USA Vs. Mexico, 2011 Gold Cup Final: El Tri Will Look To Exploit Defensive Weakness On Wings - FMF State Of Mind

We're building up quickly to the Gold Cup final now, and the United States have plenty to worry about with Mexico's glittering array of attacking talent. Although Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is the big name, the States have more to worry to worry about than the baby-faced centre forward. El Tri's wingers are a particular threat, and Bob Bradley's side aren't exactly known for their stalwart defending on the flanks.

Kevin McCauley, at SB Nation's Mexican futbol blog FMF State of Mind, writes that without a defensive minded winger in the mould of Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung Mexico's wingers may well run riot, in particular Pablo Barrera, who faces off against young Aston Villa fullback Eric Lichaj. If Bob Bradley can't make an adjustment to counter that, the team could be in some trouble.

[U]nless he's going to make some adjustment to counter El Tri, they should be able to have a field day down the right. Lichaj hasn't been poor in any of his games by any stretch of the imagination, but he hasn't been great either. He's an average defender at this point in his career, and Barrera has abused just about everyone he's played against in a Mexico shirt this year. He's going to be able to get around Lichaj, more than once.

Neutralising the threat of Mexico's width would go a long way towards giving the US a chance to pull out a surprise win in Pasadena, especially with the physical edge the centre halves will have over Chicharito in the middle. Can the USMNT manage? We'll have to wait and see.

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