Mexico have scheduled their first friendly of 2021, announcing they will travel to Europe and face Wales on March 27 in Cardiff Stadium. Mexico will face Wales for the first time since 2018, when they played a 0-0 tie on May 28 when the National Team started their last run of friendlies before the 2018 World Cup. That game was played in Pasadena, California in the Rose Bowl. This will be another game played in Europe mostly caused by the COVID-19 emergency which means they won’t be able to have fans had they played in the United States. Mexico will have another game, but the situation of getting games will be complicated by the fact that UEFA starts their World Cup qualifiers in March. Because Wales is in a five team group, they were able to be free of that date but they will be playing away to Belgium on March 24th and at home against the Czech Republic on May 27th.
Wales have a spot in Mexican football history. In their only World Cup participation in 1958, the Welsh were the team to give Mexico their first ever World Cup points after tying 1-1. Wales would continue on to qualify to the Quarterfinals after beating Hungary in a playoff tiebreaker, their only World Cup win. In the Quarterfinal Round they would lose out to eventual champions Brazil. While Wales haven’t gone to the World Cup since, they have qualified to their second consecutive EURO Cup and have gotten a good run of results after getting to the semifinals in the 2016 edition. Yet Mexico will probably be favored even when it’s away, mostly because of the fact that the friendly will fall in the middle of World Cup qualifiers. This means it will be far from a high priority for the Welsh, although they will probably use the friendly to prepare for the postponed UEFA tournament as the congested calendar means they will not have many international games to prepare themselves. Mexico meanwhile seems to be helped in getting this kind of game as the March UEFA World Cup qualifiers will be a severe complication to get rivals for the March window. Mexico will continue to play in Europe up until it’s deemed safe to play friendlies in the US with large crowds, something that will in all likelihood not be allowed by March. Yet because of the eventual World Cup qualification starting in Concacaf and because Mexico will also have the Concacaf Nations league and the 2021 Gold Cup, there will probably not be enough dates to get the normal five friendly dates contracted with SUM to be played in the United States every year. Mexico will be trying for another friendly on March 27th, probably against another UEFA team in a five team group.