The game between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Mexico on Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Houston was a roller coaster of a ride featuring many highlights, and in the end, highly entertaining and historic.
There was a goal after 129 seconds. A Gol Olimpico. A comeback. A milestone. A brace. Three first caps. A player playing against very familiar foes. And a player with four assists, one short of the WNT record.
It was a wild afternoon, and with so much going on, we wouldn’t blame you if you missed one of the many remarkable moments of the day.
So, here’s a breakdown of some of the fun stuff that went down at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday afternoon:
100 GOALS FOR NO. 10
The day was highlighted by Carli Lloyd’s 100th international goal, a momentous achievement that had previously been reached in U.S. Soccer history by only five other women: Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Tiffeny Milbrett and Abby Wambach. It was also Lloyd’s 11th career goal against Mexico.
Lloyd started the match, her 252nd cap, and almost immediately had a golden chance to get number 100, but a spectacular save from Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago delayed history just a bit longer.
But Lloyd seemed destined to get to the century mark in Houston, where she used to play for the Houston Dash, and in the 34th minute the opportunity literally landed in front of her.
Lloyd Gets to the Century Mark
Megan Rapinoe worked her way free of a few defenders on the left flank and crossed the ball. It flew through the goal mouth to the right side of the penalty area where it was run down by Lindsey Horan, who lifted a cross back into the middle. It deflected off the hand of Santiago And Alex Morgan got a good piece of the falling ball on the volley, but it went straight up in the air and, and with an awkward spin, bounced near the goal line and back out of the goal. Lloyd was on the spot and timed it perfectly to head the ball home from close range off the bounce.
Lloyd’s goal made the score 3-2, pulling the USA ahead again after it had gone down 2-1 early in the game. It also capped an impressive run to 100 goals for Lloyd, who scored 36 goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 64 goals in 117 games in just under six years.
RAPINOE: YOU GET A GOAL, YOU GET A GOAL, EVERYONE GETS A GOAL!
Megan Rapinoe has played 135 games for the U.S. WNT, yet throughout her stellar career, the 32-year-old had never had more than two assists in a single game.
That changed on Sunday when she doubled that mark and almost tied a long-standing U.S. WNT record of five assists held by Tiffeny Milbrett, achieved in 1997 against Australia.
Rapinoe had four assists and one goal vs. Mexico on April 8
Rapinoe was credited with four assists and a goal in the 6-2 victory against Mexico. She was also involved in the play that led to the other goal, which means that she was involved in all six scores. She was of course named the Woman of the Match and now leads the team with five assists in 2018.
Rapinoe’s historic day upped her career totals to 36 international goals, 15th all-time for the U.S. WNT, and 49 international assists, good for ninth all-time, one behind Lloyd’s 50.
TWO GAMES. TWO BRACES.
Alex Morgan has scored 12 goals in her last 13 U.S. WNT games, dating to Aug. 3, 2017 vs. Japan.
Morgan notched her 18th career two-goal game on Thursday, April 5 against Mexico in Jacksonville. Three days later, she went for two more and now has 19 braces in her career and 22 multi-goal games.
Morgan has scored 85 international goals
The 28-year-old, who has 140 caps and 85 goals, is tied with Mallory Pugh for the team-lead with five goals so far in 2018.
Morgan’s last had consecutive braces came in 2012. In fact, she had three in a row – on Jan. 29 vs. Canada, Feb. 11 vs. New Zealand and on Feb. 29 vs. Denmark.
THREE FIRST CAPS
Amongst the goals and excitement on Sunday, it was also a special day for defenders Hailie Mace and Tegan McGrady, and midfielder Haley Hanson, who all earned their first caps with the senior WNT.
Hanson, who plays her club soccer for the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium, entered the match in the 40th minute to replace an injured Lindsey Horan, while McGrady and Mace, rising seniors at Stanford and UCLA, respectively, subbed on in the 58 and 59th minutes for Tierna Davidson and Mallory Pugh.
McGrady, Mace and Hanson
With Sunday’s three first cappers, U.S. WNT head coach Jill Ellis has now given first caps to five players in 2018 (the other two are Davidson and Savannah McCaskill), and 18 players total since October of 2016.
The game vs. Mexico on April 8 marked the first time since Oct. 19, 2016 (when five players earned first caps) that more than two players earned their first caps in a single game.
