Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland are reportedly set to take a break from their World Cup qualification campaign this summer with a friendly in the USA.
The Irish Independent are reporting that the FAI are in advanced talks for the exhibition match in New Jersey, which would pit Ireland against Mexico.
The friendly, should it be confirmed, would take place at the Metlife Stadium on the 1st of June, just three days before they take on Uruguay at the Aviva Stadium, and just over a week before the Irish rugby team descend on the same state to face the United States in a test match on June 10th.
Ireland’s record against Mexico is not particularly strong. In the four times the two have squared off, they are yet to enjoy victory – drawing three and losing one of those games. Indeed, in that one defeat came in Orlando in the 1994 World Cup, a 2-1 loss made famous by John Aldridge and Jack Charlton berating match officials over the time it took to allow the striker to enter the field as a substitute.
The last time Ireland played against Mexico (again in the US) was in Soldier Field in Chicago (a ground which, of course, entered the annals of Irish sports history as the site where the All Blacks were felled last year), in the US Nike Cup friendly tournament.
Richard Dunne (Honey Monster in the below video) and a rare strike from Dominic Foley levelled it up for Mick McCarthy’s side, coming from 2-0 down to earn a draw.
Ireland’s last trip to the Metlife Stadium, meanwhile, also ended a defeat – and a chastening one at that. James McClean scored the only goal for O’Neill’s side in a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Portugal.