Graham Arnold announces Socceroo squad for friendly versus Mexico

Noah Strang
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Noah Strang
04/09/2023
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Graham Arnold announces Socceroo squad for friendly match

Graham Arnold has named his 23-man Socceroo squad this international window’s friendly match against Mexico in Arlington, Texas on September 10. 

News Insights

  • Australia to play Mexico in the United States.
  • 2026 World Cup venue on Arnold’s mind.
  • Five uncapped players included in the Socceroo squad.
  • U23 Squad away at AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers

The Australian men's soccer team returns to action this week with a friendly against Mexico in the United States. Graham Arnold has called up an experienced side along with some new faces he’s looking to experiment with before World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Cup start next year.

Australia’s summer of soccer and the Women’s World Cup may be over, but international soccer never stops. Men’s team manager Graham Arnold has just announced his 23-man squad for the Socceroos’ upcoming friendly in the United States against Mexico on September 10. 

This is Australia’s first national team match since they faced off against Leo Messi’s World-Cup-winning Argentina side  in July. That match was also held in a neutral venue as it was played at China’s Beijing Workers' Stadium.

Arnold’s squad full of familiar faces and some newcomers

Graham Arnold’s 23-man squad for the Mexico match contains a good mix of veterans and young players. 

In goal, Arnold will almost certainly go with national team captain Maty Ryan. If Ryan is unavailable, Arnold has also called up Tom Glover and Ashley Maynard-Brewer, both of whom are currently uncapped for Australia. 

Arnold’s preferred defense also contains two uncapped players. Ipswich Town’s Cameron Burgess and Parma’s Alessandro Circati could get their first caps this window. Aziz Behich, Miloš Degenek, Harry Souttar, Kye Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson, and Ryan Strain are the other defenders who have been called up by Arnold. 

Australia’s midfield against Mexico will likely be familiar to Socceroos fans. Any pairing of Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree, and Aiden O’Neill will probably start against Mexico. Arnold’s other midfield options are Connor Metcalfe, Keanu Baccus, Denis Genreau, and Cameron Devlin. 

Up front, Arnold has called up just four forwards with real national team experience. Mathew Leckie, who has 78 caps, is the veteran of the bunch, but the starting spot against Mexico will likely go to another old-timer. Mitchell Duke has become Arnold’s preferred striker in recent matches. If not Duke or Leckie, Arnold can call upon Martin Boyle,Nicholas D'Agostino, and the uncapped Samuel Silvera. 

Certain other youngsters, such as Cameron Peupion, Nectarios Triantis, Patrick Yazbek, and Noah Botic would have been in contention for call-ups this window if they were not currently away with the Australia U23 side for Asian Cup Qualifiers against Laos and Tajikistan on September 6 and 12, respectively. 

Mexico matchup made with 2026 World Cup, World Cup Qualifiers, and Asian Cup in mind

Australia playing Mexico in the United States may seem a little strange. On one hand, it is very strange. On the other, it makes perfect sense and is relatively normal for Mexico. 

For Australia, playing Mexico gives the Socceroos an opportunity to play a tough team, in a hostile environment, while also preparing for the 2026 World Cup. AT&T Stadium, where Australia vs. Mexico will be played, seats almost 80,000 fans. The vast majority of them will be Mexico supporters. Additionally, the stadium will be a venue for the 2026 World Cup in the US, Canada, and Mexico. 

Playing Mexico is a great opportunity for the entire group, allowing us to not only test ourselves against quality opposition but also familiarise ourselves with playing in the United States as we look towards 2026,” Arnold said of the upcoming fixture. 

Arnold also stressed the importance of this fixture for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers and Asian Cup matches in 2024. “With World Cup qualifiers beginning in November and the Asian Cup in January 2024, these moments that we can come together as a group become all the more valuable,” Arnold said.

Most betting sites unfortunately do not have odds posted for the Asian Cup or AFC World Cup qualifiers yet. If you are wanting to bet on the Socceroos now, many Australian betting sites will have Mexico vs. Australia bets available. For example, bet365 is currently offering over 90 bets for Mexico vs. Australia. The site has made the Socceroos big underdogs with 4.20 odds compared to Mexico’s 1.72.

Australia will have a tough challenge on their hands when they play Mexico in the US next Sunday (10/9). Graham Arnold has called up an experienced side with plenty of youth mixed in. We will have to wait until Sunday to see if they can get the job done.