Mexico, Ecuador soccer teams face off in Arlington

Posted Friday, May. 30, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
More information

Mexico vs. Ecuador

2 p.m. Saturday,

AT&T Stadium, Arlington

TV: ESPNews and Univision

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

For Mexico’s national soccer team, AT&T Stadium is becoming a home away from home.

The team travels to the home of the Dallas Cowboys about as often as the New York Giants.

El Tri, as Mexico’s beloved (and sometimes bemoaned) team is known for its display of the country’s tricolor flag, will make its fifth appearance in Arlington on Saturday since AT&T Stadium opened in 2009. The team will play Ecuador in a World Cup warm-up match.

More than 80,000 fans are expected to attend the international friendly. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNews and Univision.

The 5-year-old stadium was built for the National Football League, but because of its location and fan comforts it has quickly become a favorite place for summertime futbol as well.

Fewer than 100 scattered single seats are still available at the box office, and standing-room-only Party Passes are being sold, one official said.

“We don't like to predict attendance numbers, but we expect a very large crowd to rival some of the top crowds the stadium has ever seen for soccer,” said Gabriel Gabor, spokesman for Major League Soccer and Soccer United Marketing.

Tickets also are available on the secondary market. As of Tuesday, about 4,000 tickets were available on StubHub, with standing-room-only going for $44 each, and prime midfield seats going for about $455.

Both countries bring a generous supply of storylines to the game:

Doing without

After barely qualifying for the World Cup and changing coaches four times in a little more than a month late last year, Mexico’s national team seems to finally be stable. Under manager Miguel Herrera, the Club America boss who took over in October, Mexico has regained its ability to score. On the field that is. Herrera has reportedly forbidden his players from eating red meat or having sexual relations until after the World Cup run. No word on whether the players will be allowed to indulge in a steak, or anything else, while in Arlington.

Tale of the tape

Mexico and Ecuador have played each other 18 times — and Mexico has the edge with 12 wins. They last met in May 2011, playing to to a 1-1 draw in Seattle. On paper at least, Ecuador has an easier path to the second round of World Cup play, with Group E matches against Switzerland, France and Honduras. Mexico’s path is considered tougher in Group A withhost Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon

Return to world class

Ecuador is making its return to World Cup competition after failing to qualify in 2010. The country’s best finish was a trip to the round of 16 in 2006. The captain is Antonio Valencia, a respected midfielder who had a rough season with his English club Manchester United and should be hungry for success.

Vela drama

The absence of Carlos Vela, a forward for Spanish club Real Sociedad and among the best Mexican international players, is an ongoing drama. Vela and a teammate were suspended in 2010 for their roles in a party in Colombia, and after his brief return to the team led to lots of negative media coverage and bad feelings, Vela has refused to play for his country — and he won’t be there this year. But Mexico is loaded with talent, including midfielder Giovani dos Santos, who plays for Villareal in Spain, and striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Manchester United). Two California-born players also are on the Mexico team: defender Miguel Ponce and midfielder Isaac Brizuela.

Gordon Dickson, 817-390-7796 Twitter: @gdickson

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Kansas City «3Final | Box
San Francisco2Ballpark Replay
110th World Series, Game Three. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «117Final | Box
New York80Final | Box
Toronto «83
Minnesota «113Final | Box
San Antonio87Final | Box
Houston «96
Miami «104Final | Box
Phoenix «105Final | Box
Sacramento «93Final | Box
LA Lakers92
Denver112Final | Box
Golden State «119
Portland «99Final | Box
LA Clippers89
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «3Final(SO) | Box
New Jersey2
Tampa Bay «4Final | Box
Vancouver3Final | Box
Colorado «7
Carolina3Final | Box
Edmonton «6
Columbus1Final | Box
Anaheim «4
Full Scoreboard