Rarely do you learn much from International friendlies. Managers can turn out the same tired clichés about blooding new players or team bonding exercises but generally they are strictly a money making exercise.
Take England for example, Fabio Capello has already decided on his World Cup first team and it is unlikely that any new players are going to force their way into the squad.
However, it seems that any free International date will be filled with a meaningless friendly against some team. The reason; the Football Association (FA) still have to pay off the huge Wembley debt.As a result England’s calendar will be full before leaving for South Africa.
Although the Mexican Football Association may not have to service the same amount of debt for the Azteca Stadium it’s clear they have noticed the opportunity to earn as well.
Two weeks ago Mexico beat Bolivia 5-0 in what seemed to be a complete miss-match closely followed a 2-0 triumph against footballing giants New Zealand a week later. This week Mexico shall take on North Korea on Wednesday night, the last match in a Clash of the Titans series.
Strangely though, all these “home” friendlies will not be in Mexico nor the Azteca but in the USA and the high capacity Gridiron stadiums more accustomed to beer swilling, American Football fans.
So why have Mexican Football Association (FEMEXFUT) opted to change home and country?
Well the Mexican population in these parts of the United States is huge and rarely will they get the opportunity to “el tri” live in action. As a result thousands will scramble to see their hero’s in the flesh maybe for the last time before the World Cup.
The friendly against New Zealand attracted a staggering 90,000 in the iconic Rose Bowl Stadium. That’s 90,000 for a friendly, midweek, against New Zealand and in the USA.
Mexican supporters in the USA
If the national team was to play in the Azteca barely quarter of the capacity (null,000) would show up for a mid-week clash against inauspicious opposition however by changing venue and country the Mexican football federation will coin from eager ex-pats and the Dollar to Peso exchange.
But by playing such limited opposition will manager Javier Aguirre learn much about his troops.
I doubt it.
After North Korea the Mexicans will play Iceland and Angola (both in the USA) and then Chile in the Azteca before setting out on a glamour, warm up tour of Europe pre-South Africa.