USMNT Team News vs Mexico: Christian Pulisic, Joe Scally

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One of the biggest matches of the CONCACAF Octagonal takes place on Friday night as the USMNT takes on its biggest rivals of all, El Tri, on Matchday 7 of qualifying. The two giants of the confederation occupy the top two places in the standings and a victory for either of them will go a long way towards securing their ticket to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next winter.

The Stars and Stripes have defeated Mexico in their last two fixtures. First, they beat them in the CONCACAF Nations League Final, before defeating them again, with a much-changed side in the North American Gold Cup just a couple of months later.

Winning streaks and undefeated streaks are rare in this rivalry. The USA is looking for their first stretch of three wins over Mexico in almost 15 years.

GOLD CUP

USMNT vs Mexico FYIs:

Kick-off time: 7 PM EST, 12 November Friday

USMNT Starting XI Prediction: go here

Form Guide (All Competitions): USMNT (DWWLW) Mexico (DDWWL)

Let’s take a look at some of the significant team news heading into this one.

The first thing to touch on is a potential debutante in Joe Scally. The 18-year-old has been a bright spot in an otherwise underwhelming season for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga. He has started every Bundesliga matchup so far this season and has assisted and scored a goal.

He will likely fill the right-back spot left vacant by Sergino Dest’s injury, but is flexible and has spent a fair bit of time this season playing further up the pitch in Germany.

That could come in handy if the USMNT find themselves in dire need of a goal at any point during this international break. Regardless of where he plays, I’m sure the New York native will be chomping at the bit to make his full international debut for the USMNT.

Christian Pulisic made his return on the club level, with Chelsea, in the week leading up to the squad selection for this set of international fixtures. Despite some reservations from his club coach Thomas Tuchel, he returns to the international fold immediately.

I doubt that he will start the game versus Mexico as he still being is eased back from yet another injury. However, I do expect him to play 25-30 minutes. A start in the following fixture versus Jamaica seems much more likely.

No matter how much time he gets, having Captain America back in the fold can never be a bad thing.

This is a huge fixture, and a win for Mexico might just secure the top spot for them in the Octagonal. I don’t think that’s how it will go. I think the home side wins and goes a step closer to qualifying for the World Cup.

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