The USA men’s national team will renew its border rivalry with CONCACAF foes Mexico in the first annual Continental Clasico from Glendale, Arizona on Wednesday, April 19.
The international friendly does not fall within a sanctioned FIFA international window, meaning clubs do not have to release players for duty. Therefore, interim head coach Anthony Hudson has pieced together a roster of nearly all domestic-based players, with just one player from an overseas club.
Still, the USMNT will use this match for valuable minutes to feel out its squad depth in the beginning of a new World Cup cycle ahead of the next 2026 event.
Additionally, it gives Hudson a chance to continue building a resume for a potential push for the permanent U.S. head coaching position, should he want the job, which to this point he has deflected questions about. Hudson has steered the U.S. well in the absence of both a permanent head coach and a sporting director.
Finally, matches against Mexico always matter. Given the two teams will meet this summer in a competitive match for the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals, it serves as a precursor to that meeting with significant stakes.
USA roster vs Mexico for April soccer friendly
The squad for the USA against Mexico features 22 players, with all but Sergino Dest hailing from clubs based in either the USA, Mexico, or Canada.
Veteran players like Walker Zimmerman, Kellyn Acosta, and DeAndre Yedlin appear after missing out for the March 2023 international break that featured competitive matches in Nations League play. Jordan Morris returns to the squad in good form for Seattle Sounders, leading MLS in scoring with eight goals through seven matches.
Sean Johnson is the only goalkeeper to have an international cap under his belt and will likely start, as Drake Callender and Roman Celentano get looks in this camp. Jesus Ferreira seems the likely choice to lead the line up front at the striker position, although Brandon Vazquez could win that spot.
Three days before the match, U.S. Soccer announced that Paul Arriola and Cxristian Roldan were withdrawing from the squad, replaced by Paxton Pomykal of FC Dallas. This change reduced the number of players from the original 23.
|GK||Drake Callender||Inter Miami (USA)||0||0|
|GK||Roman Celentano||FC Cincinnati (USA)||0||0|
|GK||Sean Johnson||Toronto FC (CAN)||11||0|
|DEF||Sergino Dest||AC Milan (ITA)||24||2|
|DEF||Aaron Long||LAFC (USA)||31||3|
|DEF||Julian Gressel||Vancouver Whitecaps (CAN)||2||0|
|DEF||Matt Miazga||FC Cincinnati (USA)||22||1|
|DEF||Shaq Moore||Nashville SC (USA)||17||1|
|DEF||Caleb Wiley||Atlanta United (USA)||0||0|
|DEF||Josh Wynder||Louisville City (USA)||0||0|
|DEF||DeAndre Yedlin||Inter Miami (USA)||77||0|
|DEF||Walker Zimmerman||Nashville SC (USA)||39||3|
|MID||Kellyn Acosta||LAFC (USA)||57||2|
|MID||Aidan Morris||Columbus Crew (USA)||2||0|
|MID||Paxton Pomykal||FC Dallas (USA)||2||0|
|MID||James Sands||NYCFC (USA)||7||0|
|MID||Alan Sonora||FC Juarez (MEX)||2||0|
|MID||Jackson Yueill||San Jose Earthquakes (USA)||16||0|
|FWD||Cade Cowell||San Jose Earthquakes (USA)||2||0|
|FWD||Jesus Ferreira||FC Dallas (USA)||17||7|
|FWD||Jordan Morris||Seattle Sounders (USA)||51||11|
|FWD||Brandon Vazquez||FC Cincinnati (USA)||2||1|
Sergino Dest released by AC Milan for USA vs Mexico
The only European-based player called in for this match is Sergino Dest, as he was released for the camp by Italian club AC Milan.
While it’s a good thing for Dest to get time with the USMNT, it’s a foreboding sign to his prospects of continuing to earn minutes at the club level for Milan if they have decided he’s expendable for a week despite heavy fixture congestion both domestically and continentally.
Dest will clearly have to sort out his club situation in the summer, now clearly surplus to requirements at both Milan and his parent club Barcelona. It’s great for the national team to offer Dest a chance to see the field, but the overall message sent by his release is troubling.
Alejandro Zendejas not called in for USA vs Mexico
USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson confirmed in his press conference that while they attempted to request the release of Alejandro Zendejas from Club America, the Mexican team “politely declined” to do so.
The move is unsurprising, even as Hudson has been consistently complimentary of Club America over the past few months over their willingness to release Zendejas in January, admitting that he was surprised they agreed to allow him to participate in that camp.
Therefore, there’s clearly no ill will between these two parties and this occurrence is just Club America exercising their right to keep their player after allowing Zendejas to depart a number of times before.
Still, it’s unfortunate for fans and the player that Zendejas misses out on a chance to face Mexico after having been recruited by El Tri before opting to represent the USA.
Published at Mon, 17 Apr 2023 14:20:00 +0000