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U.S. Men to Host Mexico in World Cup Qualifier on September 3 at Columbus Crew Stadium


CHICAGO (March 9, 2005) — The U.S. Men’s national team will host Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 3 in Columbus Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET in their seventh of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The U.S. vs. Mexico match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and Telemundo, with fans also able to follow the U.S. match live at ussoccer.com via MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.

The match in Columbus is the fourth of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States. Ticketing details for both games will be announced in the near future.

"Crew Stadium has always been an excellent venue for U.S. Soccer," said U.S. Manager Bruce Arena. “We've had a lot of success there, and we're happy to be returning for another meaningful match. Every World Cup qualifier is important, particularly at home, and we look forward to the tremendous support we always receive from the fans in Columbus."

The Columbus Crew Stadium match will be the fifth World Cup qualifier hosted by the six-year-old venue. The U.S. has a 2-0-2 record in qualifying and a 3-0-3 all-time record. In 2004, the U.S. defeated Grenada on June 13 by a 3-0 score in a second round qualifying match before tying Jamaica 1-1 in the final match of the semifinal round on November 17.

The U.S. has just 11 wins in 49 matches against Mexico in a series that dates to 1934, but the U.S. has a 9-6-8 advantage in home matches dating back to 1957. In the last eight meetings, the U.S. has won six games by shutout and tied another meeting 0-0 in 2003. Additionally, since the rivalry between these two teams began in earnest in 1990, the sides have played 22 times, with the U.S. holding a 9-6-7 advantage. The last U.S. loss was a 1-0 defeat in Mexico City in final round qualifying for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Under Arena, the U.S. has a 6-3-1 record vs. their border rivals including a 12-4 advantage in goal differential. His six wins are the most for the U.S. manager vs. any opponent in his six-year tenure at the helm of the U.S. MNT. In the last meeting between the two teams, the U.S. prevailed with a 93rd minute goal from Eddie Pope as he drilled home a rebound off a Taylor Twellman header in a 1-0 win on April 28, 2004 in Dallas.

The last match for the two rivals in an official competition was a 2-0 victory for the U.S. on June 17, 2002, which sent Mexico home from Korea while the U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. In World Cup qualifying, the U.S. has a 3-13-5 record vs. Mexico, including a 2-0 victory in Columbus Crew Stadium in the last U.S. final round qualifier vs. the Tricolores at home. In that match on Feb. 28, 2001, Josh Wolff and Earnie Stewart scored for the U.S. before a sold-out crowd of 24,624 fans who braved a frigid evening.

The U.S., along with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago, is competing in the 10-game round-robin format tournament through Oct. 12, 2005, with the top three teams automatically advancing to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The fourth-place team will compete in a two-game playoff to be held Nov. 12/13 and Nov. 16 against the fifth-place finisher in Asian qualifying.

Up next for the U.S. Men’s national team is a friendly vs. Colombia on March 9 in Fullerton, Calif., at 7:30 p.m. PT live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics. Ten days later, the U.S. will face regional rival Honduras on March 19 in Albuquerque, N.M. live on HDNet and Fox Soccer Channel at 2 p.m. MT, as well as MatchTracker. Following the friendlies, the U.S. travels to face Mexico on March 27, before returning home to host Guatemala on March 30 in Birmingham, Ala. in a pair of World Cup qualifying matches.

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