The implications are massive, with the USMNT trailing El Tri by three points for the Octagonal table's top spot through six matches. Getting a result will be a challenge, of course, as Mexico are the frontrunner in group play, with their 4W-0L-2D record and 14 points cementing that status. It's always a spectacle when these two meet, and this match doesn't figure to be any different.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of Friday's kickoff.
- Friday, November 12 (9:10 pm ET)
- TQL Stadium | Cincinnati, Ohio
How to watch and stream
- ESPN2, Univision, TUDN
With a win, the US could draw even on points with their bitter rival, and provide some crucial distance on the table as they chase an automatic berth to Qatar 2022, which goes to the top-three finishers. The Yanks know they can topple Mexico, downing them in this summer's Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup finals, but World Cup Qualifying is an entirely different animal. El Tri will be fully committed to not allowing the US to beat them three straight times in competitive matches for the first time in the history of this rivalry.
Head coach Gregg Berhalter told media on Thursday that star attacker Christian Pulisic is available but won't start the match as he continues his return from injury, and also revealed that Manchester City backstop Zack Steffen will get the start in goal.
It's no secret that Mexico are Concacaf's team to beat, even if their qualifying campaign has produced some minor hiccups. After a surprising 1-1 draw with Canada at Estadio Azteca, Mexico wrapped their October window looking back in form, with a 3-0 victory over Honduras and a 2-0 away result at El Salvador.
El Tri will also have a full complement of their best attackers, with Raul Jimenez and Hirving "Chucky" Lozano returning from injuries that kept them out of this summer's matchups, and will undoubtedly have revenge on their mind following the aforementioned USMNT setbacks. With another huge test against Canada four days after this one, Mexico can give themselves a pristine setup for automatic qualification with four-plus points.