Mexico’s national soccer team will play at Levi’s Stadium on July 2 as part of the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
El Tri will face Qatar in the second game of a group stage doubleheader, the only two games the stadium will host during the biennial tournament.
The Group B game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff and will be preceded by a 4 p.m. Group A game between Jamaica and a small Caribbean nation that advances to the tournament through play-in matches.
It will be Mexico’s sixth appearance at the stadium since its opening in 2014. El Tri suffered an embarrassing 7-0 loss to Chile in the quarterfinals of Copa América Centenario in 2016, a match marred by homophobic chants and trash thrown on the field. Mexico has also played four friendly matches at the stadium, most recently a 2022 World Cup tuneup against Colombia, a 3-2 loss. Overall, El Tri has a record of two wins, one draw and two losses at the stadium.
Bringing Mexico to Levi’s Stadium will certainly be a boon for attendance; of the five games that El Tri have previously played at the stadium, four have drawn over 67,000 fans. The lone exception was a 2019 friendly against Paraguay that drew 50,317.
Mexico’s games bring passionate crowds and enormous economic benefits, but security concerns have plagued some Mexican soccer games in the Bay Area and around the United States. When popular club team Cruz Azul visited PayPal Park in 2021, fights broke out around the stadium and a shooting occurred outside. Steps have also been taken in recent years to end the homophobic “puto” chant that has long echoed around stadiums at Mexican games; Mexico was forced to play a World Cup qualifier at an empty stadium in 2021 as punishment for the chant, and U.S. Soccer has unveiled a plan to stop the match if the chants occur during Wednesday’s USA-Mexico game in Arizona.
Qatar, currently ranked 61st in the world by FIFA, will be by far the easiest opponent Mexico has faced at the stadium. The small Persian Gulf nation was also invited to the 2021 Gold Cup to round out the field at an even 16 teams.
Jamaica has an 0-2 record at Levi’s Stadium, losing 3-0 to Uruguay in a dead rubber at Copa América Centenario and falling 2-1 to the United States in the 2017 Gold Cup Final. The “Reggae Boyz” will face one of Curaçao, French Guiana, Saint Kitts and Nevis or Sint Maarten. Of those four teams, Curaçao is by far the highest ranked, at 88th. French Guiana and Sint Maarten are not FIFA members.
The United States isn’t scheduled to appear at Levi’s Stadium during the tournament. The Yanks are in Group A with Jamaica, Nicaragua and the Caribbean team to be determined. USA’s group matches will be played in Chicago, St. Louis and Charlotte.
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