After missing out on playing a Copa America semifinal in Chicago, it appears Mexico will come to the Windy City after all. According to sources, Mexico will play Guatemala in Chicago on October 11th. The FIFA International Calendar window is October 3rd through the 11th and Mexico is taking full advantage with 2 games. El Tri already has a friendly scheduled in Nashville on October 8th against New Zealand. It makes sense for Mexico to play both games in the Midwest. It will cut down on travel time and still fill the coffers for FMF and SUM. Which leads us to the decision on which stadium to use. Chicago has Soldier Field (61k capacity) and Toyota Park (21k capacity) as available venues. The only reason I see them picking Toyota Park is due to Soldier Field being unavailable due to concerns with the field surface. It is consistently ranked as one of the worst in the NFL and having an international soccer game midweek might not be ideal for its main tenant, the Chicago Bears. As with all things associated with Mexico’s friendlies in the US, I think money wins out and they play there.
As we mentioned before, this October was an awkward time for Mexico (and other CONCACAF nations) to find quality opponents for their last friendlies before the Hex in November. New Zealand are ranked 93rd by FIFA with Guatemala not much better at 90th. Guatemala was already reported to be their other October opponent but the location was not known. These 2 friendlies will occur during a FIFA window so expect JCO to bring his full squad.
Molero game or just bad timing? What do you think?