MEXICO CITY — The US national team has a mole inside the Mexican team. Actually, they have half a dozen moles with inside information to share — the six Americans on this US squad who play in Mexico. And those inadvertent spies could prove vital for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side when they take on El Tri at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday (8 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
“It’s important,” said Puebla FC winger Damarcus Beasley on Monday evening. “That’s why Jurgen brought a lot of the guys who play in Mexico in. We know the style, how the guys play, what they can do, what they can’t do. It’s to our advantage to have the six guys who play in Mexico here.”
Along with Beasley, the US squad’s Liga MX contingent includes San Luis defender Michael Orozco Fiscal, Pachuca midfielder Jose Francisco Torres, Santos Laguna striker Herculez Gomez and two players from Tijuana, defender Edgar Castillo and midfielder Joe Corona.
Seventeen of the 22 players called in by Mexico for the US match play in Liga MX, including Gomez’s teammate at Santos, Edgar Lugo. Eight of the 17 are 25 years old or younger. Keeping and producing young talent in the domestic league has become a hallmark of the Mexican system in recent years and a major factor in the national team’s recent rise to world prominence.
“They have a great structure from youth all the way up,” Beasley said. “A lot of the guys who are playing first-team football at Chivas, Santos, and other clubs, they’re all young: 18, 19, 20. They keep their players in Mexico.”
Beasley admitted he doesn’t know too many of the Mexican players. None of them play for Puebla. But a win, or even just a result, would still give him good trash-talk fodder when he returns to los Camoteros.
“It would be fun to have bragging rights when I go back to Puebla this week,” he said.
Greg Lalas is Editor in Chief of MLSsoccer.com.