Bragging rights, roster spots at stake in U.S.-Mexico World Cup tuneup

The United States men's national team takes on Mexico in Glendale, Arizona Wednesday night in one of several tuneups before this summer's World Cup.

The friendly will give head coach Jurgen Klinsmann an opportunity to get a look at a mix of fringe players and several players almost certain to be on the final roster in Brazil.

Among the notable players to watch in the match is 18-year-old Julian Green. Green just pledged his allegiance to the U.S. over Germany, where he plays his football for Bayern Munich. He is on the outside looking in for Brazil, but a few dazzling performances leading up to the tournament may just do enough to secure him a seat on the plane to South America.

San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski is predicted to pair with Green up top tonight and is another intriguing prospect for Klinsmann's final World Cup squad. The big striker shined during the CONCACAF Gold Cup but has yet to cement a place in Klinsmann's regular 11. A strong showing against Mexico Wednesday could land him another audition, if nothing else.

One player who will almost certainly be on the final World Cup roster is Clint Dempsey. But despite his good standing in the squad, Dempsey will want to show strong in Glendale after a poor outing against the Ukraine. He'll need to validate Klinsmann's belief that he can lead the United States when the team faces Ghana on June 16 in Natal.

The U.S. won the last meeting between the two sides in a dominant 2-0 performance in September.

Wednesday's game is scheduled to kick off at 8:15 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.


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