USA soccer to play Mexico at Reliant Stadium

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Texans president Jamey Rootes announces that USA soccer will take on Mexico in an international friendly on Feb. 6.

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announced today that the men's national soccer teams from the United States and Mexico will square off in an international friendly match at Reliant Stadium on Wednesday, February 6.

The match will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and Univision at 8 p.m. CST, and fans will be able to follow the match online via the MatchTracker on ussoccer.com.

This will be the second meeting between the United States and Mexico in Houston. The teams played to a scoreless draw on May 8, 2003 in front of a sellout crowd of 69,582. At the time, it was the largest crowd ever to attend a soccer match in the state of Texas. Overall, the four largest soccer crowds in Texas history have all come at Reliant Stadium, including three in the past 15 months (see chart below).

"We are very excited to be able to bring a major international match like the United States and Mexico back to Houston," said Jamey Rootes, president of Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. "This is a great opportunity for soccer fans in Houston to see two of the best teams in the world play in one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport."

Many observers view the 2003 event at Reliant Stadium as a key catalyst in bringing Major League Soccer's Houston Dynamo to the city.

"I have said from the very beginning that both the 2003 event and this one will demonstrate how soccer is Houston and Houston is soccer," said city councilman Adrian Garcia. "And so to me, I think it just gives all the soccer fans in town and sports fans a reason to come together and attend a Super Bowl environment event of what this exhibition game will be."

Tickets for the match go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, November 20 at 10 a.m. CST through ussoccer.com, by phone at 713-629-3700, at all Houston area Ticketmaster ticket centers (including Fiesta stores, Macy's, Wherehouse Music, FYE, and select HEB stores), and at the Reliant Stadium south ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Mexico leads the all-time series with the United States 29-14-10, but the U.S. is 9-0-1 in its last 10 matches against Mexico on American soil, including a 2-1 victory in the Gold Cup final match on June 24, 2007 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

"Mexico is always a challenging opponent, and we all know this is a game that motivates everyone involved," said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. "The first half of 2008 is very important to our team as we prepare for the beginning of World Cup qualifying in June, and the match against Mexico will be an important part of that process. The atmosphere at Reliant Stadium in 2003 was tremendous, and we look forward to another enthusiastic crowd in Houston in February."

The USA-Mexico match is just the latest in a string of elite level soccer events brought to Houston by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. Other soccer events include the 2005 and 2007 Gold Cup matches, the American tours of Everton FC of the English Premier League and Spain's FC Barcelona, Interliga matches in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and the 2003 and 2005 Copa de Tejas tournament.

LARGEST SOCCER CROWDS IN TEXAS HISTORY

August 9, 2006 FC Barcelona vs. Club América;
LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo
70,550
June 17, 2007 Gold Cup Quarterfinal
México vs. Costa Rica;
Guadeloupe vs. Honduras
70,092
May 8, 2003 United States vs. México 69,582
June 13, 2007 Gold Cup First Round
Cuba vs. Honduras;
México vs. Panamá
68,417

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