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International soccer comes to Charlotte

Posted Jan 28, 2010

Mexico
Andrés Guardado and the Mexican national team will be a part of the first men's soccer game between national teams to be held at Bank of America Stadium. (PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS)


CHARLOTTE -- The 2010 World Cup Finals won't begin until June, but soccer fans in the Carolinas can get an early glimpse of one of its participants on March 24 when the Mexican national team faces Iceland at Bank of America Stadium.

Kickoff for the game will be at 8 p.m. EDT. It is one of six stops on the Mexican side's American tour leading up to its trip to South Africa.

A week-long Visa presale begins Jan. 28 for the match. Tickets in the presale are available by clicking here and range from $30-80. The general public sale of seats begins at 10 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 8, with tickets available through TicketMaster, the Bank of America Stadium box office or by phone (1-800-745-3000).

Mexico is ranked 17th in the FIFA world rankings and has qualified for five consecutive World Cup Finals, including this summer's edition. El Tricolores is one of just four national teams to make it to the second round in each of the last four World Cup Finals; Brazil, Germany and Italy are the others.

"We all know that throughout the United States there are many Mexicans. Charlotte is no exception," said Nestor de la Torre, the director of Mexico's national teams. "We think there is a very good facility in Charlotte and will provide a very good atmosphere for our game."

To ensure that all fans have a safe and enjoyable visit to Bank of America Stadium for the match, the following items will not be permitted in the stadium.

While this is the first match between men's national teams to be held at Bank of America Stadium, it is not the first soccer game hosted by the stadium. The U.S. national women's team played friendly matches with Japan and Iceland in 1999 and 2000, respectively. The NCAA Men's College Cup also took place at the stadium in 1999 and 2000, and a friendly match between Atlas and Tecos -- two teams from Mexico's Primera Division -- was contested there in 2005.

The March 24 match is one of three non-Panthers games already scheduled for Bank of America Stadium this year, along with the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Atlantic Coast Conference football championship game. The bowl has been contested annually since 2002; the ACC title game is in its sixth year of existence, but has been held in Florida for its entire history until now.