HOUSTON, WE’VE GOT A COMEBACK
The USA opened the scoring quickly against Mexico on April 8 with Mallory Pugh notching her fifth goal of 2018 in just the third minute. But Mexico regrouped and scored back-to-back goals off Monica Ocampo corner kicks – one of them a classic Goal Olimpico – to take the lead in the 24th minute. The two goals marked only the third time that Mexico had scored multiple goals against the U.S. in a match, and the first time since Nov. 5, 2010.
The lead did not last long.
Lindsey Horan's towering header made the game 2-2 in the 25th minute
A minute later after Mexico went up 2-1, Megan Rapinoe’s cross off a corner kick was perfectly headed home by Lindsey Horan, tying the match 2-2 in the 25th minute and kicking off the comeback. The USA went on to score four more goals and sweep Mexico in the two-game set of friendlies,improving its record to 34-1-1 all-time against its Concacaf foe.
SOFIA HUERTA MAKES HISTORY
Entering in the 75th minute of the game vs. Mexico in place of Emily Sonnett, Sofia Huerta etched her name in history as the first U.S. WNT player to play for Mexico against the USA and for the USA against Mexico.
Huerta played for Mexico at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (scoring three goals), and earned five caps for the senior team – all in friendly matches, which included one against the USA.
Huerta is the first player in WNT history to play for the USA and against the USA, versus Mexico and for Mexico, respectively.
Conversations to switch associations started between Huerta – who was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and attended college at Santa Clara – and the WNT staff in late summer 2017 as she was enjoying another fine season with the Red Stars. U.S. head coach Jill Ellis wanted to bring her into camp to train with the team and Huerta accepted with no promises of making any rosters or getting playing time. U.S. Soccer then began the process of requesting a one-time change of national association with FIFA.
On Sept. 14, 2017, FIFA had approved the change, which meant Huerta was immediately eligible to play for the USA. She earned her first cap for the USA a day later when she came on as a substitute in the 51st minute in the game vs. New Zealand in Colorado.Read more
With her goal against Mexico on April 8 at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas, Carli Lloyd became the most recent member of the USA’s elite 100-goal club, joining Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, Tiffeny Milbrett, Kristine Lilly and Abby Wambach. The USA went on to win a wild game, 6-2, in Houston. Here are some of Lloyd's most impressive numbers throughout her 100-goal journey.
Foreign countries she's scored in:
11 countries (12 goals each in Canada and Portugal)
Competitions scored in:
Algarve Cup: 12
Friendly matches: 46
Four-team tournaments: 8
Olympic Qualifying: 12
World Cup: 7
World Cup Qualifying: 7
Goals off Penalty kicks:
Indoors and Outdoors:
Goals as a Starter or Sub:
Goals as a starter: 91
Goals as a sub: 9
Assisted and Unassisted goals:
Goals unassisted: 31
Goals assisted: 69
26 different players have assisted Lloyd her goals:
9 by Megan Rapinoe
8 by Tobin Heath
6 by Abby Wambach
5 by Stephanie Cox and Alex Morgan
4 by Heather O’Reilly
Most goals scored in a specific minute:
6th minute: 4 goals
9th minute: 3 goals
16th minute: 3 goals
18th minutes: 3 goals
20th minute: 3 goals
22nd minute: 3 goals
39th minute: 3 goals
51st minute: 3 goals
57th minute: 3 goals
63rd minute: 3 goals
69th minute: 3 goals
HOUSTON, Texas (April 8, 2018) - The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Mexico 6-2 in front of 15,349 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium in a match that included six first half goals: two from Alex Morgan and single strikes from Mallory Pugh, Lindsey Horan, Carli Lloyd and Megan Rapinoe. For Lloyd, the goal was the 100th of her international career as she joins an elite club of six players to have scored 100 or more times for the U.S. WNT.
Like in the first game of this two-game series against Mexico, the USA got off to a quick start with Lloyd blasting a loose ball at the net from close range less than a minute into the contest, but Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago made a brilliant reaction save.
It didn’t take long for the USA to get on the board as two minutes later Pugh ran onto an excellent pass from Rapinoe and rounded Santiago before rolling the ball into the open net.
Mexico climbed back into the game with two scores off Monica Ocampo corner kicks – one of them a Goal Olimpico that flew directly into the net – to take the lead.
The U.S. had an immediate response with Lindsey Horan equalizing in the 25th minute off a powerful header from a corner kick, setting the stage for Lloyd’s 100th career goal as she headed home from close range to put the USA ahead. Just before the break, Morgan scored off a sliding shot inside the six-yard box from a fantastic low service from Rapinoe to send the United States into half with a 4-2 advantage.
