The green, red and white flags of Mexico will be flying and the horns blaring at Chase Field tonight as one of the Valley’s most popular teams makes another appearance on American soil.
The Mexican national soccer team will take on Ecuador in an exhibition, a “friendly” in soccer parlance, at 8 p.m. in the Arizona Diamondbacks home.
Both teams are in the middle of the qualifying stages for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but take a break for the match, which is Mexico’s fifth and final appearance in the United States this year. The Mexicans have split their first four meetings, in four different cities.
Mexico won’t have its first-string squad on the field tonight, but that won’t stop the transplanted fans from blaring their horns during the two-hour match. It might also be the last time they see Sven-Goran Eriksson as coach. The Mexican soccer federation has said that it will evaluate the job of the coach after the Nov. 19 World Cup qualifying match at Honduras.
The Mexicans need a draw in that game to advance to the final round of qualifying from the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF) region for the 2010 finals.
Ecuador is halfway through the South American region qualifying round and is in sixth place among the 10 competing, sitting one point out of advancing to a playoff for a World Cup spot.
The two nations last met on July 1, 2007, at the Copa America in Venezuela with the Mexicans winning 2-0. Earlier that year, Mexico defeated Ecuador 4-2 at Oakland, Calif.
Mexico has defeated China and Peru in its exhibitions in the United States this year, while losing to Argentina and Chile.
Fans wearing the colors of either Mexico or Ecuador will get $10 off a $30 ticket to the game. The box office will open at 9 a.m. today for the game. Tickets are also being sold by Ticketmaster, (480) 784-4444 or Ticketmaster.com.