The U.S. WNT hung four goals on Mexico in a dominant display at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. on Thursday, April 5, 2018. 14,360 fans turned out to cheer on goals by Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd that bookended an Alex Morgan brace before Mexico grabbed a late consolation tally. Look back at all the fun from on and off the field.Read more
Coming off a convincing 4-1 victory against Mexico on April 5 in Jacksonville, Fla., the U.S. Women’s National Team will go for a sweep of the two-game series when it meets Mexico again on April 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston (12:30 CT; FOX). The USA got two goals from Alex Morgan and scores by Mallory Pugh and Carli Lloyd. Both teams are using these matches as preparation for the Concacaf Women’s Women's Championship this coming October. The USA is 4-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico and with a tie against France.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 18/0), 17- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 5/0), 14- Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 4/0), 25-Hailie Mace (UCLA: 0/0), 27-Tegan McGrady (Stanford; 0/0), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 136/0), 16- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 16/0),
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 73/6), 26-Haley Hanson (Houston Dash; 0/0), 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 48/4), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 251/99); 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 36/6), 3- Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 10/0)
FORWARDS (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG; 61/23), 22- Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 2/0), 21- Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 5/0), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 139/83); 11- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 34/10), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 134/35), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 19/4)
Mexico Women's National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash, USA), 12-Cecilia Santiago (Club América)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Kenti Robles (Atlético Madrid, ESP), 3-Bianca Sierra (Thór / KA, ISL), 4-Vanessa Flores (West Virginia, USA), 5-Mónica Flores (Unattached), 13-Annia Mejía (Unattached), 14-Jocelyn Orejel (Colorado, USA), 16-Marcela Valera (Atlas FC), 22-Greta Espinoza (Levante, ESP), 23-Christina Murillo (Chicago Red Stars Reserves, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Karla Nieto (Pachuca), 7-Cristina Ferral (Olympique de Marseille, FRA), 10-Stephany Mayor (Thór / KA, ISL), 11-Mónica Ocampo (Pachuca), 17-María Sánchez (Santa Clara, USA)
FORWARDS (4): 8-Ariana Calderón (Thór / KA, ISL), 9-Anisa Guajardo (Sundsvalls DFF, SWE), 18-Kiana Palacios (Unattached), 21-Renae Cuéllar (Unattached)
Possible Concacaf Preview: With the USA and Mexico both top teams in the Concacaf Confederation, these games could be a preview of what’s to come later in the year at the World Cup qualifying tournament. The Concacaf Women’s Championship will take place from Oct. 4-17 in the United States in venues to be announced soon. The USA, Canada and Mexico have automatic berths into the final eight-team tournament while the other five nations will have to go through pre-qualifying in their respective regions. From the final competition, three teams will qualify directly to France while a fourth will enter a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. As the USA faces Mexico in these two friendly games, all the players and coaches will cast a distant eye on the all-important qualifying tournament about six months from now.
USA vs. Mexico History: Although the USA has faced Mexico 35 times in its history, before Thursday's game, the teams had met just once in the past two and half years, that coming in February of 2016 during Olympic Qualifying in Frisco, Texas, a 1-0 victory on a goal from Carli Lloyd. Just seven of the 23 players on this U.S. roster played against Mexico during that match which saw the game knotted at 0-0 until the 80th minute despite the USA out-shooting Mexico 16-2 for the game. The last friendly between the teams before that took place on May 17, 2015, in a Women's World Cup warm-up match, a 5-1 U.S. victory in Carson, Calif. That game was tied 1-1 at halftime before the USA exploded for four goals in the second half. Across 34 all-time meetings, Mexico has defeated the USA once and drawn once. The win came in the semifinal of Concacaf Qualifying for the 2011 Women's World Cup, a 2-1 victory in Cancun, Mexico. The setback forced the USA to win the tournament's third-place match and then a two-leg playoff with Italy to qualify for the Women's World Cup in Germany.
New Face on the Opposing Bench: This will be the first game against Mexico in almost 20 years in which long-time Mexico head coach Leo Cuellar will not be on the opposing bench. Mexico's new head coach Roberto Medina was a professional player who played with Pachuca, Tecos, Monterrey, Leon, Puebla, Atlante, Irapuato, Veracruz and the Pumas of the National University. He is the former head coach of the Mexico U-20 WNT, which he coached at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, as Mexico advance to the quarterfinal before falling to South Korea.
New Kits: The U.S. WNT will debut its new uniforms in the two-game series vs. Mexico, wearing the light kits for both matches. The MNT debuted the dark kits on March 27 in a 1-0 victory against Paraguay in Cary, N.C. Since 2014, the unifying phrase, "One Nation. One Team." has defined U.S. Soccer. In the 2018 kits, the words are emblazoned on the inner neck of both light and dark shirts. There, the adage forms a distinct starting point for a set of uniforms that will see both teams through initial qualifying stages for their next major international tournaments. READ MORE .
