Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN), an award-winning multicultural event marketing and entertainment company, announced that two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Argentina will take on the U.S. Men's National Team on Saturday, Mar. 26 at the New Meadowlands Stadium at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and can also be followed via ussoccer.com's MatchTracker and on Twitter @ussoccer.
Tickets to the premiere soccer event start at $38 and go on sale Friday, Jan. 21 at 11:00 a.m. ET. Fans can purchase tickets via Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the IZOD Center/Meadowlands Stadium ticket office (open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Groups of 30 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.
Last year CMN and the Asociacion del Futbol Argentino (Argentine Football Association, AFA) announced a multi-year partnership, granting the agency the exclusive commercial rights -- including broadcast, marketing and sponsorship rights -- of the Argentinean National Team in the U.S.
"We're delighted to return to a city with such rich soccer history to face the U.S. National Team," said Guillermo Tofoni, Argentina's licensed FIFA agent. "The U.S. is one of the strongest teams in the Americas with a wonderful mix of smart, fast players led by Landon Donovan. Argentina, under a new head coach and with Lionel Messi taking on more responsibilities with the team, has seen very positive results lately. It will be an ideal encounter as both teams prepare for Copa America.
"This is also a great start to our partnership with CMN. We're looking forward to playing in the New York area before the many Argentina fans who reside there."
Argentina, ranked No. 5 in the world, has a 3-1 post-World Cup record under Sergio Batista, who replaced Diego Maradona as Argentina's new Head Coach in November 2010. After being eliminated in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup, a reinvigorated Albiceleste shut out Ireland 1-0 on in Dublin Aug. 11, crushed new World Cup Champion Spain 4-1 in Buenos Aires on Sept. 7, and downed five-time World Cup Champion Brazil 1-0 in Qatar on Nov. 17. The team suffered a 1-0 loss to Japan on Oct. 8 in Saitama.
The South Americans last met the U.S. on June 8, 2008 in a 0-0 draw before a sold-out crowd of 78,682 fans at Giants Stadium.
Argentina's roster of international players includes FC Barcelona star and two-time FIFA Player of the Year (2009, 2010) Lionel Messi. The 23-year-old recently took home the first FIFA Ballon d'Or, which merges France Football Magazine's "European Player of the Year" and FIFA's World Player of the Year award. "La Pulga" ("The Flea"), who also won the Ballon d'Or last season, was La Liga's top scorer in 2009-10 with 34 goals, helping Barcelona to its second straight title. The Rosario native netted a total of 60 goals for both club and country.
The team also boasts Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez, defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), and forwards Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) and Javier Pastore (Palermo). Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain recently underwent successful surgery to repair a herniated disc and is expected to be out of action for several weeks.
Argentina will keep a busy agenda over the next few weeks with international exhibitions scheduled against Portugal on Feb. 9 in Geneva, Switzerland and Costa Rica on Mar. 29, following the U.S. friendly. Argentina is set to host this year's Copa America - South America's main international tournament - from July 1-24.