USA-Mexico: A test of youth movements

The USA isn't the only team building for the future.

A new-look Mexico national team arrived in Nashville for Tuesday's meeting at Nissan Stadium following a 4-1 loss to Uruguay in Houston before 60,617 fans.

Californian Jonathan Gonzalez, who earned his second cap off the bench against Uruguay, could play his first match against the USA since making a switch of association after representing the USA in U-20 World Cup qualifying in 2017.

The Monterrey midfielder is part of El Tri's youth movement that makes Tuesday's match a key test for the USA to determine where its young team stands against Concacaf's dominant team as it also moves into a new cycle.

Interim coach Tuca Ferretti gave four players -- Jesus Angulo, Roberto Alvarado, Victor Guzman and Diego Lainez -- their first caps on Friday night, and five more players could make their first appearance for El Tri on Tuesday.

"You're going to see a lot of changes because I want to see all the elements brought in for these two international matches," Ferretti said after the game. "I'm also going to count on the others if I need to make a change or there's some other situation."

The changes follow Mexico's exit from the World Cup in the round of 16 for the seventh straight tournament.

Players like Guillermo Ochoa, Andres Guardado, Javier Hernandez and Hector Moreno, all veterans of the last three World Cups, are 30 years old or older, and Carlos Vela and Giovanni dos Santos will turn 30 in the next year.

Only Ochoa was with El Tri in Houston but left after the game to return to Belgium, where plays for Standard Liege. Chucky Lozano and new PSV teammate Erick Gutierrez also departed, leaving Mexico with only five players and three starters -- defenders Edson Alvarez, Hugo Ayala and Jesus Gallardo -- from Juan Carlos Osorio's World Cup team in Nashville.

Mexico has been building for the future for a while.

Lainez, 18, was named the best player at the 2018 Festival International Espoirs in Toulon, France, on a team that also included Gonzalez, who is 19, and Gerardo Arteaga, Alvarado and Angulo, who are 20.

For the 2018 Apertura, which started in July, Liga MX re-introduced minimum minutes for young players, reminiscent of its old Regla 20/11.

Mexico Roster:
28 Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa)
24 Gibran Lajud (Tijuana)
24 Jose Abella (Santos)
29 Oswaldo Alanis (Real Oviedo/ESP)
20 *Edson Alvarez (Club America)
20 Jesus Angulo (Santos)
20 Gerardo Arteaga (Santos)
31 *Hugo Ayala (Tigres)
24 *Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey)
27 Luis Rodriguez (Tigres)
21 Erick Aguirre (Pachuca)
20 Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul)
28 Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
18 Diego Lainez (Club America)
19 *Jonathan Gonzalez (Monterrey)
23 Victor Guzman (Pachuca),
28 Elias Hernandez (Cruz Azul)
22 Orbelin Pineda (Guadalajara)
27 *Raul Jimenez (Wolves/ENG)
24 Angel Zaldivar (Guadalajara)
27 Alan Pulido (Guadalajara)
*World Cup 2018 holdover.
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