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USMNT vs. Mexico: Scouting Mexico

Javier Hernandez looks to lead a strong Mexican side to victory.

Soccer: 2016 Copa America Centenario-Mexico at Jamaica Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Mexican National Team will look to break the "Dos a Cero" curse as it faces the United States Men’s National Team in Columbus, Ohio.

Mexico has never beat the USMNT in Columbus, losing all four prior meetings 2-0. El Tri is 3-1-1 in its last five games, with their last loss coming in a 7-0 blowout against Chile in the Copa America Centenario.

Juan Carlos Osorio has spent much of his time as manager experimenting with player selection, but chose a first choice squad for this match.

Goalkeepers (3): Guillermo Ochoa (Granada/Spain), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca/Mexico), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul/Mexico)

Defenders (8): Rafa Marquez (Atlas/Mexico), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Diego Reyes (Espanyol/Spain), Hector Moreno (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas/Mexico), Hugo Ayala (Tigres/Mexico), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina/Italy), Miguel Layun (Porto/Portugal)

Midfielders (7): Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas/Mexico), Jesus Dueñas (Tigres/Mexico), Andres Guardado (PSV Eindhoven/Netherlands), Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany)

Forwards (7): Raul Jimenez (Benfica/Portugal), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca/Mexico), Jesus Corona (Porto/Portugal), Javier Aquino (Tigres/Mexico), Oribe Peralta (Club América/Mexico), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/Spain)

Osorio is likely to deploy a 3-3-3-1 with three central defenders, and central midfielders. This formation also features three attacking midfielders who can join the lone striker, as forwards, when attacking.

Mexico lacks a clear #1 goalkeeper and any of its three goalies could end up in the Starting XI.

Osorio has many defensive options, but expect Hector Moreno to be the heart of the defense. Moreno (6’0”) is a hard-nosed central defender who adds much needed height to the Mexican defense.

Diego Reyes has been a fixture in the El Tri lineup for the past few years and should join Moreno in defense.

Expect Fiorentina center back Carlos Salcedo to complete the defensive trio. Salcedo has been playing well for Fiorentina and excels at passing out of the back. Their may be concerns about his international inexperience (5 caps), but he is one of Mexico’s top defenders.

Some will call for Rafa Marquez to be in the starting XI as either a center-back or defensive midfielder. The 37 year old Marquez is slow and lacks discipline, but provides veteran leadership. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Mexican National Team legend get the start.

Projected Lineup:

The midfield should be anchored by PSV Eindhoven’s Andres Guardado. Guardado is a true two-way midfielder and excellent creator.

Hector Herrera has a good chance to partner Guardado in central midfield. Herrera often plays higher up the pitch than Guardado, but is better defensively. His powerful tackling and timely interceptions could be key to an otherwise offensive heavy team.

Giovani Dos Santos has arguably been the L.A. Galaxy’s best player and should start at either left or right attacking midfield. Dos Santos is a complete attacker. He possess lethal speed, dribbling skill, great crossing ability, and a powerful long shot.

Aside from Dos Santos, this roster lacks natural wide midfielders. Marco Fabian has played out wide before and is in great form (3 goals and 4 assists in 8 appearances) at Eintracht Frankfurt. Look for Fabian to start at attacking midfield on the side opposite Dos Santos.

Benfica forward Raul Jimenez may start underneath Javier Hernandez. Jimenez is a goal scoring forward who has primarily been a substitute for his club, but has been very efficient with 2 goals in just 209 minutes this season.

Juan Carlos Osorio has a plethora of attacking talent to choose from. Bayer Leverkusen star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will likely be the lone striker. Hernandez is an excellent finisher capable of scoring anytime. Although Hernandez is 5’8’’, he is surprisingly good in the air.

Hirving Lozano is one of the younger forwards and probably won’t start, but can certainly make a difference. He’s been in scintillating form for Pachuca scoring 7 goals and adding 4 assists in 11 matches. Lozano’s blistering pace makes him a potent threat and a valuable option off of the bench if Mexico needs a goal.

Mexico is expected to play its typical uptempo short-passing game. Juan Carlos Osorio chose a very offensive roster and as a result El Tri could struggle to contain the U.S.’ attackers. Regardless of how either team lineups the match will be close.