Venezuela will be Mexico’s opponent for its friendly at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on June 5 in a game of keen interest to soccer followers in Atlanta for a lot of reasons.
First: Mexico is managed by Gerardo Martino, who led Atlanta United to the MLS Cup in December. Venezuela may feature Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez, the reigning league MVP, and fullback Jose Hernandez.
Second: It is a rematch of the first international soccer game played at the Georgia Dome, a game that it can be argued foreshadowed the sport’s success in the city with Atlanta United, which has shattered MLS attendance records in its first two years.
Mexico should feature a strong squad because the game is a warm-up for this summer’s Gold Cup, which will be played June 15-July 7.
This will be Mexico’s third game in the U.S. on its 2019 tour. It will play Chile March 22 in San Diego; Paraguay March 26 in Santa Clara, Calif.; June 5 in Atlanta; and in Arlington, Texas, on June 9.
Mexico has a successful 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 an exhibition with more than 63,049.
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