The stakes in the next edition of North American soccer’s biggest grudge match will approach their all-time high.
The United States men’s national team will face Mexico in a one-game playoff to determine CONCACAF’s representative in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, CONCACAF announced in a press release Sunday. The USA-Mexico playoff game will take place Oct. 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and organizers should expect a packed house for what should be the premier soccer event of 2015 in the United States.
The USA-Mexico playoff game is a byproduct of a decision CONCACAF made in 2013 to determine its entrant into the Confederations Cup. The regional soccer governing body elected to pit the winner of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup against the winner of the 2015 edition. The U.S. prevailed in 2013 but lost its hopes of avoiding a playoff scenario last week by suffering an upset defeat to Jamaica in the semifinals of the 2015 Gold Cup. Mexico beat Jamaica on Sunday in the final to claim the other playoff spot.
The 2017 Confederations Cup will take place in Russia — the host country of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Russia, reigning world champion Germany and the winners of six regional championship tournaments will compete in the prestigious event, which doubles as a World Cup warm-up.
The last USA-Mexico game of this magnitude or greater came in 2002 when the teams met in the Round of 16 of that year’s World Cup. The U.S. won 2-0, confirming its status as a worthy foe and ending Mexico’s decades of dominance in North America. The teams have met numerous times since then, but the Oct. 9 meeting likely will be the most consequential game between CONCACAF titans for many years to come.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images
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