Klinsmann takes helm vs. Mexico
With much less at stake than in June's Gold Cup Final, the United States and Mexico meet for a friendly Wednesday in Philadelphia (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & ESPN3.com). Here are five notes to get you ready for the rivalry renewed.
• Jurgen Klinsmann debuts as United States' head coach, the national team's first foreign head coach since Bora Milutinovic left in 1995. Of USA's previous five head coaches, only Steve Sampson lost his debut, a 1-0 road defeat to Belgium in 1995. The last USA coach to debut versus Mexico was John Kowalski, who helmed the Americans for two games in 1991.
• The 4-2 victory over United States in the Gold Cup Final was the third straight in the series for Mexico, and its longest win streak against USA since 1999. The last time El Tri defeated USA four straight times was a seven-game run from 1965 to 1975.
• This is the first friendly between the rivals since a 2-2 draw in Houston in 2008. Eighteen-year-old Jozy Altidore made his first international start in that match, and he became the youngest American goal scorer in the modern era (since surpassed by Juan Agudelo). The United States is 5-0-2 in its past seven friendlies against Mexico.
• Mexico is currently ranked 10th in ESPN's Soccer Power Index, while the United States has stumbled to 35th, 16 spots lower than at this time last year. With the changing value of past results, USA has crept up two spots since its five-year SPI nadir of 37th, shortly after this year's Gold Cup.
• The United States has won its two previous games at Lincoln Financial Field, both by identical 2-1 scores, against Turkey last May and over Panama in the 2009 Gold Cup Quarterfinals. USA has played a total of five matches in Pennsylvania, with the only loss a 1993 defeat against Ukraine in Bethlehem.