Leading up to the U.S. friendly against Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Aug. 15, 2012, Michael Orozco told himself he wanted to make history.
“If I get five minutes or 90, I was going to give it my all,” he told ussoccer.com.
Orozco would get around 13 minutes, entering the match with the score locked 0-0 and around the time ESPN commentator Ian Darke mentioned that the U.S. would be pleased to get a draw out of the friendly fixture.
Stormy skies gather over Estadio Azteca ahead of the USMNT's first win on Mexican soil.
A result wouldn’t have been bad. It was something that had only occurred once before, coming in a 0-0 draw during 1997 World Cup Qualifying.
Shortly after Darke’s declaration, Brek Shea nutmegged a Mexican defender, got to the end line and centered for Terrence Boyd. A clever back heel from the U.S. forward put the ball on the doorstep for Orozco, who sneaked in to poke home some U.S. history.
The U.S. would play out the final 10 minutes and stoppage time to earn the 1-0 win, its first victory on Mexican soil in 25 tries (11 of which came at the vaunted Estadio Azteca).
CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2015) – U.S. Soccer fans are invited to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team public training session on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Orlando Citrus Bowl at 11 a.m. ET.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Gates open at 10:30 a.m. ET and fans must enter through Gates D and E. Parking is free in the Tinker Lot, Lot G and Lot H.
U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members in the Star Club and above receive field level access at the public training session. If fans wish to take part in this exclusive priority, they can join the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club Star Club or upgrade their membership at ussoccer.com/supporters. Memberships must be purchased and RSVPs made by 12 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 23.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup champions will play Brazil at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Sunday, Oct. 25 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO) in the sixth game of the Victory Tour.
The Victory Tour kicked off to huge crowds in August with two convincing wins against Costa Rica in Pittsburgh and Chattanooga, Tennessee, followed by two big wins against Haiti in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama. The USA and Brazil will meet in the first match of this two-game set on Oct. 21 in Seattle.
The USA has faced Brazil at the Orlando Citrus Bowl twice before, winning 3-0 in 1999, in a match that featured the 108th goal for Mia Hamm, which at the time set the world scoring record for international soccer, and most recently in Nov. 2013, a 4-1 win in the final game of that year, which featured two goals from Sydney Leroux and a handful of spectacular saves from Hope Solo.
Tickets are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. In Central Florida, tickets are also available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including most Walmart locations) as well as the Amway Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) [Note: Tickets are not sold at the Orlando Citrus Bowl except on the day of the event.]
Beyond the joys a U.S. win against Mexico brings or the chance to lift a trophy, the biggest prize in Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup match is claiming the region’s berth at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Having morphed over the years from a four-team competition to one that moved around the world, since 2005 the Confederations Cup has found its home as a World Cup curtain raiser played the year before in the host nation. It has become an important piece of the international soccer calendar, with the nations that play in it getting a better all-around view towards the country they’re hoping to return to the following year.
“It’s a dry run for the World Cup,” said MNT captain Michael Bradley. “You get to spend time in the country a year before, you play in the stadiums, you stay in the hotels, you get a feel for what the weather is like and the way things work.”
Bradley’s experience came with the MNT at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, where the team’s mettle was put to the test after opening losses to Italy and Brazil. Looking like they’d head home early, the U.S. defeated Egypt 3-0 in their final group match and Brazil did the same to Italy; an unlikely combination of results that advanced the United States to the semifinals. From there, the team pulled off a stunning 2-0 upset against world No. 1-ranked and defending European champions Spain in the semifinal, and even went up 2-0 on Brazil before losing 3-2 in the final.
USMNT striker Clint Dempsey scores the opening goal against Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup final.
“The biggest thing about the Confederations Cup is the competition you get to play against,” said forward Jozy Altidore, who scored the game-winning goal against Spain. “Those teams you play against are usually the ones in the World Cup.”
“I think it gives you confidence,” said Dempsey, who scored in the semifinal and final. “You get used to the facilities, you get used to the environment, the atmosphere. We were able to advance from our group that year, and we were in a tough group.”
In fact, during the tournament’s three-week span, the MNT played five matches – four of which came against teams ranked in the Top 10 in the world – all in a competitive environment.
“Given the region we play in, the opportunity to play games against the best teams in the world typically only comes in the form of friendlies,” added Bradley. “Obviously they are important moments for us, but friendlies aren’t the same as real games. They’re not the same as tournament games where teams are trying to advance and win. For us, the chance to play in a mini-World Cup against the best teams in the world is a huge thing for us to keep pushing ourselves forward.”
Jozy Altidore and strike partner Charlie Davies celebrate Altidore's game winning goal against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal.
Ultimately, 15 of the 23 players that were on the 2009 Confederations Cup roster were part of the 2010 World Cup team which won its group for the first time since 1930.
“In South Africa we arrived for the World Cup feeling like we had been there before and we knew what to expect,” added Bradley. “You can’t understate how important that feeling is.”
CHICAGO (Oct. 8, 2015) – U.S. Soccer fans are invited to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team public training session on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at CenturyLink Field in Seattle at 5 p.m. PT.
Admission is free and open to the public.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. PT and fans may enter through the Southwest Gate or the Northwest Gate. Parking is $7 in the CenturyLink Field Event Center Garage, accessed from Royal Brougham Way. Limited parking is also available in the stadium’s north parking lot accessed from King Street.
U.S. Soccer Supporters Club members in the Star Club and above receive field level access at the public training session. If fans wish to take part in this exclusive priority, they can join the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club Star Club or upgrade their membership at ussoccer.com/supporters. Memberships must be purchased and RSVPs made by 12 p.m. PT on Monday, Oct 19.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup champions will play Brazil at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, Oct. 21 (7 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and WatchESPN) in the fifth game of the Victory Tour.
The Victory Tour kicked off to huge crowds in August with two convincing wins against Costa Rica in Pittsburgh and Chattanooga, Tennessee, followed by two big wins against Haiti in Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama.
Tickets for the match in Seattle are on sale through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Tickets are also available at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including most Fred Meyer and Walmart locations) and the CenturyLink Field ticket office (open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).