The United States and Mexico are very familiar with each other after playing four times since 2009 and they could get even more familiar in August when the two square off at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, Mexico. U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann told Grant Wahl on Friday that the Americans will take on El Tri in August at the Azteca, presumably on the August 21 or 22 FIFA international date.
While the two teams used to compete for CONCACAF supremacy, that's not really the case anymore. Mexico are the top team in the region and there isn't much of a doubt about that right now. Even a win at Azteca in August's friendly won't change that, but Klinsmann won't be looking to reign supreme over the region in this friendly. This match is to prepare for when World Cup qualifying comes, especially for travelling to Azteca in qualifying. Toss in the money that comes with a sold out crowd and both the U.S. and Mexico federations will be all smiles.
The last time that the two teams met was last August when they played a friendly at a half-empty Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA that finished in a 1-1 draw. The tepid reception for that much could very well have been from rivalry fatigue. After all, that match was played less than two months after the rivals met in a highly-anticipated Gold Cup final before a sold out crowd at the Rose Bowl for the continental championship, which Mexico won 4-2 to stake their claim to the title of CONCACAF's best.
Playing the friendly as Azteca is a big change for these teams, who have scheduled all non-competitive matches between the two teams in the United States lately. The last time the two teams met in Mexico for a match that wasn't a World Cup qualifier was way back in 1999. Since then, they have played seven friendlies, three Gold Cup finals and a U.S. Open Cup match, all on U.S. soil, in addition to a World Cup match in South Korea.
This match would come in the middle of World Cup qualifying for both teams. They will begin the semifinal round of qualifying with two matches in June before playing two more matches in September and two more in October to wrap up the round of qualifying for 2014.
Also on the schedule for the U.S. in 2012 is a February 28 friendly against Italy in Genoa, Italy and a match against Brazil in Boston, MA or Washington, D.C. on May 28 or 29. Mexico will also take on Brazil this summer in Dallas, TX and have a match against Colombia lined up for February 29 in Miami, FL