Pregame: A few hours before the USA's 5 p.m. PT meeting with Mexico tonight, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was asked what he thinks of the matchup.
"It’s an interesting game, especially with the turmoil in Mexico with the change of coaches and everything else," he said. "How much is Tena going to change the lineup for them really becomes an interesting proposition. You don’t know exactly what they’re going to come at you with. Is he going to rely a little more on some of the players that played well for him in the Olympics. Is he going to give (Oribe) Peralta another run, is he going to try to play with Peralta and Chicharito up front. There’s a lot of question marks there.
"And for the U.S., they’ve got to replace a few players. So we’re hoping Beckerman is one of the guys that they use – that will be good for us as well. And I think he probably deserves a short right now and with Bradley out of there, because he had a good Gold Cup and he’s been playing well. "It’s going to be an important game because when you first looked at this fixture at the beginning of the hex, you would have probably said hopefully this is a game where both the U.S. and Mexico are sort of through and it really doesn’t matter. But now the game is really important to Mexico. And if it becomes important for Mexico and they produce a result, all of a sudden it becomes a really important game to the U.S."
The comment about Kyle Beckerman comes in part because his club team -- Real Salt Lake -- visits the Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Friday. And that also brought up the question of availability for a pair of Sounders on the U.S. national team: forwards Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson.
"We’ll have to see what happens in terms of minutes played, the travel then on Wednesday, how they feel – they’re really going to have only Thursday’s practice – how tight are they and so forth," Schmid said. "For Dempsey, if he starts and plays 90 or close to 90 tonight, that would be his third game in seven days. For Eddie, he didn’t play that many minutes in Game One, but there’s still all the travel in between there. … You look at Eddie and Clint and you say OK they were with us in Columbus, and from Columbus to Miami, Miami to San Jose, Costa Rice, back to Columbus and now to here. So it’s not only the games, it’s also the wear and tear of the travel."