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U.S. has to change opponent in soccer

Brazil to replace Mexico after a Sept. 9 exhibition in Mexico City falls through because of a dispute between Mexican TV networks.

August 14, 2007|Jaime Cárdenas | Times Staff Writer

The United States soccer team will play South American champion Brazil in an exhibition Sept. 9 in Chicago, replacing a game scheduled against Mexico that was called off because of a television broadcast dispute.

This will be the first game between Brazil and the U.S. since 2003, when the Brazilians won, 2-1, in overtime in a CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal in Miami.

"It is a very exciting opportunity for our players to get to play perhaps the most storied team in the world," U.S. Coach Bob Bradley said.

The U.S. is 1-11 against the Brazilians, winning in 1998 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Americans had been scheduled to play the Mexico national team at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City on Sept. 9 in a rematch of the Gold Cup final.

The U.S.-Mexico game was canceled because of a dispute involving Spanish-language TV rivals Univision and Telemundo.

Univision was chosen by the two soccer federations to televise the game in the U.S., according to Jim Morehouse, director of communications for the U.S. Soccer Federation.

However, the Mexican national soccer team has a contract with Telemundo to televise its games to the U.S.

The Mexican soccer federation was hoping that Telemundo and Univision would agree to a deal similar to that between TV Azteca and Televisa in Mexico, where both networks televise the national team's games.

"But the [U.S. soccer] federation couldn't arrange it," said Juan Jose Kochen, director of communication for the Mex- ican Soccer Federation, so the U.S.-Mexico game was canceled.

Brazil already was scheduled to be in the U.S. for a game against Mexico on Sept. 12 in Foxborough, Mass.

Mexico also plays Colombia on Aug. 22 in Commerce City, Colo., and China on Oct. 17 at the Coliseum.

Mexico hopes to announce a replacement team today for the Sept. 9 game in Mexico City, Kochen said.

The U.S. beat Mexico, 2-0, in a friendly in Arizona in February, and 2-1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in June.

Since 2000, the United States is 8-0-1 against Mexico in the U.S., but 0-22-1 all-time in Mexico.

The Mexico City game was being billed by the Mexican media as a chance for revenge.

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Times wire services contributed to this report.

jaime.cardenas@latimes.com

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