Mexico ready for Uzbekistan at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Mexico manager Jaime Lozano said he is using Tuesday’s friendly against Uzbekistan at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to try to help prepare his team for the 2026 World Cup.

Because they are the host nations, the U.S., Mexico and Canada won’t have to qualify for the tournament. The stakes and pressure playing qualifiers help teams become ready when stakes are the most important. While teams in South America are already competing in World Cup qualifying matches, those in Europe are competing to qualify for the European championship, and those in Africa are competing to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, North America’s big three are left to develop their own motivators.

“The competition is very important to see who is best-fitted for the national team,” Lozano said on Monday.

Mexico tied Australia 2-2 in a friendly on Saturday in Dallas. Mexico dominated the match with 71 percent possession and twice as many shots and shots on goals. Raul Jimenez and Cesar Huerta scored for Mexico. Lozano used 17 players. He said he hopes to use those on Tuesday who didn’t play against Australia.

“As always, I can’t promise that everybody will play but that’s my intention,” he said. “I want everybody to play so we can see how they’re doing.”

Uzbekistan was beaten by the U.S. 3-0 on Saturday in St. Louis. The score flattered the U.S., which put in two goals late in the match.

Lozano said that his staff has analyzed Uzbekistan’s past three matches.

“They’re a very good team that competes with other national teams,” Lozano said. “Obviously not at the same level but and you’ll see it again tomorrow. They’re a good team.”

Tickets. Because of a glut of games this summer that included the Leagues Cup, which featured every club team from MLS and LIGA MX, ticket sales for Tuesday’s match won’t come close to matching past results for Mexico when it played in Atlanta.

There were 20,000 tickets sold and distributed as of Monday. “El Tri’s” involvement has typically resulted in at least 50,000 tickets sold in its previous nine matches in the city. The team is 6-1-2 in Atlanta, dating to 2009 when it defeated Venezuela at the Georgia Dome.

Mexico’s history playing games in Atlanta:

  • It defeated Venezuela 4-0, with more than 51,000 tickets sold or distributed, in 2009.
  • It defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0, with more than 50,000 tickets sold or distributed, in 2011.
  • It defeated Trinidad and Tobago 1-0, with more than 54,000 tickets sold or distributed, in the 2013 Gold Cup.
  • It tied Nigeria 0-0, with an Atlanta record of 68,212 tickets sold or distributed, in 2014.
  • Mexico broke that record in 2015 with 70,511 tickets sold or distributed for a 2-1 win over Panama in the semifinals of the Gold Cup. That game was a doubleheader, with the Americans losing to Jamaica 2-1 in the other semifinal.
  • In 2016, it defeated Paraguay 2-0 in a friendly, with 63,049 tickets sold and distributed.
  • In 2019, it defeated Venezuela 3-1 in a friendly, with 51,834 tickets sold and distributed.
  • In 2021, it defeated Honduras in a friendly, with an announced attendance of 70,072.
  • In 2022, it was beaten by Paraguay 1-0 in a friendly, with an announced attendance of more than 50,000.