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Four U.S. Men’s National Team Players Take Break from Mexico to Play … Mexico

While some of the U.S. Men’s National Team players are used to playing their Mexican counterparts, it is usually as part of their competition in the Primera División in Mexico. As the U.S. Men’s National Team gears up to play their rival on Aug. 10 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, four players are taking time off from their Mexican club teams to compete against the national team.

“I think it’s great that the coach called in new faces for players that play in the Mexican leagues,” said U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Jose Torres. “I think it’s going to help us out a lot. We know most of the players on the Mexican national team. It’s going to be a great game, but it’s going to be different.”

Torres has played his entire career in the Primera División with Pachuca, accumulating more than 100 appearances. He made his debut for the professional team when he entered as a substitute on Nov. 29, 2006, breaking into the starting lineup during the 2008 Apertura season in central midfield and solidifying his place on the first team. He has helped lead his club to the Clausura final, FIFA Club World Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League title, among other accomplishments.

Torres was eligible to play for either Mexico, the nation of his father’s heritage, or for his native United States. In October of 2008, Torres accepted a call-up for the U.S. and earned his first cap days later.

“I’m always looking forward to playing against Mexico,” said Torres. “I’ve been on the bench twice and never got to play, but hopefully on Wednesday, I get to start or I get to go in as a sub. I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we win the game.”

Edgar Castillo also plays in the Primera División, plying his trade for Club América. Castillo has played his entire professional career in the Primera División and has notched more than 100 appearances after he began at Santos Laguna at the age of 20. He was transferred midseason to Club América after becoming a first team regular in Jan. of 2009. Castillo faced three loan spells to Tigres UANL, San Luis and Puebla before returning to América this season. Club América and Mexican national team defender Paul Aguilar is on the roster for Mexico, and Castillo will face him on the opposite side of the field for the first time.

Castillo originally played for the Mexico, with appearances for the U-23 national team and even accumulated three caps for the full Mexican national team in friendlies. In September of 2009, Castillo received permission from FIFA to join the U.S. Men’s National Team and made his first appearance two months later. He is the second player to earn caps for both the U.S. and Mexican national teams, joining current assistant coach Martin Vasquez.

Michael Orozco Fiscal emerged from the youth program of San Luis and joined the professional team of the Primera División club during the Apertura 2006 tournament. In January of 2010, Orozco Fiscal left San Luis to join MLS club Philadelphia Union on loan. After one season, Orozco Fiscal returned to San Luis. He has more than 70 appearances for the club, scoring three goals. 

On June 22, 2011, DaMarcus Beasley joined Club de Fútbol Puebla, making him the newest U.S. MNT player to compete in Mexico’s top division. He made his competitive debut on July 23, 2011, in a 1-0 win against Atlas to kick off Puebla’s season.

Torres, Castillo, Orozco Fiscal and Beasley hope to provide a competitive edge for the U.S. as they take on their Primera División teammates.

“I think we’re going to bring the same thing as the Mexican national team,” said Torres. “They like to play keeping possession, going at you little bit more. Now we have more technical players, so we’re going to try to attack more and try to win the game.”