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Global Jun 21, 2012

U.S. Men confirm Aug. 15 trip to Azteca for Mexico friendly

The U.S. Men’s National Team will continue its long rivalry against Mexico when the teams square off Aug. 15 at the famed Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. The first friendly between the teams on Mexican soil since 1984 will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision.

Reported for months and unofficially confirmed by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann this spring, this match takes the USMNT back to a noisy stadium which has been a house of horrors for generations of U.S. squads and nearly every other visiting national team which has stepped inside its steeply-pitched stands, which hold more than 100,00 spectators. Azteca sits some 7,400 feet above sea level, which, combined with the Mexican capital’s notoriously smoggy air and the legendary hostility of its home fans, makes it one of the most intimidating soccer venues in the world.

The USA has never won a match on Mexican soil, holding a lifetime record of 0-23-1. Their last friendly in Mexico resulted in a 2-1 loss on Oct. 17, 1984, in Mexico City. The teams have played south of the border six times since, the USA’s most recently suffering back-to-back 2-1 defeats in FIFA World Cup qualifying (2005 and 2009).

“Mexico has proven to be one of the top teams in the world in the moment, so for us this is a huge opportunity,” said Klinsmann in a press release. “The U.S. and Mexico have a very special rivalry, and the chance to be challenged in an environment like Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will be another important experience for the development of our players.”

The midweek tilt against Mexico continues an approach of taking on the top teams in the world, with the U.S. already having collected its first ever road win against Italy in February and then facing five-time World Cup champion Brazil at the end of the May. This game falls on an international fixture date designated for friendly matches, which means the players will be released following league play the previous weekend.

The U.S. has a lifetime record of 15-32-12 against Mexico in a series that dates back to 1934. In the teams’ most significant matchup, the United States posted a historic 2-0 victory against Mexico in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea, advancing the U.S. to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time in 72 years.

The U.S. leads Group A in CONCACAF Semifinal Round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with four points after two matches, having defeated Antigua & Barbuda on June 8 in the opening match and then earning a 1-1 draw at Guatemala four days later.

The United States next faces a double date with Jamaica, traveling to Kingston on Sept. 7 for their first meeting at Independence Park, better known as “The Office,” since 2004 and then returning to Columbus Crew Stadium on Sept. 11 in a game to be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3 and the Univision family of networks beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The USA has never won a match on Mexican soil, holding a lifetime record of 0-23-1. Their last friendly in Mexico resulted in a 2-1 loss on Oct. 17, 1984, in Mexico City. The teams have played south of the border six times since, the USA’s most recently suffering back-to-back 2-1 defeats in FIFA World Cup qualifying (2005 and 2009).

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