Mexico Vs. USA, 2012 International Friendly: Get Ready, Tim Howard

Mexico has Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Pablo Barrera. The United States will try to defend them with Geoff Cameron, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Matt Besler, Steven Beiteshour and out-of-position Maurice Edu, among others. Uh oh.

The American defense doesn't stand much of a chance against that Mexican attack, which means Tim Howard is in for a busy day. Jurgen Klinsmann chose to leave most of his European-based players with their clubs for this match, but Howard made the team and for good reason -- he might be charged with keeping the match from getting out of hand.

Everybody knows that Howard is up to the task. That is not to say that Howard will certainly play out of his mind and leave the Mexican's wondering if there is an invisible wall in front of the goal line, but he has a chance.

Howard has played the role of hero before, probably most notably when the U.S. took on Argentina at Giants Stadium in 2008. The Argentines, as is their wont, tore apart the American defense and were in on goal time and time again. But Howard turned them away each time, denying Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and the rest of the Argentina team to earn the U.S. a 0-0 draw.

Against Mexico, Howard might have to be every bit as good as he was against Argentina four years ago and Klinsmann may have to play him all 90 minutes. Nick Rimando and Sean Johnson are fine goalkeepers, but they are not Howard and a halftime switch will put the U.S. in trouble. This one calls for 90 minutes of Howard and the very best of Howard if the Americans want a result. After all, Chicharito is no Messi.

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