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The Mexican defender expects an even match when his squad takes on the Americans in Pasadena, Calif., this weekend and says he may come off the bench.


Although Mexico has had a much easier run to the Gold Cup final than the United States, Carlos Salcido doesn't think either nation should be considered the favorite when the two teams meet Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

"No, I don't think so," the Mexican defender said. "The U.S. is a great team, very compact with great players. They haven't been playing as well as I think their fans are used to seeing them play, but this is a final we're talking about. We know how complex it is to play against them. I just hope Saturday's a great day for Mexico."

The U.S. suffered an embarrassing loss to Panama in the first round before bouncing back with three straight clean sheets, including a 1-0 win over Panama in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, Mexico coasted through the group stage before facing tougher competition in Guatemala and Honduras during the knockout rounds. It needed two extra-time goals to get past Honduras Wednesday night in Houston.

"You go through the different stages and teams get tougher," Salcido said. "They're not willing to give you anything, so the games get tougher. But I think the team's been getting better as we go on, too."

Salcido was forced off the pitch against Honduras in the 56th minute with a foot injury. After the game, he said he was not 100 percent entering the contest and put part of the blame on the poor field quality throughout the tournament.

He will likely be available for the final, but may not start.

"I'll try to be there," he said after the semifinal. "If I have to be on the bench I'll do my best to support the team either way."

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