CHICAGO (Friday, March 1, 2002) — The United States Men’s National Team will resume the best rivalry on the continent when the U.S. faces arch-rival and fellow World Cup qualifier Mexico on Wednesday, April 3 at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado at 8 p.m. MT. The match will air live on Telemundo, the new long-term Spanish home of U.S. Soccer, and will also be broadcast live on the Futbol de Primera radio network.
The game against Mexico will come exactly one week after the U.S. Men face Germany in Rostock, Germany, and two weeks before the U.S. take on Ireland in Dublin on April 17. With the addition of the match against Mexico to Bruce Arena’s pre-World Cup schedule, the U.S. is now set to face eight World Cup-bound teams in 2002 prior to kicking off the World Cup in June.
“Any chance you get to play a quality side like Mexico, you know you will be tested,” said U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena. “They are certainly one of the top teams in this region and we’ve had a great rivalry with them through the years. This will be another important test for us as we prepare for the World Cup.”
The two border rivals have distinguished themselves as the class of the region in the past decade, with each team qualifying for the World Cup in 1994, 1998 and 2002. In the 18 matches between the two teams since 1990, each team has six wins, six losses and six draws. The U.S. has outscored Mexico 22-18 in that stretch, and has won three of the last four matches.
The U.S. played one of their most memorable games of 2001 against Mexico, opening up final round World Cup qualifying on February 28 with an emphatic 2-0 win in front of a pro-U.S. crowd of 24,624 fans in freezing conditions at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Josh Wolff came off the bench to score the first goal and then sent the crowd into a frenzy when he set up Earnie Stewart for the clincher in the 87th minute.
Mexico rebounded from a poor start in 2001 to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. The team’s turnaround began with a critical 1-0 win over the U.S. at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City on July 1. Starting with that win, Mexico stormed to four victories and a draw in their last five qualifiers to claim a spot in Korea/Japan, allowing just one goal during that stretch.
The U.S. Men’s National Team has played just two full international matches in Denver since 1990, averaging 29,965 fans for a 1-0 win against Uruguay 1-0 in 1991 and a 1-0 loss to Scotland in 1992. Most recently, the U.S. Men played an exhibition against Derby County in Denver, topping the English professional club 2-1 at Mile High Stadium on July 13, 1999. Eddie Lewis had a goal and an assist in the win.
The U.S.-Mexico game is being staged in coordination with AEG and the Colorado Rapids, who will host D.C. United in the first half of a doubleheader that will kick off at 5:30 p.m. MT.
Tickets for the doubleheader will go on sale on Saturday at 12 p.m. MT at the Invesco Field Box Office and all TicketMaster locations, or by calling 303-830-TIXS. Ticket prices range from $25 to $45. For more information on tickets, fans can call the Rapids at 303-299-1599 (or 303-299-1511 in Spanish).
The USA next meets Honduras on Saturday (March 2) at Safeco Field in Seattle. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN and Telemundo. The team then moves to Birmingham, Ala., where they will face Ecuador on March 10 at Legion Field in a match broadcast live on ABC and Telemundo at 3 p.m. CT.