US out to turn tables on Mexico
US football fortunes are on the rise as they head into the CONCACAF Gold Cup aiming to avenge a bitter defeat to regional rivals Mexico in the 2011 final hong kong company register.
Jurgen Klinsmann's United States warmed up for the 12th edition of the North and Central America and Caribbean regional football championship with a 6-0 rout of Guatemala in a friendly match in San Diego on Friday.
The United States and Mexico have contested the last three finals and will be favourites to duel for the title again, despite both bringing squads lacking some of the key players to feature in recent World Cup qualifiers.
The United States currently top the table in regional qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, but will be without such Europe-based stars as Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley.
They welcome back veteran Landon Donovan along with Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden and Malaga's Oguchi Onyewu.
Players like Donovan and Onyewu will be vying to impress Klinsmann, with qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to resume in September Domestic Helper.
Donovan took a four-month break from football after helping the Los Angeles Galaxy win last year's Major League Soccer title, returning to work with the Galaxy in March.
Friday's friendly was his first international appearance since August, and Donovan didn't waste any time showing he was back.
He converted a penalty in the 56th minute for his 50th international goal and added a second goal in the 72nd minute.
Donovan acknowledged that the dominant victory over Guatemala, eliminated from World Cup contention and not in the Gold Cup, counted for little.
"We've got to do it when it matters, and I realise that," he said. "We were good tonight but we've got to get better."
Mexico's young Gold Cup squad, all culled from the Liga MX, will be hoping to make a splash of the kind that has eluded the more seasoned team that has struggled in World Cup qualifying and recently exited at the group stage in the Confederations Cup.
"I don't think at all that this is a 'B' team, forward Rafa Marquez Lugo said last month, noting the Gold Cup is a chance for Mexico players, like their US counterparts, to demonstrate what they have to offer before World Cup qualifying resumes.
Mexico won their record sixth Gold Cup crown in 2011, when they rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat the United States in the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
The defeat signalled the end of Bob Bradley's tenure as US coach. He was sacked, opening the door for the hiring of former German international Klinsmann.
Mexico have a tricky Group A opener against Panama back at the Rose Bowl on Sunday, when Canada will face Martinique.
The United States open their Group C campaign against Belize in Portland on Tuesday cheap bookcase, with Costa Rica and Cuba in the same group.
Group B features familiar foes Honduras and El Salvador along with Trinidad and Tobago and a Haiti side energised by strong recent friendly results that include a narrow 2-1 loss to Spain and a 2-2 draw with Italy.
The tournament crown has historically come with a bid to the next Confederations Cup. However, this year's winner will battle the 2015 champions for a place in the 2017 Confederations Cup.