Unbeaten in their last six matches, El Tricolour head into the 12-nation tournament as slight favourites, ahead of hosts USA, to defend their North and Central American title and qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil.
New Zealand’s eyes are also on Brazil but with Confederations and World Cup qualifiers not starting for the All Whites until next year, Herbert is at the early stages of constructing the core of his 2014 squad.
“The build-ups are chalk and cheese really,” Herbert says.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us. Playing a team at the level of Mexico with what they achieved at the World Cup and what they’re doing now is a massive challenge.”
While Herbert wasn’t due to name his side until Wednesday (NZT), he indicated he would “roll the dice a little bit” by giving starts to a couple of newer players.
“The list is pretty clear now. We’re eight or nine short from the World Cup squad [through injury and retirement] so that’s big for us in anyone’s language.
“But I’ve always said that gives opportunities to others. But these guys will relish the chance to be out there. It’s going to be tough for them, it’ll be a big night. But we’ve done it before and we’ll continue to do it.”
Mexico will be without Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez for the match at Denver’s Invesco Field. ‘Chicarito’ will join the squad the day after in time for the June 5 Gold Cup opener against El Salvador after featuring in the UEFA Champions League final in London on Saturday.
The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 1 at 2pm, Thursday (NZT).
Mexico v New Zealand
INVESCO Field at Mile High
Denver, USA
8pm, June 1, 2011 (2pm, June 2 NZT)
Live on Sky Sport 1
New Zealand (from): Jake GLEESON (GK), Glen MOSS (GK), Mark PASTON (GK), Andrew BOYENS, Michael BOXALL, Michael FITZGERALD, Winston REID, Ben SIGMUND, Ivan VICELICH, Jeremy BROCKIE, Tim BROWN, Aaron CLAPHAM, Simon ELLIOTT, David MULLIGAN, Michael McGLINCHEY, Kosta BARBAROUSES, Craig HENDERSON, Chris KILLEN, Shane SMELTZ, Chris WOOD.
Mexico (from): Alfredo TALAVERA (GK), Guillermo OCHOA (GK), Jonathan Orozco (GK), Edgar DUENAS, Ricardo OSORIO, Jorge TORRES NILO, Efrain JUAREZ, Rafael MARQUEZ (c), Francisco Javier RODRIGUEZ, Hector MORENO, Carlos SALCIDO, Gerardo TORRADO, Antonio NAELSON, Christian BERMUDEZ, Jesus Zavala, Israel CASTRO, Andres GUARDADO, Angel REYNA, Aldo de NIGRIS, Elias HERNANDEZ, Giovanni DOS SANTOS, Pablo BARRERA.
Coach: José Manuel de la TORRE
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For more on New Zealand football go to www.nzfootball.co.nz