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U.S. and Mexico looking to play Holland and Spain

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The United States and Mexico, each one victory shy of clinching a berth in soccer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa, are in the process of lining up matches against two teams that already have qualified.

Although U.S. Soccer has not announced or confirmed it, Coach Bob Bradley’s team is likely to play a friendly match against the Netherlands in March, most likely March 3 in the Dutch city of Eindhoven. The U.S. has an 0-3 record against the Netherlands. The teams last met in 2004, when the Dutch scored a 1-0 victory in Amsterdam. The current Dutch team, featuring such players as Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt, would be a formidable test for the American team ahead of the June 11-July 11 World Cup.

Mexico, meanwhile, is trying to bring European champion Spain to Mexico City so that it can play a high-prestige friendly against the Spanish as part of Mexico’s bicentennial celebrations next August.

According to the Mexican newspaper Reforma, the game would take place Aug. 11 at Azteca Stadium. Mexico and Spain last played each other in 1981, a 3-1 victory for Spain, in Mexico City.

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Spain, one of the favorites to win the World Cup, has not yet responded to the Mexican invitation.

-- Grahame L. Jones


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