World Cup: US Soccer makes it official, USMNT to face Mexico in April 2 friendly in Phoenix
If the Mexican national team wanted to offer thanks to the US for making their World Cup berth possible, they’ll get the chance to do it in person.
Although it won’t likely be a friendly meeting.
U.S. Soccer announced Thursday that the USMNT will welcome El Tri to the States for one of their final primers for Brazil on April 2 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
"We are going to be watching our players very carefully before making final decisions on the roster for the World Cup, so this will be a great benchmark to see where they are at and how they compete against our biggest rivals," US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a statement.
"Games against Mexico are always special for the players and for the fans. We expect that it will be an amazing atmosphere in Phoenix with supporters for both teams, and it's great to have an opportunity to play before the start of the World Cup. You couldn't ask for a better experience to help with our preparations."
It will be the first time the rivals have met since the US’ famous “Dos a Cero” victory Sept. 10 in Columbus, Ohio, that secured the team’s spot in the 2014 World Cup. The US then beat Panama 3-2 on Oct. 15 in the CONCACAF qualifier, keeping Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive.
The previous friendly between the regional rivals also proved historic when a Michael Orozco Fiscal goal and a Tim Howard shutout delivered the US their first victory against Mexico on their own soil, a 1-0 win on Aug. 15, 2012, at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
The USMNT next faces Ukraine on March 5 in Kharkiv.