Editor's note: ICS will be in attendance and covering the Copa America Group C clash between Mexico and Uruguay Sunday night. We've teamed up with photographer Michael Rincon to bring you this (brief) preview.
Day 3 of Copa America Centenario closes with a high-profile matchup between trendy tournament favorite Mexico and contemporary South American power Uruguay. The match will be played at Glendale, Arizona's University of Phoenix Stadium which, with kickoff temperatures expected to be in excess of 113 degrees, will likely be a closed dome with natural grass.
The Uruguayan national team features several household names in international soccer. Diego Godin, fresh off a gut-wrenching loss in the Champions League final with Atletico Madrid, is a 30-year-old centerback with 98 appearances for Los Charruas.
With 30 international goals, Paris Saint-Germain star Edinson Cavani is also in the United States for Copa, and figures to be even more important to his country in the group stage, because...
Luis Suarez, Uruguay's infamous-but-always-entertaining talisman will be missing from at least this crucial game with Mexico as he works back to fitness from a May 22 hamstring injury. He is widely expected to miss the whole of the group stage. Suarez practiced lightly on his own, Friday.
Lining up defensively for Mexico is likely to be oldest-man-in-the-room, Rafa Márquez, as well as Héctor Moreno and Néstor Araujo.
Mexico's impressive midfield is highlighted by El Tri veteran, and Moreno's teammate at PSV Eindhoven, Andres Guardado. A big aspect of the match with Uruguay in Arizona, and indeed throughout the tournament, will be Mexico's voluminous, home-like support in the United States, but Guardado recently downplayed that fact, saying that Mexico's opponents have faced much harsher environments than they will here in the States.
If you're a fan of Mexico, however, or a neutral in search of big-time soccer, you're coming out to see Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. The 28-year-old seems to be reaching the peak of his career at the right time for Mexico, which is hoping to lift the Copa America trophy for the first time in ten tries.
After some uncertainty in his club career, Chicharito has found an excellent fit at Bayer Leverkusen, where he notched 17 goals this past season, good enough for fourth in the Bundesliga. With three more goals for Mexico, Hernandez will become his country's all-time leader, passing El Zorro del Desierto, Jared Borgetti.
In honesty, this would have been a much better matchup a year or two ago, but with Suarez on the sideline, and Mexico perhaps in its best form in a half-decade, it's hard to make any prediction that doesn't include Mexico winning this game, and this group.
How to Watch
Mexico vs. Uruguay
Copa America Centenario, Group Stage
Sunday, June 5th, 5:00pm PT, 8:00pm ET
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
WATCH on FOX Sports 1 (English) / Univision (Spanish)