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Football: USA to host Mexico in World Cup warm-up

The United States will host Mexico on April 2 in a friendly football match that will serve both teams as preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

CHICAGO: The United States will host Mexico on April 2 in a friendly football match that will serve both teams as preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

The match in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, continues a long rivalry between the North American rivals and will be the host nation's last friendly before their World Cup training camp opens.

"We are going to be watching our players very carefully before making final decisions on the roster for the World Cup, so this will be a great benchmark to see where they are at and how they compete against our biggest rivals," US coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

"Games against Mexico are always special for the players and for the fans. We expect that it will be an amazing atmosphere in Phoenix with supporters for both teams, and it's great to have an opportunity to play before the start of the World Cup. You couldn't ask for a better experience to help with our preparations."

The teams will be meeting for the first time since the United States beat Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, Ohio, in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier to punch their ticket to the finals in Brazil.

In the last friendly between the two, the United States beat Mexico 1-0 at Azteca Stadium on August 15, 2012 for America's first victory over Mexico on their home soil.

The United States, who will face Portugal, Ghana and Germany in Group G in Brazil, continue their preparations with a friendly against Ukraine in Kharkiv on March 5.

Mexico, who had to win a playoff against New Zealand to secure their World Cup berth, are drawn in Group A with hosts Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon.

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