The U.S. got goals from starting forwards Cindy Parlow and Mia Hamm to establish a 2-0 lead by the 64th minute, while second-half sub Lori Chalupny scored her first goal at the full international level when she struck a shot from distance in the 87th minute to clinch the victory.
The crowd of almost 18,000 is the largest to watch the U.S. Women's National Team this year. The sizeable turnout also bested the mark of 15,610 fans that attended the U.S. Men's National Team's match against Chile in the only other U.S. Soccer match ever played in the city and state.
After a first half in which the USA struggled to find their legs and their rhythm, the second half saw the Americans buzzing around the Mexican goal, firing 15 of their 26 total shots and could have easily had a few more scores.
Mexico only took two shots after the break, neither dangerous. The USA played the entire match in a 4-3-3 formation and each forward, Parlow, Hamm and Abby Wambach, played a part in the scoring.
The USA kept up the pressure the entire second half, producing six corner kicks, most of them dangerous. In the 49th minute, Wambach beat Mexican goalkeeper Jennifer Molina to the ball off a corner kick, but skimmed her header inches wide of the right post. In the 63rd minute, Shannon Boxx rose high to send a header off a corner kick over Molina, but it was cleared off the goal line.
The second U.S. goal came in the 64th minute as Wambach sent Hamm behind the defense by slipping pass into the left side of the penalty area. Hamm showed why she is the world's all-time leading scorer, coolly slotting her shot under Molina from 16 yards out for her 149th career goal.
Both teams subbed freely in the second half with Heinrichs making all seven of her allowable substitutes while Mexican head coach Leo Cuellar made three changes. It was one of those subs that accounted for the final, and maybe the best, goal of the match three minutes from the end. Chalupny, a 20-year-old sophomore at UNC, who was a member of the USA's 2002 U-19 World Championship Team, got possession of the ball just outside penalty area on the right side and blasted her shot into the upper right corner for her first career goal at the senior level.The U.S. team now returns to the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., for a week of training before taking a week off. The U.S. team will regroup the following week to prepare for their next match on June 6 against Japan in Louisville, Ky. (4 p.m. ET on ESPN2). The USA also has matches on July 3 vs. Canada in Nashville, Tenn. (7 p.m. CT on ESPN), July 21 vs. Australia in Blaine, Minn. (6 p.m. CT on ESPN2), and an Olympic send-off match on Aug. 1 in Hartford, Conn. against China (3 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
Match-up: USA vs. Mexico
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: University Stadium; Albuquerque, New Mexico
Date: May 9, 2004; Kickoff - 1 p.m. MT
Weather: Very hot, breezy; 85 degrees
1 2 F
USA 0 3 3
MEX 0 0 0
USA - Cindy Parlow (Julie Foudy) 52nd minute.
USA - Mia Hamm (Abby Wambach) 64.
USA - Lori Chalupny (Shannon Boxx) 87.
USA: 1-Briana Scurry (24-Kristin Luckenbill, 77); 3-Christie Rampone (6-Brandi Chastain, 58), 4-Cat Reddick, 21-Heather Mitts, 15-Kate Markgraf; 11-Julie Foudy (Capt.; 10-Aly Wagner, 70), 13-Kristine Lilly (23-Lori Chalupny, 70), 7-Shannon Boxx; 20-Abby Wambach (16-Lindsay Tarpley, 77), 12-Cindy Parlow
(30-Christie Welsh, 58), 9-Mia Hamm (27-Heather O'Reilly, 77).
Subs not used: none.
Head Coach: April Heinrichs.
MEX: 1-Jennifer Molina; 2-Elizabeth Gomez, 4-Monica Gonzalez, 5-Maria Castillo; 11-Patricia Perez, 15-Dioselina Valderrama, 6-Monica Vergara, 7-Evelin Lopez (22-Christine Nieva, 58), 8-Fatima Levya (17-Teresa Worbis, 80); 9-Maribel Dominguez, 10-Iris Mora (14-Luz Saucedo, 68).
Subs Not Used: 3-Marlene Sandoval, 12-Pamela Tajonar, 13-Carina Maravillas,
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar.
Shots on Goal: 10/1
Corner Kicks: 10/2
MEX - Maribel Dominguez (caution) 61st minute.
Referee: Kari Seitz (USA)
Assistant: Karalee Sutton (USA)
Assistant: Branda Wright (USA)
4th Official: Robert Baca (USA)
Chevrolet Player of the Game: Shannon Boxx
U.S. Women's National Team Quote Sheet:
U.S. forward Mia Hamm on the enthusiastic crowd:
"It's great to play in this kind of environment. The reception was great from the moment we arrived in town."
Hamm on why the team played better in the second half:
"We just needed to get into a rhythm. We weren't letting our midfielders get into supporting positions because they were getting caught in transition. We just needed to hold the ball and let them get higher, and once we did that, we were able to open up the flanks up for myself, Abby or Cindy and that made a big difference. But for us in the second half, it was just a matter of focusing and we finished our chances."
Hamm on Mexico:
"We can't take anything away from Mexico. They filled the seams (in the penalty area) when we were trying to get end line and they worked hard to block a lot of shots and services."
Hamm on winning games:
"This team has worked very hard, and I think sometimes we lose sight that we're not just going to win games on hard work; we have to be a smarter team too."
Hamm on Mexico's improvement:
"Mexico is not afraid of anyone now, and preparation and performance in the Olympic qualifying has given them much more confidence. There is a buzz in Mexico about this team. You can see that in the eyes of those players. It doesn't matter who they are playing, they feel they have a chance."
U.S. forward Abby Wambach on the second half:
"We were just getting used to the altitude which was tougher than you think, so it took a while, but also tactically, we made a few changes in terms of getting our midfielders closer to our forwards. All in all, we just started to play better together and maybe it took having a half under our belts. We haven't played the 4-3-3 for a while so it took time to adjust to that. We came out in the second half and pushed and played much better."
Wambach on the crowd and Mother's Day:
"We've had a pretty rigorous schedule, and we are all pretty tired, so it was great to come out here to Albuquerque in front of this great crowd on Mother's Day. So, happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there."
Forward Cindy Parlow on staying focused when a goal doesn't come in the first half:
"There's always a little bit of concern when you don't get that early goal because we knew once we got one that the floodgates would kind of open because they would have to push forward a little bit. When we finally got that goal, things opened up and we got more and more opportunities on goal."
Midfielder Shannon Boxx on the USA's defense in the midfield:
"Mexico is known for their skills on the ball and my game is ball-winning, so I knew that I had to win balls in the midfield because they are so hard to dispossess. But Julie (Foudy) and Lil were defending great in the midfield and that's what helped us get the ball back."
U.S. head coach April Heinrichs on the game:
"Our team defense might not have been that great today, but everybody did a great job in one-on-one defending. I'm really pleased with our players. It's the sign of a good team and strong team that when some of our top players are not playing well, the others will step up."
Heinrichs on Lori Chalupny's first career goal:
"She's such a good kid and she wants to show me that she's not just here to be a training player and to make everyone better. She wants to show me she can make the team. That sort of moment, in terms of preparing that ball and striking it like that, even if it didn't go in, contribute to her taking steps to get closer to making the Olympic Team."