Are you a USA fan worried about the likes of Chicharito and Giovanni dos Santos for tonight's game against Mexico at the Azteca? Well, you should be. But you should also be at least a little bit concerned about the presence of Andres Guardado on El Tri's left side. So writes Ryan Rosenblatt at Stars and Stripes FC, SB Nation's USMNT blog:
[N]othing and nobody will be as much of a terror for the U.S. defense as Andres Guardado.
Guardado is in absolutely scintillating form for Valencia right now and has carried that form over to Mexico. With his breathtaking pace, surprising strength for a 5'7'' winger and ability to cut in as well as get to the endline and put in a cross, Guardado is the best winger in CONCACAF. That he can drop deep to receive the ball, push high or even cut in makes it almost impossible to starve Guardado of service, too.
Unfortunately for the U.S., that is the kind of player, and position, they are most vulnerable to right now.
Is Ryan overstating things? Yeah, a little bit. Guardado doesn't provide the sort of headache that the elusive figure of Javier Hernandez routinely dishes out to the world's best defenders, and he doesn't pull the strings of an attack like dos Santos does at his best. But he's certainly right in that he's a very good player and one of the key elements of Mexico's game.
In other words, if Jurgen Klinsmann doesn't have a way of stopping play going through Guardado on that left hand side, the US are in deep trouble indeed. Right backs Steve Cherundelo and Timothy Chandler are both out injured, so Geoff Cameron -- not known for his mobility -- will have to step in. Hrm.