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USA-Mexico in the works for April
by Paul Kennedy, January 28th, 2014 10:03PM

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TAGS:  americans abroad, england, germany, men's national team, mls

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[WORLD CUP 2014 COUNTDOWN] As of right now, Saturday's USA-South Korea at StubHub Center is the only home friendly scheduled before the U.S. national team assembles for its final World Cup 2014 preparations, but plans are in the works for an April friendly, and it would be a big one: USA-Mexico.

U.S. Soccer spokesperson Neil Buethe wouldn't confirm to MLSsoccer.com anything about the proposed match -- date or location -- other than to say the U.S. and Mexican federations were "in discussions about a match in April."

The date mentioned is April 2 and the location is University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

March 5 is the only pre-May FIFA fixture date, and the USA is scheduled to play in Ukraine, where the political crisis deepened on Tuesday as Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government resigned in the wake of violent protests.

An April 2 game would fall the same week as the semifinals of the Concacaf Champions League, but it would give Jurgen Klinsmann a chance to look at his MLS and Mexican-based players one last time before he has to pick his initial squad of 30 players for the World Cup finals.

In 2002 and 2010 ahead of the World Cup, the USA played a match in April. The 2002 match was a 1-0 win over Mexico in Denver that came a little more than two months before the USA would beat El Tri, 2-0, at the World Cup in South Korea.

The University of Phoenix Stadium, which has a capacity of 63,400 is a familiar venue for both the USA and Mexico. The USA beat Mexico, 2-0, before a sellout crowd in 2007.

The USA has not lost to Mexico in a non-competitive game since a 2-1 loss in the 1999 U.S. Cup. If you throw out the U.S. Cup, a friendly tournament U.S. Soccer organized until 2000, the USA has not lost to Mexico in a friendly since 1984, a span of 10 games (six wins and four ties).

TUESDAY ACTION. Both Americans in action in the English Premier League on Tuesday endured long evenings. Tim Howard's Everton lost to Liverpool, 4-0, in their Merseyside derby. The result puts a damper on the Toffees' hopes of contending for a top four finish. Clint Dempsey's Fulham fell at Swansea City, 2-0, and will find itself in the relegation zone by the end of Wednesday if either West Ham or Jozy Altidore's Sunderland gets a result.

U.S. World Cup Contenders:
GOALKEEPERS:
Tim Howard (90 minutes), Everton (England), 0-4 at Liverpool
--------------------------------------------------------
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa (England), vs. West Bromwich Albion (Wednesday)

DEFENDERS:
Oguchi Onyewu (90 minutes), Sheffield Wed. (England D2), 1-1 at Millwall
Tim Ream (4 minutes), Bolton Wanderers (England D2), 1-2 at Queens Park Rangers
--------------------------------------------------------
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England), at Sunderland (Wednesday)
Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest (England), vs. Watford (Thursday)

MIDFIELDERS:
Brek Shea (90 minutes), Barnsley (England D2), 2-2 vs. Blackburn Rovers
Danny Williams (90 minutes), Reading (England D2), 5-1 vs. Blackpool
Stuart Holden (injured), Bolton Wanderers (England D2), 1-2 at Queens Park Rangers

FORWARDS:
Clint Dempsey (70 minutes), Fulham (England), 0-2 at Swansea City
--------------------------------------------------------
Jozy Altidore, Sunderland (England), vs. Stoke City (Wednesday)

JOHNSON UPDATE. The news out of Hoffenheim looks better as kicker reported that Fabian Johnson, who broke his hand on Saturday and had surgery the next day in Heidelberg, could miss as little as one game. He was cleared to resume individual training on Wednesday and full training next week.

STUIE'S BACK. Stuart Holden made a surprise appearance at the national team camp at the National Training Center on Tuesday. It was the first time he has trained with the team since injuring his knee in the Gold Cup final against Panama.



JONES WATCH. Three Americans have returned to MLS in January, but Jermaine Jones has apparently found no MLS takers in his bid to leave Schalke 04 after the German club let it be known he was free to depart in January. Jones is 32 and in the last year of his contract with Schalke. He doesn't figure in Schalke's plans for the second half of the Bundesliga season, so he needs to find a club, where he'll be able to play in the spring.

"Every player who doesn't have a solution right now on the table is a concern. Absolutely," Klinsmann told reporters at the National Training Center on Monday. "So we want him to solve it. But we are in touch and we are positive that he finds a good solution and then gets back on the field and plays. That's what we need the players to do."

U.S. January Transfer List:
Juan Agudelo, New England to Utrecht FC (Netherlands)
Michael Bradley,
Roma (Italy) to Toronto FC
Maurice Edu, Stoke City (England) to Philadelphia (on loan)
Michael Parkhurst, Augsburg (Germany) to Columbus
(Americans who played for national team in 2013.)


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