DALLAS (Nov. 1, 2003) - The U.S. Women's National Team arrived in Dallas on Saturday and will play its final match of 2003 on Sunday against Mexico in the first ever appearance for the U.S. Women at the Cotton Bowl. The match is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The U.S. roster for the match features virtually all of the team's stars from their recent third-place finish at the FIFA Women's World Cup USA 2003, including the return of Mia Hamm, who missed the USA's 2-2 draw with Italy at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Oct. 22.
U.S. WOMEN TAKE ON MEXICO IN LAST MATCH OF 2003: The U.S. Women's National Team arrived in Dallas, Texas on Saturday and will play its final match of 2003 on Sunday against Mexico in the first ever appearance for the U.S. Women at the Cotton Bowl. The U.S. Men have played six times at the Cotton Bowl, going unbeaten, with a 4-0-2 record. The last appearance for the U.S. Men in Dallas was in 1995, the same year the U.S. women last played in Dallas, defeating Canada, 9-1, at Hillcrest High School on May 19, 1995. The match will wrap up a two-game post-Women's World Cup series. U.S. head coach April Heinrichs brings almost the same roster that played in the 2003 Women's World Cup to Dallas, except for defender Cat Reddick, who is preparing for the ACC Tournament with her college team - the UNC Tar Heels - and defender Kate Sobrero, who was married last Friday in Charleston, S.C. Heather Mitts has been called into add some depth to the back line. All the best of the rest of the Women's World Cup Team is in Dallas, including Texas native Mia Hamm, the world's all-time leading scorer with 144 goals, and rising stars Abby Wambach, Shannon Boxx, Kylie Bivens and Aly Wagner, all of whom got their first taste of world championship competition during the 2003 Women's World Cup. The USA is 16-2-4 heading into the final match of 2003. After Dallas, the Americans will have several months off before starting preparations in January for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, a tournament they must qualify for from February 25 through March 7, 2004, in Costa Rica, at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
USA vs. MEXICO HISTORY: The USA has played and defeated Mexico nine times in its history, most recently a 5-0 win on Sept. 7, 2003, in the USA's final match before the 2003 Women's World Cup. The USA got goals from Shannon Boxx, Abby Wambach, Brandi Chastain, Mia Hamm and Aly Wagner that day, the final three off penalty kicks. Mexico's closest game against the USA was on Dec. 10, 2000, a 3-2 loss in Houston at which the Tricolores held a 2-1 lead over the USA before two Cindy Parlow goals righted things. Mexico is trying to rebound from the vast disappointment of a failed Women's World Cup run, falling to Japan in a two-game playoff series for the final spot at the USA '03. Mexico tied 2-2 on July 5 in Mexico City, then fell 2-0 in Tokyo on July 12. In 1999, Mexico qualified by winning a two-game series against Argentina and became the first Spanish-speaking country to qualify for a Women's World Cup. Mexico boasts two WUSA players in defender Monica Gonzales of the Boston Breakers and forward Maribel Dominguez of the Atlanta Beat. Iris Mora, a star forward at UCLA, is also one of Mexico's stalwarts and gives them two pesky offensive personalities, but Mora will not be in Dallas as the Bruins have an important Pac-10 clash against cross-town rival USC this weekend. Mexico head coach Leo Cuellar is now focused on qualifying for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying will be held in Costa Rica next February, but Mexico must go through pre-Qualifying in Honduras in December to earn a spot in the eight-team tournament, from which the top two teams advance to Greece.