking to replace the beloved goalkeeper Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa who will be around 37 years of age by the time the next World Cup comes by. Diego Lainez, Jonathan Gonzalez and Erick Gutierrez looking to be the future of  El Capitan’s Andres Guardado spot in the midfield, Roberto Alvarado and Raul Jimenez looking to slide into Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s spot who is the all-time top scorer for Mexico. On the US side players like Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes and Tim Weah son of the legendary George Weah are looking to slide into an aging Jozy Altidore spot and the retired and all-time top goalscorer Clint Dempsey. With a rising young star like Christian Pulisic who plays with Borussia Dortmund in Germany, recently became the youngest player to score in a game for the US, youngest to score a goal in a World Cup qualifying match and the youngest foreigner to score in the Bundesliga. While only being 19 he has some of Europe’s top clubs noticing his talent. On the defensive side, you have Deandre Yedlin who is probably one of the guys with the most experience playing for the US with over 50 appearances. He currently plays with Newcastle United in the Premier League in England. Another to look out for is Matt Miazga who after being traded around in Europe finally has had some serious playing time with Nantes in France and has shown Improvement.

There will be the absence of young superstars such as Christian Pulisic and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano. Other absences include Erick Gutierrez and Guillermo Ochoa who will return to their clubs in Europe. Even though this game is a friendly, Both teams see the North American classic as a must win. Both teams are on even playing field since both have no defined coach and they are playing with a lot of new young players. It will be a big test for these young players, we’ll see who can rise up to the challenge.

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