By Ryan Bailey
The Mexican National Team will play Ecuador in Uptown Charlotte on Wednesday October 27, 2021
1. The MexTour is in its 18th edition
The MexTour is the annual tour of the Mexican National Team across the United States. Since 2002, El Tri has staged friendly matches in preparation for competitions such as the World Cup and the Gold Cup. The games also serve as an important connection with El Tri’s fervent U.S. supporter base.
The match at Bank of America Stadium is the fifth stop on the MexTour in 2021, following games at the Los Angeles Coliseum (a 4-0 win over Nigeria in July), Nissan Stadium in Nashville (a 3-0 victory over Panama in July), Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (a draw against Honduras in June) and AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX (a 2-1 win over Iceland in May).
The forthcoming game against Ecuador is currently the only scheduled match for Mexico in the United States, besides the World Cup Qualifier against the United States Men’s National Team in November in Ohio.
2. The Mexican National Team will feel at home in Uptown Charlotte
October’s match will mark El Tri’s fifth visit to Bank of America Stadium.
Over 63,000 fans watched the MexTour game against Iceland in Charlotte in 2010, and the team has played three Gold Cup group games in Uptown—in 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Head Coach Tata Martino was also due to bring his team back to Bank of America Stadium in March 2020. However, the match was canceled due to COVID-19.
Charlotte has proven to be a fortuitous host city for Mexico: the national team is undefeated at Bank of America Stadium and have scored 12 goals in their three most recent visits.
On all three occasions they have played in the Gold Cup in Charlotte, Mexico has proceeded to win the tournament.
“The truth is that we have felt very good with the support of the people [in Charlotte], so it is good to return to a place where we feel comfortable, ” says Coach Martino.
According to the most recent census data, North Carolina’s Latino population increased by 40 per cent between 2010 and 2020. Around 11 per cent of the state’s population is now Latino.
3. Coach Martino promises ‘new faces’ in the team
In a recent press conference, Coach Martino suggested he will use the match as an opportunity to showcase players from Mexico’s domestic league.
“It is likely for the match on October 27 against Ecuador we will see new faces on the roster,” said Martino. “It is a good opportunity to observe the players who have played a good tournament in Liga MX.”
The Ecuador game will also give Martino an opportunity to showcase players from MLS.
“This match will serve as a chance for Martino to take a look at his depth in North America,” says Mexico National Team beat writer Jon Arnold.
“Some MLS-based players who haven’t been with the El Tri setup too often are expected to get opportunities against Ecuador.
“There also should be a base of players already contributing to the Mexico national team, like Chivas’ Alexis Vega and América’s Sebastian Cordova, both of whom were involved in creating or scoring goals for El Tri in the October window of World Cup qualification.”
4. Ecuador will provide strong opposition for El Tri
The Ecuador National Team will be making their debut at Bank of America Stadium, but enjoy strong support across the United States. The team known as La Tri (as opposed to ‘El Tri) played five friendly matches in the U.S. in 2019, most recently against Colombia at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
Ecuador currently sit at 52nd in the FIFA rankings and are, at the time of writing, on pace to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, having defeated the likes of Colombia, Uruguay and Bolivia in CONMEBOL (South American) qualification.
Led by Argentine coach Gustavo Alfaro, Ecuador’s squad for the most recent World Cup Qualifiers includes former West Ham striker Enner Valencia, plus Xavier Arreaga and Jhegson Méndez, of the Seattle Sounders and Orlando City respectively.
To add intrigue to the encounter, several players, including strikers Michael Estrada and Bryan Angulo, play their domestic soccer in Liga MX.
The head-to-head between the teams, however, favors Mexico. El Tri have won three of their last four encounters, although Ecuador were victorious in their most recent competitive match at the 2015 Copa America.
5. Tickets are available now!
MexTour tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster, or in-person at the Bank of America Stadium Ticket Office:
Bank of America Stadium Ticket Office
800 South Mint Street
Charlotte, NC 28202
The ticket office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 5 PM. For private suite rental information, please contact Tickets@CharlotteFootballClub.com.
Charlotte FC Season Ticket Members who purchase MexTour tickets are automatically eligible for exclusive event opportunities.
For MLS fans in the Carolinas, this international match will serve as an ideal taster for soccer at Bank of America Stadium from 2022.
“Mexico always wants its matches to serve a sporting purpose, but also appreciates its fans in the U.S. and the love the national team receives when it plays somewhere like Charlotte, so players will do anything possible to put on a show,” says Arnold.