Next Generation: On the USA’s 23-player roster, 13 players were born in 1993 or later, with the average age of the group being 25 years old.
Smells Like Teen Spirit: The USA has had two teenagers in its starting XI in all five of its games played so far in 2018 in 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson. Between them, they have combined for four goals and two assists. Before the first game of 2018 on Jan. 21, the last time two teenagers were in the U.S. WNT starting lineup was June 30, 2001 against Canada in Toronto. Aleisha Cramer (18) and Cat Whitehill (19) both played the entire game. Pugh currently leads the WNT in goal scoring with three so far in 2018.
Closing in on 100: Carli Lloyd is currently sitting at 99 goals and with one more would become the sixth player in WNT history to reach 100 for her country. She has scored 10 goals against Mexico, with her most recent one coming on April 5.
Back at BBVA : The U.S. Women have played four matches at BBVA Compass Stadium since the venue opened in 2012. The first was a 4-0 win vs. China PR in 2012 followed by two games in the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship, a 5-0 win vs. Trinidad & Tobago that qualified the USA for the Rio Olympics and a 2-0 win in the championship game against Canada. U.S. goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who is the starter for the Houston Dash, earned her first senior team cap at BBVA Stadium on April 6, 2017, coming at halftime for Ashlyn Harris in a 5-1 win against Russia.Read more
As the U.S. Women’s National Team renews its long-time series with Mexico – the teams will meet in a friendly match on April 8 in Houston, Texas – here are five things to know about Mexico, an opponent that the USA has more in common with than just a history of matches.
(Video produced before April 5 matchup)
The USA and Mexico have met on 35 occasions, with the most recent on April 5,2018 in Jacksonville, Fla., a 4-1 U.S. win. Before that, the teams had met on February 13, 2016 during the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament – a 1-0 U.S. win – in Frisco, Texas. The U.S. Women lead the all-time series against Mexico with a 33-1-1 record.
Mexico is a common opponent for the U.S. WNT in CONCACAF competition.
Before the 2016 matchup, the teams played in Carson, California, where the USA earned a 5-1 victory on May 17, 2015, with Sydney Leroux scoring in the 28th minute, Mexico equalizing in the 39th and then USA scoring four second half goals between the 46th and 72nd minutes to put the match away. Mexico’s goal in that match was scored by Ariana Calderon and it was the first against the USA since Nov. 5, 2010, when the USA lost 2-1 in Cancun, Mexico, during 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Qualifying. Since then, the USA has won eight straight.
MEXICO AND ITS U.S. TIES
Over the years, Mexico has featured numerous players who have connections to the USA either by having been born and raised in the United States, played college in the USA or played in the NWSL. Current goalkeeper Emily Alvarado plays her college soccer at TCU in Texas. Goalkeeper Bianca Henniger was the USA’s starting ‘keeper in the 2010 U-20 Women’s World Cup before changing associations while midfielder Teresa Noyola was also on that squad before she too was granted a change by FIFA. Henniger also plays for the Houston Dash. Noyola was the 2011 MAC Hermann Trophy winner, awarded to the top collegiate player.
More recently, U.S. WNT defender Sofia Huerta was granted a one-time change in national association on Sept. 14, 2017 from FIFA, making her eligible to represent the United States at the international level. Huerta had previously represented Mexico in official competition at the Under-20 National Team level, playing at the 2012 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Japan, and earned five caps at the senior level, which included one against the U.S. in 2013. After earning her first USA cap against New Zealand on Sept. 15, Huerta became the first player to play for and against the senior U.S. Women’s National Team.
U.S. WNT defender Sofia Huerta earned her frist cap for the USA on Sept. 15, 2017.
LIGA MX FEMENIL
On July 2017, Mexico kicked off the inaugural season of their new women’s professional league, Liga MX Femenil, the highest division of women’s soccer in Mexico. Overseen by the FMF (Federación Mexicana de Fútbol), it is made up by teams from 16 out of the 18 Liga MX teams (only Puebla and Chiapas don’t have a team in the women’s league). The goal behind the creation of the league was to nurture and build on the future of the Mexico women’s soccer and the Mexico Women’s National Team.
The champion of the inaugural season was Guadalajara which defeated Pachuca 3-2 on aggregate in the Apertura 2017 Final in November 2017.The two matches drew record crowds of 28,955 and 32,466 fans, a huge success for the debut season of the league.
NEW HEAD COACH
After coaching Mexico’s U-20 squad to the quarterfinals of the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Robert Medina assumed the role of head coach for the senior side in 2017, bringing a new perspective following the departure of longtime head coach Leonardo Cuellar who stepped down in April 5, 2016, after 18 years of leading the women’s team.
