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U.S. boss Dave Sarachan: Mexico match always 'inherently hyped up'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Ahead of Tuesday's friendly with archrivals Mexico (ESPN, 8:30 p.m. ET), U.S. caretaker manager Dave Sarachan avoided getting drawn into much discussion about his level of interest in becoming the manager on a full-time basis.

The U.S. team's record under Sarachan now stands at 2-2-3 following Friday's 2-0 defeat to Brazil, though under his stewardship he has put a heavy emphasis on bringing in younger, less experienced players. That said, it's highly unlikely that Sarachan would be selected to the lead the program given his ties to the previous regime under Bruce Arena, which failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday's practice session at Lipscomb University, Sarachan was asked if it was possible he might lead the team through the remainder of this cycle.


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"The possibilities are endless. I haven't thought about that. Right now the whole focus is on Tuesday. We'll let that process play out," Sarachan said. 

When asked if he would like to be chosen to lead the team, he said: "I don't see why I wouldn't like it. It's an honor and a privilege when you're part of your national team."

For now, Sarachan's emphasis is on getting his team ready for the intensity that always accompanies matches against Mexico. The match can also carry extra significance for players like Toronto FC midfielder Marky Delgado whose family has links to both countries.

"I think the USA-Mexico game is an inherently hyped up [match] no matter what," Sarachan said. "Each individual player has their own history perhaps, certainly as players but maybe culturally as well. I would imagine Marky is going to treat it like any other game, maybe there's a little bit of a different feeling, but I think whenever you play this kind of a game everybody is pretty hyped up about it."

Of the players currently on the U.S. roster, only seven have experienced a match against El Tri at senior level, though some like midfielder Tyler Adams and defender Matt Miazga have played against Mexico at youth level.

"Whether they've actually played or been a part of that environment they kind of have a pretty good idea of it," Sarachan said about players such as Adams. "But you never know until you step on the field."

For now, Sarachan's priority is getting his team to absorb the lessons from the Brazil match.

"On both sides of the ball there's improvement [to be made]," he said. "As a collective in terms of applying pressure, we need to work through some issues that I thought were exposed against Brazil. But for sure, with the ball, having a little more confidence and movement ahead of the ball [will] allow us more time and space to be a little more effective in the final third and with possession overall."

Sarachan added that he has been impressed with his team's mental fortitude in the wake of the Brazil result.

"I think we learned a lot in that game. One thing I'll say [is] I don't think this team will lose confidence," he said. "I think they understand the opponent we have just played, a team that was comprised of a lot of veterans that could have won a World Cup. I think we'll take some of the lessons we learned from that game, but the focus will shift to getting our minds right for the next game."

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