Ireland to play Mexico in New Jersey friendly
The Republic of Ireland will play Mexico in an international friendly at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Thursday, 1st June.
Martin O’Neill’s side will travel Stateside for the clash and return to Dublin four days later to face Uruguay on 4th June at the Aviva Stadium.
Ireland manager Martin O’Neill will use the two games to prepare his side for the vital FIFA World Cup qualifier against Austria on 11th June, which takes place three weeks after the end of the domestic calendar in England.
“This is a brilliant match for us in our preparation for our World Cup qualifier against Austria,” said O’Neill.
“Mexico in the United States couldn’t be much tougher but it’s exactly what we want. We have another game against Uruguay a few days later at the Aviva Stadium before the Austria game the following week.
“The players who may not have played for a while after their club season has ended will, I’m sure, relish the opportunity to play against such quality opposition.”
Ireland have played against Mexico four times – drawing three and losing once – and two of those have been on US soil, including the 1994 FIFA World Cup Group E game in Orlando. Their most recent clash took place in the US Nike Cup back in 2000 when the sides drew 2-2.
Currently placed 17th in the FIFA World Rankings, Mexico are managed by Juan Carlos Osorio and are preparing for their own World Cup qualifiers, as well as the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which kicks off on 17th June in Russia and they are in Group A alongside the hosts, Portugal and New Zealand.
Ireland last played in MetLife Stadium in June 2014 when they took on Portugal and lost 5-1, but the team has terrific history in New Jersey. Ray Houghton’s famous goal against Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup was scored at Giants Stadium in the Garden State.