US-Mexico Soccer Game at Sold-Out Rose Bowl Will Have Stepped-Up Security, Officials Promise


Security checks a UCLA fan’s bag prior to a game at the Rose Bowl. (Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)

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David Ma has seen U.S. national soccer teams play in seven stadiums in three countries on two continents.

But he never felt more in danger than on a Saturday night in 2011 at the Rose Bowl, when the U.S. lost to Mexico, 4-2, in front of 93,420 fans.

“Beer and beer bottles were thrown at us,” Ma remembers. “After the match, many fights broke out, with no security or police in sight. Looking back I did feel threatened for wearing red, white and blue. There was violence all around.”

Despite that, Ma will be back in a sold-out Rose Bowl this Saturday night when the U.S. and Mexico meet again in a one-game playoff to determine the region’s representative in the 2017 Confederations Cup, a prestigious warm-up event for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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