After 75 meetings between the US and Mexico in soccer games, there’s been a steady rise in positive results for the USMNT. While the southern neighbors always used to get the best in this fixture, America is probably a slight favorite going into this CONCACAF Nations League Semi-final match, having not lost to them in the 2020s. Who will etch more history in the classic USA vs Mexico soccer rivalry?
DATE | June 15, 2023
TIME | 7:00 pm PST | 10:00 pm EST
VENUE | Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada
TICKETS | To be announced
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USA vs Mexico Preview
Avid followers of the USMNT team will remember that these teams contested the last CONCACAF Nations League final back in 2021. Here the sides meet in the round before, to see who will contest the final against either Panama or Canada. However, in totality, either winner between the US and Mexico will enter as the favorite to lift the trophy in the final.
Sometimes referred to as the Continental Clásico, this match is a staple of CONCACAF football, given that the teams are much more highly ranked and regarded than the other nations on the continent. Mexico sits on a historical advantage, having classically preferred soccer to other sports revered by America, like their version of football, basketball, and baseball.
As such, the teams met in a non-FIFA international friendly earlier this year (during European domestic seasons), which ended in a tie. The teams should be rather different in this match as both rosters will have a greater depth of quality players to select, most notably, those plying their trade in Europe.
The US comes into the game having had a much better World Cup in Qatar. Coach Gregg Berhalter led the team to the Round of 16 stage. However, he’s since left the position leaving the USMNT with only an interim head coach, as Anthony Hudson is not expected to be in the post for too much longer. While Mexico was unable to reach the knockout phase. This essentially cost Gerardo Martino his job as the coach of Mexico, as Diego Cocca took over in 2023.
One of the more polarising figures set to participate is Julián Araujo. The former LA Galaxy and contemporary Barcelona Reserve was born in the US. He went on to play at almost every youth level for the USMNT as well as making a solitary appearance for the senior team in 2020.
However, Araujo walked the crooked line to switch sides by reaching out to FIFA about changing his official footballing nationality. While he didn’t join the squad in Qatar, he’s still very young, and Diego Cocca seems to enjoy working with him. Ardent US supporters at the Allegiant Stadium will surely give him a hostile reception if he takes onto the field.
Mexico arguably has more to lose in this game. It’s them who’ve dropped stature in the CONCACAF standings. It’s finally the Mexican side in this rivalry which are chasing success and treating the game like a cup final. After all, the USMNT has gone unbeaten in the last five meetings and won three of those games.