Chris Pontius' surge this season with D.C. United has hit a roadblock of sorts. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann left him off the 22-player roster for Wednesday's friendly match at Mexico -- assuming everyone stays healthy. Pontius remains on stand-by, an alternate who will be called upon if there's an injury at attacking midfield or forward.

The inexperienced U.S. roster includes just three players who have faced Mexico on Mexican soil.

Pontius, 25, has a career-high 10 goals and scored for the MLS All-Stars in their recent 3-2 win over Chelsea. His improved play comes after he suffered a broken leg last September, which followed his latest invite to a U.S. camp in August and a slow start to the MLS season.

Facing the Mexicans in Mexico City would be a baptism by fire for Pontius, who has yet to appear in a U.S. match.

"He's right there," Klinsmann said in a call with reporters Sunday. "I'm very happy what happened with him the last couple of months in D.C."

- Craig Stouffer