“For me, it’s always a great honor to represent my country,” Medina had said. “It’s a big responsibility and every time we step on the field, we’ll do it in the most dignified manner, worthy to represent these colors.”
Born on April 18, 1968 in Mexico City, Medina began his career as a player in Mexico’s First Division playing for various clubs. He also won the Gold Cup playing for Mexico in 1998.
MEXICO IN 2017
During its 2017 campaign, the Mexico’s Women’s National Team played eight international matches.
In February, La Tricolor traveled to Vancouver to face Canada at BC Place in front of more than 20,000 fans. Nancy Antonio and Kaitlyn Johnson scored for Mexico but it wasn’t enough with Canada coming away with a 3-2 win.
In June, Mexico faced Venezuela in Monterrey and defeated the South American side, 3-0 at Estadio Tecnológico. Charlyn Corral, Kenti Robles and Stephany Mayor scored for Mexico. The following month, Mexico fell to Sweden, 1-0 in Falkenberg, Sweden.
Charlyn Corral scored for Mexico against Venezuela in 2017.
Mexico returned to international play with three matches in October at the Yongchuan Four Nations Tournament in China. Despite close score lines, Mexico dropped all three of its matches, against Brazil on Oct. 19 (3-0), against China on Oct. 21 (3-2) and against Korea Republic on Oct. 24 (1-0).
To close out its year, Mexico traveled to Costa Rica for a pair of friendlies on Nov. 25 and Nov. 27. The teams split the results with Mexico losing the first match 3-2 and winning the second one 2-0.Read more
At halftime of the USA vs. Mexico game, on beautiful Thursday night at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, the U.S. Women’s National Team headed into the locker room with a 1-0 lead courtesy of an early goal from Mallory Pugh. While the USA had dominated possession, and created a handful of quality scoring chances through the first 45 minutes, the attack was not quite clicking in the final third. The score was close, Mexico had manufactured a few chances of their own in the first half, and the next goal would be crucial in determining the outcome of the match.
The USA got that goal, and another, and another, all in the four-minute span.
Like they’ve done many times before in their careers, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd stepped up and eliminated any chance for Mexico to claw back into the match.
In the 50th minute, Morgan made one of her classic runs behind the defense and powered past Mexico defender Annia Mejia who grabbed her arm and toppled her in the penalty area. The referee pointed to the penalty spot immediately. With Lloyd, the USA’s long-time penalty kick-taker, off the field, Morgan stepped up to take it herself and struck her shot into the corner just past Mexico goalkeeper Bianca Henninger, who guessed correctly but was unable get a hand on the well-placed attempt.
“I thought Alex played really well tonight,” U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis said. “I thought she was sharp. She has become a facilitator and a finisher (Morgan helped set up the first goal with an excellent pass to Megan Rapinoe who then fed Pugh) – I’ll chose the latter if I had to pick one – but she’s looking sharp. I use the word ‘hungry’ with Alex because I think she’s not just working hard when we have the ball but is working hard trying to win the ball back for us. I’m just really pleased with her and her output, and happy whenever she finds the back of the net. Overall, she had a very good performance tonight.”
ThatEscalatedQuickly.gif pic.twitter.com/t1m6G61bne— U.S. Soccer WNT (@ussoccer_wnt) April 6, 2018
Two minutes later, Morgan was at it again, this time timing her run perfectly to get on the end of a slipped pass into the left side of the penalty box before finishing like fans have seen her do many times, with a lashed left-footed shot across the face of goal to the opposite corner. The ball hit the inside of the right post and bounced into the net to complete her 18th career brace and 21st multi-goal game.
Suddenly, the score was 3-0 and the USA’s attack was rolling. Moments later, Ellis made her first substitution of the game, bringing on Lloyd to replace Andi Sullivan in the center midfield in the 53rd minute.
Lloyd’s impact was almost instantaneous. The 35-year-old veteran came in at 52:49 and scored 29 seconds later at 53:12 on what was her first touch of the game. The goal made it 4-0 and effectively put the match away. The goal was the 99th of her international career, putting her one away from becoming the sixth WNT player in history to score 100 or more goals for the USA.
For Lloyd though, it isn’t about milestones on the stat sheet.
“It’s an honor, but it’s not in the back of my mind,” Lloyd said about nearing the 100 career goals. “My mind is on getting better, and when that 100 goal comes, it comes, but it will also pass soon. I just want to continue to improve every day, get my chance off the bench and seize the moment.”
The USA will play the second match of its two-game set vs. Mexico on Sunday, April 8 (12:30 p.m. CT; FOX) at BBVA Stadium, as the road to the Concacaf Women’s Championship this October continues.Read more