The U.S. Men’s National Team meets Mexico in a World Cup qualifying match at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico, on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (6/11/17). The Americans look to build off their 2-0 win against Trinidad & Tobago.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: World Cup qualifying match
Where: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
When: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Time: 8:30 p.m. Eastern
TV: FS1, Univision, UDN
Livestream: Fox Sports Go
The U.S. will have to step up when it plays Mexico at Estadio Azteca in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday, and not just because of the altitude.
The Americans will have had just two days off following Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Commerce City, Colorado, which lifted them into the top half of the standings — and one of the three qualifying slots — midway through the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
U.S. coach Bruce Arena is planning lineup changes because of the quick turnaround.
“It’s somewhat I think similar to club play in Major League Soccer, where you travel at times great distances in a short period of time and play two games,” Arena said. “However, a typical club team doesn’t have the depth that a national team program should have.”
Christian Pulisic, the emerging 18-year-old star midfielder, scored a pair of second-half goals, giving him seven in just 15 international appearances. Pulisic, who has scored or assisted on seven of the Americans’ last eight goals, insists he won’t have a problem going 90 minutes.
“Absolutely. I’m still young,” he said. “They’re a good team and not easy to beat at home. It’s going to take a lot, but I think with the guys we have and the confidence we have, there’s no reason why we can’t do it.”
Clint Dempsey, 34 and one goal from tying Landon Donovan’s American record of 57 international goals, could get rotated out. Dempsey was unhappy when Arena replaced him with Kellyn Acosta in the 61st minute Thursday.
A hostile crowd, smog and sometimes heat help create among soccer’s bigger homefield advantages at Azteca, which has been reduced from 120,000 capacity to 87,000 during several renovations.
The U.S. was 0-19-1 in Mexico City — getting outscored 81-14 — before a 1-0 exhibition win five years ago.
“It’s fun. I’m sadistic. I like that,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “It’s exciting, because the other side of the fear factor is success and joy, and so we’re going to hopefully have some of that.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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