In the second frame, the USA continued its prowess, adding two more tallies with goals from Rapinoe – who had an excellent game which included four assists – and Morgan, who scored a brace for the second consecutive time after doing so three days ago in Jacksonville.
The U.S. WNT players will return to their NWSL clubs to resume the sixth season of the league. The USA will regroup in the summer for a pair of friendlies against China PR on June 7 (9 p.m. ET, FS1) in Sandy, Utah and June 12 (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2) in Cleveland, Ohio.
Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Mallory Pugh (Megan Rapinoe), 3rd minute: Rapinoe sent a perfectly-timed through ball to Pugh, who outran her defenders behind the Mexico defense. Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago came out of her goal to challenge, but Pugh easily evaded her, dribbling to the left before rolling her shot into the open net for the first goal of the game. USA 1, MEX 0. WATCH.
MEX – Monica Ocampo, 17th minute: Ocampo’s left-footed corner kick from the right side flew through the goal mouth traffic and stuck into the corner at the opposite post. It was her 17th international goal and classic Goal Olimpico. USA 1, MEX 1. WATCH.
MEX – Kiana Palacios (Monica Ocampo), 24th minute: Ocampo’s corner kick from the right side once again proved to be dangerous with her cross making its way to Palacios at the far post, where she pounded home a header from almost on the goal line to give Mexico the lead. USA 1, MEX 2. WATCH.
USA – Lindsey Horan (Megan Rapinoe), 25th minute: Rapinoe served a corner kick from the right side into the middle of the penalty box and Horan outjumped the pack to head the ball over Santiago and just under the cross bar to tie the game with her fifth career score. USA 2, MEX 2. WATCH.
USA – Carli Lloyd (Alex Morgan), 34th minute: Rapinoe worked her way free of a few defenders on the left flank and then crossed the ball. It flew through the goal mouth to the right side of the penalty area and was run down by Lindsey Horan, who lifted a cross back into the middle. Morgan got a good strike on the ball with a volley, but it hit off the hand of the diving Santiago and went straight up in the air. The ball came down almost on the goal line before Lloyd headed it home off the bounce for her 100th career score. USA 3, MEX 2. WATCH.
USA – Alex Morgan (Megan Rapinoe), 44th minute: The USA took a two-goal lead courtesy of Rapinoe as she ran onto a headed clearance from Becky Sauerbrunn that skipped through down the left wing. Rapinoe raced in on goal and unselfishly sent a cross on the ground into the middle for the sliding Morgan, who knocked the ball into the net for her 84th international goal. USA 4, MEX 2. WATCH.
USA – Megan Rapinoe, 64th minute: Campbell’s long kick landed at Rapinoe’s feet who sent a pass to Morgan up front. Santiago did a good job coming out to the top of the box to block the shot, but the ball rebounded back to Rapinoe’s feet who then sent a long shot over Santiago and into the back of the net. USA 5, MEX 2. WATCH.
USA – Alex Morgan (Megan Rapinoe), 68th minute: The USA got its sixth off a corner kick from the left side as Rapinoe picked up her fourth assist of the game. Rapinoe bent in a low, but driven cross that skipped through traffic to the far post where Morgan bundled the ball into the net with her hip for her 85th career goal. USA 6, MEX 2. WATCH. FINAL.
- Carli Lloyd scored her 100th international goal today in her 252nd cap, becoming the sixth WNT player in history to achieve the feat. She’s the first player to do so since 2009 when Abby Wambach joined the century club. Lloyd is in sixth place on the all-time caps list and is four away from tying Abby Wambach for fifth.
- Lloyd scored 36 international goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday, and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 64 goals in 117 games in just under six years. The 117 games after the age of 30 rank her seventh all-time in U.S. history that category. Christie Pearce is far and away the leader with 175.
- Today was the first time the USA has had five different goal scorers in a match since Oct. 22, 2017 vs. Korea Republic in Cary, N.C.
- Megan Rapinoe had an incredible game, scoring one goal and notching four assists in what was her 135th international appearance. She has 36 career goals and sits in 12th place on the all-time scoring list. This was the first game in her career in which she had four assists in one game. She joins Carli Lloyd as the only players during the last two years with a goal and 3+ assists in a match. Rapinoe now has 50 career assists, which ties her with Lloyd for ninth all-time.
- Alex Morgan scored a brace for the second consecutive time today to up her career total to 85 international goals. She has scored five goals in 2018, a team-leading mark she shares with Mallory Pugh. It was her 140th cap today, and at age 28 she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list. She’s scored 12 goals in her last 13 WNT matches. The brace was the 19th of her career and her 22nd multi-goal game.
