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Mexico set for non-FIFA date friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in Toluca

17:46 BST 04/09/2019
Tata Martino Mexico Gold Cup 2019
El Tri will take on the Caribbean rivals at Estadio Nemesio Diez as part of preparations for the Concacaf Nations League

Mexico's Concacaf Nations League preparations are coming together.

El Tri will face Trinidad and Tobago in an Oct. 2 friendly match at Toluca's Estadio Nemesio Diez, the FMF announced Wednesday.

The game is part of a doubleheader, with home team Toluca hosting Veracruz in a Copa MX game before the national team contest kicks off at 9:06 p.m.

With the match falling outside the FIFA dates, this game is the latest hint that manager Tata Martino will utilize the Nations League as a sandbox for young players yet to break into the top Mexico team. In August, he convened a mini-camp with players like U-20 World Cup veteran Jose Juan Macias and Veracruz goalkeeper Sebastian Jurado.

The Nations League will be used as qualification for the Gold Cup, but Mexico need only to finish above either group rival to lock up its place in the marquee Concacaf tournament, which it won this summer. El Tri's Nations League campaign kicks off in Bermuda before they return home to take on Panama. In the November window, they do the reverse, visiting Panama before hosting Bermuda.

The winner of the group, in addition to qualifying for the Gold Cup, moves into a four-team tournament set for June to determine the champion of the inaugural Nations League.

Mexico friendly games actually taking place in Mexico are somewhat rare thanks to a partnership with Soccer United Marketing to play a certain number of games in the United States each year. This will be the first friendly to take place in Mexico in 2019, with a pair of games in October 2018 the last time El Tri was in action in its home country.

The last time the national team played in Toluca was an October 13, 2015 friendly match against Panama, days after El Tri topped the U.S. in the Concacaf Cup.

So far this year, Mexico is undefeated, with Martino yet to oversee a loss since taking over the team in January. That record will be on the line in the September window, with a nearly full-strength squad called by Martino to take on the United States on Friday and Argentina on Sept. 10.