MNT Mar 10, 2003
CHICAGO (Monday, March 10, 2003) - The U.S. Menâ€™s National Team will resume one of the best rivalries in the world when they face archrival and fellow World Cup finalists Mexico on Thursday, May 8 at Reliant Stadium in the biggest match in Houston soccer history. Kickoff for the game, which is being staged in conjunction with Major League Soccer and Houston Texans Entertainment, is set for 7 p.m. CT. The match will be broadcast live on Telemundo and the Radio Unica network and will be broadcast via tape delay on ESPN2 beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can also follow live online via ussoccer.comâ€™s MatchTracker, presented by Philips Electronics.
â€œNo matter what the occasion, itâ€™s always a fierce battle when we play Mexico,â€ said U.S. head coach Bruce Arena. â€œThis match represents an important part of our preparation for two major tournaments this summer, and weâ€™re looking forward to the challenge. We are certainly pleased to play the first soccer game at Reliant Stadium, which is a beautiful facility, and we are looking forward to visiting Houston for the first time.â€
The two border rivals have distinguished themselves as the class of the region in the past decade, with each team qualifying for the last three World Cups. The United States has dominated the series of late, winning five of the last six meetings, with all of the victories coming by shutout. Mexico leads the lifetime series with a record of 28-10-9 dating all the way back to 1934.
The competition between the two nations reached its pinnacle in the summer of 2002 when the teams met for the first time as World Cup opponents in the Round of 16 in Jeonju, Korea. A picture-perfect goal by Brian McBride in the 8th minute and a brilliant tactical game from U.S. players produced a 2-0 victory and a place in the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 72 years.
Tickets for the game, which is being presented by Budweiser, range in price levels from $27 to $150 go on sale Saturday, March 15, at 10:00 a.m. CT at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Texas (including Fiesta, Foleyâ€™s and Wherehouse Music), by phone at 713-629-3700, and online at www.ussoccer.com. Groups of 30 or more can order through Reliant Stadium at 832-667-2210 starting today. Tickets go on sale at the Reliant Stadium box office on March 18 [Click here for complete ticket information].
The match at newly christened Reliant Stadium, home to the NFLâ€™s Houston Texans, marks the first appearance for the U.S. Menâ€™s National Team in Houston, and is the first of a planned series of games at Reliant Stadium being organized by Houston Texans Entertainment.
"Weâ€™re very excited to welcome both the United States and Mexican National Teams to Houston and to Reliant Stadium,â€ said Texans owner Bob McNair. â€œThis exciting soccer match-up between the U.S. and Mexico will further establish Reliant Stadium as a world-class sporting venue.â€
After the most successful year in U.S. Soccer history in 2002, the U.S. MNT has opened 2003 with a 2-1-0 record, collecting shutout victories against Canada and Jamaica. The match against Mexico will serve as on-going preparation for the U.S. in advance of two major tournaments this summer. In June the U.S. will square off against Brazil, Cameroon and Turkey in FIFA Confederations Cup from June 18-29 in France, and the USA will defend its confederation championship in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held from July 12-23 in Boston, Miami and Mexico City.