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US to face Mexico in Philly

Landon Donovan, left, and Israel Castro during the 2011 Gold Cup final.
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Ives Galarcep

Ives Galarcep is a 14-year veteran of the American soccer beat. He created and operates the popular American soccer blog, Soccer By Ives, which was voted Best American Soccer Blog by US Soccer in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Ives was also voted Best Football Writer by SoccerLens in 2010. 


The US men’s national team won’t have to wait long to have a chance at some revenge for its Gold Cup Final loss to Mexico.

The arch-rivals are meeting again this summer, on Aug. 10th at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, US Soccer announced on Friday.

“We’re thrilled that fans in Philadelphia will have a chance to witness this special rivalry,” said US head coach Bob Bradley. “A match between the United States and Mexico inspires a lot of passion from both sides and creates an outstanding atmosphere in the stadium. These types of games are great experiences for our players, and we look forward to the challenge.”

The friendly is the first between the rivals since 2008, though the sides had regularly scheduled friendlies throughout the past decade.

Mexico is riding a three-match winning streak in the series, including a pair of Gold Cup final victories and a 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory in 2009 in Mexico City.

The matchup should feature the top players for both teams, with the match taking place on an international fixture date.

The United States is still smarting from its 4-2 loss to Mexico in the 2011 Gold Cup Final, a match the Americans were leading 2-0 in the first half before succumbing to Mexico’s high-powered attack.

The friendly is the third scheduled by US Soccer for the coming months. The United States plays host to Costa Rica at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Sept. 2nd before traveling to Brussels to face Belgium on Sept. 6th.

So what’s the motivation behind scheduling this friendly so soon after the Gold Cup Final? USA-Mexico friendlies are always major moneymakers, and the match in Philadelphia should be a sell-out.

Whether the United States is ready to get back on the field against Mexico remains to be seen, but the Americans could be closer to full strength for the friendly than it was the Gold Cup Final, where Jozy Altidore was sidelined and Steve Cherundolo left the match early with an injury.

The match could also signal the return to the US team of German-born defender-midfielder Timmy Chandler. Stuart Holden could also get a call up, though it remains to be seen whether he will be recovered enough from his long-term knee injury to play a part in the Mexico friendly.

The friendly will be an opportunity for the United States to save some face after the Gold Cup final defeat, but another loss to Mexico would add even more momentum to an impressive summer for Mexican soccer that saw the senior team win the Gold Cup and their Under-17 squad reach the World Cup Final.

The venue, Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, should give the United States somewhat of a home-field advantage, or at the very least not as lopsided a representation of fans as we saw in the Gold Cup final, where more than 90 percent of the fans at the Rose Bowl were Mexico fans.

Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for covering Major League Soccer and the US National Team.

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