We are still 200+ days from the World Cup, but the smell is in the air. We already know the groups, we know the calendar and now we also know the name of some of the national teams that will face Mexico in preparation for the tournament.
Who is playing Mexico before the World Cup?
The Mexican Football Federation announced today four new opponents for its traditional MexTour in the United States, in addition to Guatemala already scheduled for next Wednesday, April 27. Those teams are:
- Nigeria, May 28 (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)
- Uruguay, June 2 (State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona)
- Ecuador, June 5 (Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois)
- Paraguay, August 31 (Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia)
No excuses, Incondicionales! Here are all the details for our upcoming #MEXTOUR matches! ⌚Make sure you add them to your calendars! #SomosLocales | #FMFporNuestroFútbol pic.twitter.com/qoygEVGDcV
— Mexican National Team (@miseleccionmxEN) April 12, 2022
The first game will be against Nigeria at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on May 28. Technically, the game is not during the FIFA international break – May 30 to June 14 –, but by that time a lot of the European leagues would be over. For that reason, it is not clear if El Tri will go to the game with all its stars or with a Liga MX-based squad.
Next on the calendar is Uruguay. El Tri will face La Celeste on June 2 at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game is inside the FIFA window, and you can expect a team that includes the "European" players. Uruguay is also a team qualified for Qatar and can give some good pointers for the World Cup game against Argentina in Group C.
"It is important to play against a South American powerhouse. Uruguay won its last five games in qualifiers," said Mexico's coach Gerardo Martino. "It is a strong team, and they have a few similarities with what we could find in Argentina during the World Cup."
A few days after – June 5, at Soldier Field Stadium in Chicago – el Tri will play against Ecuador, another CONMEBOL team in Qatar 2022.
Before June 14, the end of the international break, Mexico could have scheduled a couple more friendlies, but Concacaf is forcing everybody to play in the Nations League, in which Mexico has to play against Suriname (June 11) and Jamaica (June 14).
The fourth and last game of the MexTour will be vs. Paraguay on August 31. That game is definitely not in a FIFA break, and it will feature players from Liga MX.
What about an Asian rival to prepare for the game against Saudi Arabia? Any European opponent to get ready for Poland? There is still a FIFA break in September that needs to be filled.
"There is another FIFA break in September after Paraguay. We are looking for rivals," said Tata Martino, who practically confirmed those games will be played in Europe.