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CHICAGO (Oct. 27, 2016) – U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Jill Ellis has named 24 players to the training camp roster ahead of two matches against Romania, on Nov. 10 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, Calif. (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2) and Nov. 13 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. (6:30 p.m. PT on FS1). Ellis will name 18 players to suit up for each match. These will be the final games for the USA in 2016.
In addition, five veterans of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Team and 2016 Olympic Team, who were not called in for the games against the Swiss return to the roster: defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Ali Krieger, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Alex Morgan.
“Our last training camp and games with Switzerland were extremely positive in regards to giving new players a chance to perform, continuing the process of deepening the player pool and fostering competition within the squad," said Ellis. “With this dynamic mix of players, we are looking forward to the environment and to finishing off the year on a winning note.”
Despite being North American neighbors, the first meeting between the United States and Mexico actually took place on the other side of the Atlantic. Played on May 24, 1934 in Rome, the game was a one-off match – essentially the USA’s first World Cup qualifier – for the right to play in the second FIFA World Cup, which was set to kick off days later in venues across Italy.
Playing in front of 10,000 spectators, including Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the Americans rode a four-goal performance from Aldo “Buff” Donelli to defeat Mexico 4-2 and earn a place in the 16-team field at the 1934 FIFA World Cup.
You would hope the 11 players that came away victorious that day cherished the memory in Rome, because as big as the result was, it would take another 46 years before the USA would defeat Mexico again.
Though 17 of those 24 matches were played on Mexican soil, that winless streak against our neighbors to the south is by far the longest against any one opponent in team history, both in terms of number of games and years,. It fortunately ended on Nov. 23, 1980, when the U.S. used a pair of goals from Steve Moyers to defeat Mexico 2-1 in another Qualifying match, this time for the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
With Mexico already booking its ticket to the next round of Qualifying and the USA already eliminated, from a competitive standpoint, the match was meaningless. However, whether or not they realized it, the 2,126 fans in attendance at Fort Lauderdale’s Lockhart Stadium witnessed history that night, and to this day are among the few Americans that saw the USA’s 43-year winless streak against Mexico come to an end.
Though the USA and Mexico met only once more during the decade, the dam had been cracked. With 1990 marking the MNT’s first appearance in the World Cup in 40 years, the 1980s also served as a transitional phase in the rivalry with Mexico as a new generation of American players began to reap the benefits of greater emphasis on the game here at home to lay the foundation for future triumphs.
The first in a series of successes came during the semifinals of the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Led by former Mexico head coach Bora Milutinovic, the USA used second-half strikes from John Doyle and Peter Vermes to stun El Tri 2-0 in front of a pro-Mexico crowd of 41,103 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and went on to win the tournament’s inaugural title.
WATCH: USA Defeats Mexico 2-0 in 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup SemifinalRead more