The U.S. men's national soccer team will try to focus on Wednesday's friendly against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City as preparation for World Cup qualifiers next month. It'll be easier to ignore that Mexico is 23-0-1 against the U.S. on Mexican soil. The lone draw was a scoreless FIFA World Cup qualifying match on Nov. 2, 1997. Here are five U.S. players to watch:

5. Maurice Edu » Reports out of Mexico suggest that the former Maryland Terrapin could find himself at center back. Edu needs to show well as he searches for a new club following the bankruptcy of Glasgow Rangers.

4. Steven Beitashour » The only natural right back on the roster, the 25-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season with the San Jose Earthquakes and has a grand stage for what would be his national team debut.

3. Brek Shea » The precocious 22-year-old was brought into the team to help him bounce back from a disappointing and self-destructive stretch with FC Dallas since failing to get to the Olympics with the U.S. under-23s. A solid showing will prove it was worth it.

2. Jose Torres » One of six players on the U.S. roster who play professionally in Mexico, Torres must play well to help calm the nerves of a team with very limited experience.

1. Herculez Gomez » Similar to Torres, Azteca should not intimidate Gomez, who had 19 goals for Santos last season and became the first U.S. player to win both an MLS Cup title and Mexican League title.

- Craig Stouffer