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Mexico announce two friendlies against Argentina’s U-23 team

Mexico’s U-23 team will play on October 12th and October 15th against Argentina in Ciudad Juarez and Pachuca, respectively.

Lima 2019 Pan Am Games - Day 6 Photo by Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images

Mexico have announced they will be playing two friendlies on October against Argentina’s U-23 team, both of which will be held in Mexico. On October 12th Mexico will play their first friendly against Argentina in the Estadio Olimpico Benito Juarez in Ciudad Juarez. Then on October 15th, Mexico will be facing Argentina again in the Estadio Hidalgo in Pachuca. The friendlies now throw into disarray what most people thought the plans were for Mexico and the CONCACAF Nations League. While most thought the squad named for the Trinidad and Tobago friendly was going to play in the Nations League, this announcement now means that they will probably be used for the two matches as the team prepares itself for the Concacaf Olympic tournament in March.

Mexico and Argentina played each other in the 2019 Pan American games where Mexico defeated Argentina by a score of 2-1. However, at the end it was Argentina who won the gold medal, while Mexico had to settle for bronze after losing to Honduras on penalty kicks in the Semifinal round. Argentina also used a mostly U-20 squad, unlike Mexico. Both Argentina and Mexico are preparing themselves for the Olympic qualifiers to be held early next year in their respective confederations, so these games are a great tune up.

The interesting thing here is that most of the U-22 squad was called up for the friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in preparation for the Nations League. The announcement of these friendlies throws a wrench to those plans, as now Mexico will probably be playing these games with that squad and it’s not known if the Nations League team will be mostly Liga MX players or maybe even this squad (which would mean that the Argentina friendlies would then be a waste if it’s not the U-22 squad who will play them).

Lost in this shuffle is the good idea the federation is doing by bringing U-23 friendlies to the Mexican cities who haven’t seen the National Team play in their stadium. Argentina is a solid squad that should be a good test, and also adds the “revenge” factor of them beating Mexico soundly in their last senior friendly. Regardless, if they play Nations League or the friendlies, it seems the U-23 is getting good preparation for the very important Olympic qualifiers to be played in Guadalajara next year.