Chelsea Janes of the USA Today reports on Jurgen Klinsmann preparing to pace the sidelines for the first time as coach of the U.S. men's soccer team Wednesday night when the Americans take on Mexico in a friendly in Philadelphia.
Wednesday night's game (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2, Univision) is a rematch of the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on June 25 in which Mexico rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stun the Americans 4-2, a result that led to the firing of then coach Bob Bradley a month later.
That opened the door for Klinsmann, who will lead a team that has several young, inexperienced players against a Mexican side that features 10 of 11 starters from the Gold Cup final. The exception is a big one: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, the Gold Cup's leading scorer with seven goals. The 23-year-old is out after suffering a concussion about two weeks ago.
The U.S. will feature a depleted offensive arsenal, as forward Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar) and midfielder Clint Dempsey (Fulham) won't play due to European club obligations. Twelve players who were not on the roster for the Gold Cup final will be in uniform for Klinsmann, including nine who have played fewer than 15 games for the senior squad.
Klinsmann has had little time to prepare with his coaching staff since his hiring July 29. He and his team will have had just three days of training, and less time than that with key players Carlos Bocanegra and Ricardo Clark, who did not arrive in Philadelphia until Monday night.
"It is obviously a little bit complicated with it being the first game after the Gold Cup, and a lot of players still in preseason," Klinsmann said. "You just try to make the best out of it…You want to see a team that gives a high energy and shows a great attitude and shows the people a great performance."