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Mar 2, 2004

Mexican National team battles Costa Rica on March 31 at the Home Depot Center during El Tri's U.S. t

NEW YORK (Tuesday, March 2, 2004) The Mexican National Soccer team continues its 2004 U.S. Tour with their second game of the year on American territory against their CONCACAF rival, Costa Rica on Wednesday, March 31 at 8:00 p.m. (PT) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.  Tickets are available beginning today through Ticketmaster and The Home Depot Center box office.

The Mexican side, which kicked off the 2004 \"Coca-Cola presents Real Mexican Soccer\" tour with a 1-1 tie against Chile on a goal by Omar Bravo on February 18 at The Home Depot Center, will play their second friendly of the year on March 10 in Chiapas, Mexico versus Ecuador before returning to Southern California.

The most recent encounter between Mexico and Costa Rica took place in Mexico City last summer as part of the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. On that occasion, Mexico defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in the semifinals, with goals by Rafael Marquez and Jared Borgetti, on their way to winning the regional competition against Brazil. Costa Rica was left to play in the third place game where they lost to the United States 3-2.

Mexico and Costa Rica have met 38 times on the field, with the first meeting resulting in a 2-0 Mexico win on April 2, 1935 during the Central American Games. Nearly twenty years later, the two regional powers would face each other for the first time in a World Cup qualifier. On October 20, 1957, Mexico defeated the Ticos 2-0 in Mexico City, kicking off a regional rivalry for the ages. 

In total, Mexico has won 16 times, with Costa Rica claiming seven victories and 15 ties between the two.  Mexico also holds the all-time edge in goals scored, distancing themselves with 54 goals compared to 30 for Costa Rica. With México currently ranked fifth in the FIFA World Rankings and Costa Rica is listed at eighteenth, this match showcases two of the three CONCACAF teams currently ranked in the top 20 worldwide.

Both countries begin 2004 looking ahead to this summer and World Cup qualifiers.  The first leg of qualifying is slotted for away games on the 12th or 13th of June, with the return leg on the 19th or 20th of the month.  México, coached by Ricardo Lavolpe, will go up against the winner of the series between the Bahamas and Dominica (to be played on March 26 and 28th).  Costa Rica, directed by former U.S. Men's National Team head coach Steve Sampson, awaits the winner of the Caiman Islands and Cuba.   Cuba won the away game 2-1 and will look to advance on the return leg on March 27.   Sampson, who coached the U.S. from 1995 to 1998, became the first American-born coach to lead the U.S. to a World Cup (France, 1998), compiling a 26-22-14 record.

Tickets for the match between Mexico and Costa Rica go on sale on Tuesday, March 2 through all Ticketmaster outlets and the box office at The Home Depot Center.  Prices are $25 (behind the goals), $30 (corners), $35 (sides and upper tier), and $45 (Club Level).  All group tickets (20 or more) will be sold with a $2 discount by calling 1-888-GALAXY.



About Soccer United Marketing
Founded in 2002, Soccer United Marketing is the preeminent soccer marketing company in the United States.  Headquartered in New York City, SUM represents all commercial rights for MLS as well as the English-language broadcast rights for the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cup and the English-language broadcast, local sponsorship, and host broadcaster rights for the 2003 Women's World Cup.  Additionally, SUM is the largest promoter of international soccer matches in the United States including the exclusive U.S. promoter and marketing representative for the Mexican National Team and the organizer of the InterLiga tournament, which determines the Mexican club representatives in the prestigious Copa Libertadores.