The United States travel to Mexico with a little bit of breathing room after seeing off Costa Rica 1-0 in blizzard conditions on Friday night at Dick's Sporting Goods Park just northeast of Denver, Colorado. However, FIFA are currently reviewing Costa Rica's official protest of the playing conditions and have asked soccer's governing body to rescind the result and order a replay.
Meanwhile, Mexico have started slowly in their quest to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. El Tri found themselves up 2-0 against Honduras in San Pedro Sula but somehow managed to draw 2-2 after surrendering two late goals at the Estadio Olimpico. Despite Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez finding the scoresheet twice, the Mexican media has labeled this home fixture against the Yanks as a must-win after Mexico has just two points from its first two games.
Mexico's Estadio Azteca has proved to be a fortress in the high altitude of Mexico City. With a capacity of roughly 105,000, it is one of the largest stadiums in the western hemisphere, and much less the world, in terms of seating capacity. The stadium also lies at an astonishing 7,300 feet above sea level. This is one of the main reasons as to why the United States Soccer Federation wanted the team to play against Costa Rica in Denver on Friday evening. The Mile High city is roughly 5,280 feet above sea level.
All things considered, a draw against El Tri in Mexico City would be a fantastic result. However, the United States won against its southern neighbors at the Azteca Stadium for the first time in history last August with a narrow 1-0 victory in a friendly. It's also noteworthy to add that as a player and a coach, Jurgen Klinsmann has never lost to Mexico. The German coach has an all-time record of 3-0-3 and a second consecutive win south of the border could possibly lead to the sacking of Mexican head coach José Manuel de la Torre.