This Tuesday, the United States and Mexico will have their last matches of the FIFA matchday, when they face Saudi Arabia and Colombia, respectively.
Team USA left more doubts than certainties after losing 2-0 to Japan last Friday, while Mexico, despite beating Peru 1-0, showed a rather poor performance against the South American team.
With less than 60 days to go before the start of the World Cup in Qatar, Tuesday's matches are crucial to defining line-ups, automating functions, and testing playing styles for the last time.
The United States makes its debut on November 21 against Wales, also sharing Group B with England and Iran. Mexico opens against Poland on Tuesday, November 22, and will then face Argentina and Saudi Arabia in Group C.
Mexico vs. Colombia: Time is running out and 'El Tri' fails to convince
The team led by Gerardo "Tata" Martino will face a tough test in Colombia, a national side that, despite not having qualified for the World Cup, features a number of talented players, as well as other experienced talents such as James Rodriguez.
Mexico just defeated Peru with a late goal by Hirving Lozano in the 85th minute, after a bad clearance from a corner kick. Although 'El Tri' got the win, they showed very little play during the match, barely getting past the midfield and suffering while defending their own goal.
Martino would go for a different attacking trio than the one against Peru, with Diego Lainez and Alexis Vega in attack. Henry Martin and Roberto Alvarado did not play their best against the Inca team and could be substituted to face Colombia.
The main inclusion in the Mexican eleven would be veteran Andres Guardado, undoubtedly one of the best Aztec players of all time. The Real Betis playmaker would make an interesting duo with Edson Álvarez of Dutch Ajax, plus another midfielder. Alvarez and Guardado should be starters in Qatar.
Colombia will take the match seriously and will be counting on world-class players such as Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, and Liverpool's new star, Luis Diaz.
Gerardo Martino will have the task of neutralizing a team that is difficult to contain, featuring attack-minded wing backs and midfielders who are quite creative when it comes to launching balls into space.
United States vs. Saudi Arabia: Attack and win to restore momentum
It is true that the United States is missing some key players for this FIFA date (Weah, Steffen, A. Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Richards, and Musah), however, Japan brought out all the weaknesses of the American team. That must be corrected against Saudi Arabia.
This will be the United States' last game before the World Cup, and coach Gregg Berhalter must take this match as the last test of his key players available. In short, the coach should start a fairly similar eleven to the one he plans to use against Wales in Qatar.
Saudi Arabia is a team that thinks first of defending before attacking, so this will be an interesting test for the United States. The stellar attacking trio formed by Pulisic, Pepi, and Aaronson will have the mission to crack an airtight defense.
Another area for improvement is passing accuracy in midfield. Against Japan, Team USA conceded the first goal thanks to a poor delivery in the middle. In the World Cup, the U.S. will face two dynamic teams like England and Wales, who need only a few passes to score a goal. Every mistake made against these teams can be very costly.
This friendly match will be key to winning and recovering good sensations. It is always good to arrive at the World Cup with good momentum. Showing a bad image against a weak rival like Saudi Arabia can be detrimental.