Angel City to host game with Mexico women's national team on Sept. 5

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Angel City FC goal keeper Didi Haracic (13) gives a thumbs up to a teammate during the second half of an NWSL soccer match against the NJ/NY Gotham FC in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Angel City FC goalkeeper Didi Haracic, giving a thumbs-up to a teammate, will face the Mexico women's national team on Sept. 5 in an exhibition game at Banc of California Stadium. (Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

Angel City FC, Southern California’s first-year NWSL club, will play host to Mexico’s national women’s team in an exhibition Sept. 5 at Banc of California Stadium in the first game of what both sides are calling a multiyear cross-border partnership. A formal announcement is expected Monday morning.

Yon De Luisa, president of the Mexican soccer federation, has been pushing for years to have the women’s national team to play regularly in the U.S., as the men’s team has for decades. The September game is the realization of that and is being organized by Soccer United Marketing, a New York-based company that signed a six-year deal in May with the Mexican federation to represent both its men’s and women’s teams in the U.S.

“This is part of the women’s expansion program where we want to go further from our border,” De Luisa said. “That’s why we have been planning with SUM. The following years will be really important for our women’s national team in terms of matches and great matches in the U.S.

“No doubt this is something that will grow in the future.”

SUM has staged 100 games for Mexico’s men’s team in the U.S. over the last 20 years, annual tours that account for more than a third of the federation’s annual budget.

The September exhibition, dubbed the Copa Angelina, is believed to be the first scheduled match before fans between a U.S. women’s pro club and a national team. For Angel City it will be the second exhibition of the year against a Mexican team following an Aug. 10 match with Liga MX club Tigres Femenil.

“We are excited to partner with the FMF and SUM to host this first-of-its-kind annual event featuring a national team and a professional team bringing together our communities, cultures, cities, and countries,” Angel City President Julie Uhrman said in a statement. “We look forward to growing Copa Angelina year-after-year and set an example of what is possible when two organizations come together celebrating our commonalities and differences as we bring our communities together to enjoy the beautiful game."

The Labor Day game, which kicks off at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on the Univision family of networks, will be preceded by a fan festival that will include live musical performances. Details of the festivities will be shared soon.

Tickets will be available to the general public at www.AngelCity.com and on Ticketmaster beginning July 12.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.