US national team to face Tijuana in closed-door scrimmage

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – What was billed by Club Tijuana as a “special” day turns out to be nothing more than a scrimmage behind closed doors.

Xolos released a statement Thursday evening indicating a reserve side would face the US national team on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Home Depot Center and billed it as an “excellent opportunity for Xoloitzcuintles fans on the other side of the border to get close to the team.”

After English and Spanish reports were published with the information, however, it was retracted Friday afternoon, with Tijuana releasing an apologetic statement advising that fans will not be allowed in to watch the game.

“Unfortunately, we got confused,” read the statement. “[The game] will be behind closed doors without media access.”

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US Soccer also confirmed that the scrimmage would take place and that it would be behind closed doors without access to fans or media.

The event looks set to be an opportunity for both the US national team and Xolos to have a good look at players on the fringes of their squads.

Twenty-one of the players in Klinsmann’s 25-man January camp play in Major League Soccer and the squad will continue its preparation against Canada in a friendly on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

Tijuana will field only players that don’t feature in Sunday’s game against Pumas UNAM, with games for the club coming up thick and fast as the Copa Libertadores approaches.

That likely rules out Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo, but Greg Garza (above) could possibly be given the chance to impress Klinsmann first-hand, as could Tijuana U-20 players Stevie Rodríguez and Raúl Rodríguez. Xolos midfielder Alejandro Guido will miss out due to his participation in the US Under-20 camp in Puebla, Mexico.