United States to play Mexico in World Cup warm-up match

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[February 14, 2014]  (Reuters)  The United States will play arch-rivals Mexico in a World Cup warm-up match at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on April 2, US Soccer announced on Thursday.

"We are going to be watching our players very carefully before making final decisions on the roster for the World Cup, so this will be a great benchmark to see where they are at and how they compete against our biggest rivals," said U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann.

The U.S. are in a tough Group G with former world champions Germany, who Klinsmann has both played for and managed, Portugal and Ghana, while Mexico face World Cup hosts and five-times winners Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon in Group A.

European-based players are not expected to play in the U.S.-Mexico friendly international due to their club commitments, which means Mexican fans are unlikely to see their leading striker Javier Hernandez of Manchester United in action.

The U.S. and Mexico qualified for this year's World Cup in contrasting fashion. The U.S. won the CONCACAF group, while Mexico finished fourth and had to win a two-legged playoff against Oceania winners New Zealand to secure a place.

The World Cup finals kick off on June 12.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Ken Ferris)

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