New competition for USMNT: Stars and Stripes to face Mexico in inaugural Continental Clasico

Pulisic USMNT Mexico 2021Getty
  • USMNT to host Mexico in April
  • New series called Continental Clasico
  • U.S. has upperhand in recent matches

WHAT HAPPENED? The two CONCACAF rivals will collide on April 19 at State Farm Stadium, pitting the USMNT against its eternal rivals El Tri. It'll be the first match in the newly-created Continental Clasico series, a new annual event that will see the U.S. host an opponent from North, Central or South America.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The USMNT has had the upper hand in the rivalry in recent years, having topped Mexico in both the Nations League and Gold Cup finals in 2021. In the World Cup qualifying Octagonal later that year, the U.S. defeated Mexico again, marking the first time the USMNT picked up three wins over El Tri in a calendar year. The most recent meeting between the two was a 0-0 draw in March 2022 at the Azteca.

WHAT WAS SAID: U.S. Soccer vice president of partnership marketing Kelly Higgins said: “The opportunity to build a platform that brings a world-class opponent to the United States each year will be another key step toward making soccer the preeminent sport in our country, and kicking off the event with one of the biggest rivalries in international soccer will no doubt present a unique opportunity for us to engage avid, casual, and multicultural soccer fans alike.”

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Christian Pulisic USMNT 2022Getty ImagesHirving Lozano Mexico 2022Getty Images

WHAT NEXT? Both sides will play in the Nations League this month before turning their focus towards one another. The U.S. will visit Grenada before hosting El Salvador in Orlando, while Mexico will visit Suriname before hosting Jamaica.