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With only a few months remaining before the 2014 World Cup, all the nations in the big tournament are getting geared up to travel to Brazil. Teams like the United States and Mexico will play a handful of international friendly matches including a game against each other at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on April 2. The game is being presented by AT&T and will be the third to last game before the World Cup for the U.S. and the fourth to last game for Mexico before traveling to Brazil.
The United States is currently ranked by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, as the 13th best team in the world. The American team will be led in this friendly match and the World Cup by the most recognizable player in their history, Landon Donovan. Donovan has 155 caps with the national team and has scored 57 goals. A member of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, Donovan has been one of the most influential players in the history of American soccer.
The Mexican national soccer team is currently ranked as the 20th best team in the world. The team has a solid blend of veteran and young players that make them one of the best in the world. They will be led in this matchup with their rival United States and their trip to the World Cup by defenders Rafael Marquez (116 caps, 14 goals) and Francisco Javier Rodriguez (89 caps, 1 goal), midfielders Sinha (59 caps, 6 goals) and Gerardo Torrado (146 caps, 6 goals) and forwards Giovani dos Santos (73 caps, 14 goals) and Omar Bravo (65 caps, 15 goals).
When the United States makes it down to Brazil for the World Cup later this spring, it will be their 10th appearance in the tournament. Their first appearance in the tournament was their best, as they reached the semi-finals and finished in third place. In the 2002 South Korea World Cup, they finished in eighth place, which was their second best finish. They failed to follow up their success in that World Cup in the last two World Cups, finishing 25th in the 2006 Germany World Cup and 12th in the 2010 South Korea World Cup. The United States will be competing in the "Group of Death" at the Brazilian World Cup against Portugal, Ghana and Germany.
The Mexican national soccer team will be competing in their 15th World Cup this year. The team struggled to make it out of the Group Stage in their first half dozen and most recently, have reached the Round of 16 in five straight World Cups. They will be hoping to do better than that this year when they compete in Group A against the host country Brazil, Cameroon and Croatia. They have the talent to advance from the Group Stage, but what they do afterwards remains to be seen.
The University of Phoenix Stadium opened in 2006 and can seat at least 78,000 fans when standing room only seats are sold. This game between the U.S. and Mexico might reach that number as fans will be excited to reach for their country.
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- Sports & Recreation
- United States
- Landon Donovan
- 2014 World Cup