U.S., Mexico to play friendly April 2
Klinsmann: The first game against Ghana is the final
CHICAGO -- The U.S. soccer team will host Mexico in an exhibition game April 2 at Glendale, Ariz., as both nations prepare for the World Cup.
The game, announced Thursday, is not on a FIFA fixture date. That means Europe-based players are not likely to be available for the match.
"We are going to be watching our players very carefully before making final decisions on the roster for the World Cup, so this will be a great benchmark to see where they are at and how they compete against our biggest rivals," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a news release.
He added: "Games against Mexico are always special for the players and for the fans. We expect that it will be an amazing atmosphere in Phoenix with supporters for both teams, and it's great to have an opportunity to play before the start of the World Cup. You couldn't ask for a better experience to help with our preparations."
Preparing for their seventh straight World Cup appearance, the Americans opened their 2014 schedule with a 2-0 win over South Korea on Feb. 1. The U.S. is planning home exhibition games for May 27, June 1 and June 7 before leaving for the tournament in Brazil.
At the World Cup, the U.S. has first-round games against Ghana on June 16, Portugal six days later and Germany on June 26. Mexico opens against Cameroon, before playing Brazil and Croatia.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.