Mexico is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. this afternoon on American Airlines flight No. 1596 at 2:37 p.m. CT, and the team is staying at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago at 17 East Monroe (312-726-7500). On Saturday, the team is scheduled to train at the University of Illinois, Chicago at 3:30 p.m. CT. Media are welcome to attend.
Mexico, which has won three straight Nike U.S. Cups dating back to 1996, opens this year's tournament on Sunday (June 4) at Soldier Field in Chicago against Ireland at 4:30 p.m. CT. The match will air live on Telemundo and is the second of an MLS doubleheader which begins with the Chicago Fire hosting the undefeated Kansas City Wizards at 2 p.m. CT.
The current 22-player Mexican roster includes:
Goalkeepers: Sergio Bernal, Esdras Rangel;
Defenders: Gilberto Jimenez, Oscar Mascorro, Joaquin Beltran, Christian Ramirez, Raul Alpizar, Carlos Carino;
Midfielders: Isral Lopez, Gerrado Torrado, Luis Perez, Paulo Cesar Chavez, Antonio Sancho, Gerardo Galindo, Rodrigo Barragan;
Forwards: Horacio Sanchez, Luis Ignacio Gonzalez, Jesus Olalde, Daniel Osorno, Luis Hernandez, Ignacio Flores and Jaime Lozano.
Mexico is expected to name additional players to the roster in the coming days. Luis Hernandez is not expected to play in Chicago.
Despite a successful 1999, in which Mexico compiled an 11-6-8 international record and three first-place finishes in international competition, the team will be facing strong public scrutiny as they arrive on in Chicago for Nike U.S. Cup. Mexico's recent failures at the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup (a quarterfinal defeat to eventual champion Canada) and Under-23 Olympic Qualifying Tournament (where they failed to qualify for Sydney after losing to Honduras in the tournament semifinals) have not gone unnoticed in the Mexican press, which has put significant pressure on the team to succeed in the United States.
As with the U.S., the Mexicans will be using the games to finalize preparation for World Cup qualifying play which begins in July against Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Canada or Cuba.
Nike U.S. Cup 2000, featuring the National Teams of Ireland, Mexico, South Africa and the USA, kicks off on Saturday, June 3, with the U.S. Men's National Team taking on South Africa at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., live on ABC at 4 p.m. ET. The four-team, six-match tournament will also see matches played at Foxboro Stadium in New England (USA-Ireland on June 6) and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas (Mexico-South Africa on June 7), before concluding with a classic doubleheader on Sunday, June 11 at Giants Stadium outside New York City, featuring the U.S. battling arch-rival Mexico live on ABC at 1 p.m. ET and Ireland taking on South Africa at 3:30 p.m. ET.