USMNT to play Mexico in April 19 exhibition on non-FIFA date
The United States men’s national team will play Mexico in an exhibition on April 19 at Glendale, Arizona.
The match announced Tuesday is not on a FIFA fixture date, meaning many if not all Europe-based players will not be available, a group that includes most starters from last year’s World Cup roster.
The U.S., with its full player pool available, has CONCACAF Nations League matches at Grenada on March 24 and against El Salvador three days later in Orlando, Florida.
Mexico is at Suriname on March 23 and home against Jamaica three days later.
The April 19 friendly will kick-off the inaugural edition of what is being marketed as a new “Continental Clásico” event, an annual exhibition in which the USMNT will host a “top-tier” team from North, Central or South America.
Held at State Farm Stadium next month, the USMNT will seek to extend their current four-game undefeated streak against Mexico that features three 2021 wins at home in World Cup qualifying, the Gold Cup final and the CONCACAF Nations League final.
The match will be the first vs. USMNT for new Mexico manager Diego Cocca.
Hired in February by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), the Argentine coach will make his debut in upcoming CONCACAF Nations Leagues group stage matches.
Anthony Hudson is the current USMNT interim manager while U.S. Soccer continues the search for a new coach. The contract of Gregg Berhalter expired at the end of 2022. On Monday, U.S. Soccer said that Berhalter remains eligible for the USMNT coaching job after an independent investigation was concluded regarding allegations of domestic abuse.
Also on Tuesday, the USMNT announced that Mexican-American dual-national Alejandro Zendejas had officially committed to the United States.
The dual national first made his senior appearance in two friendlies for Mexico in 2021 and 2022, although without filing a one-time switch needed due to his involvement in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup with the United States.
FIFA would go on to fine Mexico 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,900) in January and also forced them to forfeit the five matches (three at the youth level) that included the current Club America player.
A few days after the decision, Zendejas made his senior USMNT debut on Jan. 25 in a 2-1 friendly loss to Serbia.