Game: México vs. Costa Rica
Date: Saturday, February 20th
Time: 1:55 p.m. Eastern, 12:55 p.m. Central, 10:55 a.m. Pacific, 6:55 p.m. UTC
Venue: Estadio Azteca (Ciudad de México, D.F.)
México will play its first competitive game in eleven months when they host Costa Rica at the historic Estadio Azteca. This will be the first time they’ve played there since 2004 and their first competitive match since March 11, 2020 when they drew Czech Republic 0-0 in the final game of the Cyprus Women’s Cup.
This will be the first time the squad will be led by Mónica Vergara, who was formally announced on January 19 of this year. Vergara has called in a good mix of players, from players with over 50 caps to players who would earn their first if they play and from Liga MX Femenil, the NCAA, and European leagues as well. This will send a good message and could be just the thing to start the Vergara era off on the right foot.
Costa Rica hasn’t played since their 1-0 loss to Canada in the 2020 Concacaf Olympic Qualifiers on February 7. They have however had multiple camps since then, something México has not.
Most of Costa Rica’s players are domestic, with the exceptions being Shirley Cruz (OL Reign) and Raquel Rodríguez (Portland Thorns) playing in the NWSL and four players based in Europe: Noelia Bermúdez and Stephannie Blanco at Deportivo La Coruña in Spain, Melissa Herrera with Stade Reims in France, and Priscila Chinchilla at Glasgow City FC in Scotland.
This should be a game where México fans get a chance to see how Vergara will utilize the talent she has brought in and how it stacks up against a team that isn’t too dissimilar from itself. Costa Rica’s 1-0 loss to Canada in the Olympic Qualifiers came just three days after Mexico lost to the same Canadian team 2-0.