- Mallory Pugh scored her team-leading fifth goal of 2018 today (tied with Morgan) in her 35th cap. She also made her 27th career start and is second all-time in starts before the age of 20 behind only Tiffany Roberts (41). Pugh now has 11 career goals and is tied in third with Christie Welsh for goals before the age of 20 behind Cindy Parlow-15 and Mia Hamm-14. This was Pugh’s final WNT game as a teenager. She will turn 20 on April 29.
- Lindsey Horan scored her fifth career goal today in her 49th cap. It was her first of 2018.
- Jane Campbell made her first start today in earning her third cap. She previously had played the second 45 minutes of two games, first on April 6, 2017 against Russia, and again on Oct. 22, 2017 against Korea Republic. Her first cap last April also took place at BBVA Compass Stadium, where she plays for the Houston Dash. Campbell is the first new GK to start for the WNT since Alyssa Naeher on Dec. 18, 2014. She was replaced by Ashlyn Harris in 67th minute.
- Three young players earned first caps today: Hailie Mace (21), Haley Hanson (22) and Tegan McGrady (20). The last time the USA had more than two first caps in one game was Oct. 19, 2016 vs. Switzerland.
USA vs. Mexico
Date: April 8, 2018
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. CT / 1:30 p.m. ET
Today’s Starting XI vs. Mexico: 18-Jane Campbell; 16-Emily Sonnett, 17-Tierna Davidson,4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 19-Crystal Dunn; 6-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.), 9-Lindsey Horan; 11-Mallory Pugh, 13-Alex Morgan, 15-Megan Rapinoe
Subs: 14-Sofia Huerta, 20-Allie Long, 21-Savannah McCaskill, 24-Ashlyn Harris, 25-Hailie Mace, 26-Haley Hanson, 27-Teagan McGrady
- Tierna Davidson is the only player on the U.S. roster to play every minute so far in 2018 (450 minutes).
- Just like in the first five USA matches of 2018, there are two teenagers in the USA's starting XI today, 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh and Davidson. Pugh has four goals and one assist in 2018 while Davidson has one assist. Before the first match of the year in San Diego on January 21, the last time two teenagers were in the WNT starting lineup was June 30, 2001 vs. Canada in Toronto. Aleisha Cramer (18) and Cat Whitehill (19) both played the entire game.
- The USWNT is 4-0-1 so far in 2018 and has not allowed more than one goal in any of their last 12 games, going 10-0-2 during that run, and has scored at least three goals in eight of those 12 games.
- Hailie Mace (21-years-old) suits up for a senior WNT match for the second time today, while Haley Hanson (22) and Tegan McGrady (20) dress for the first time. All three players could earn their first caps today.
- Not dressing tonight are Lynn Williams, Abby Dahlkemper, Andi Sullivan, Alyssa Naeher and Ashley Hatch.
- Jane Campbell will make her first start today in her third cap. She previously had played the second 45 minutes of two games, first on April 6, 2017 against Russia, and again on Oct. 22, 2017 against Korea Republic. Her first cap last April also took place at BBVA Compass Stadium, where she plays for the Houston Dash.
- Campbell is the first new GK to start for the WNT since Alyssa Naeher on Dec. 18, 2014.
- Emily Sonnett will make her third consecutive start this year. Before her start against England on March 7, Sonnett had not been in the starting XI since Oct. 19, 2016 against Switzerland. She will earn her 17th cap tonight.
- Becky Sauerbrunn returns to the starting XI for the first time since Nov. 12, 2017 against Canada. She came off the bench against Mexico on April 5, the first time she had come on as a substitute since March 10, 2014 vs. Denmark. Sauerbrunn was sidelined for the WNT’s January Camp and SheBelieves Cup due to a foot injury.
- Crystal Dunn will earn her 61st cap tonight and makes her third consecutive start in 2018. Before her start on March 7 against England, Dunn hadn’t started since July 30, 2017 against Brazil at the Tournament of Nations. She will start today’s game as an outside back, a position she played during the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and at the beginning of her senior WNT career. She also played in the back line against England during the SheBelieves Cup and vs. Mexico on April 5 and spent considerable minutes at wing back while playing for Chelsea.
- Tierna Davidson is making her sixth consecutive start in as many international appearances. On Jan. 21 in San Diego, she became the 21st woman to make a WNT debut under Jill Ellis. She earned her first career assist on that game. The 19-year-old Davidson helped lead Stanford to the NCAA Championship this past season. She is the third teenager since 2013 to earn a first cap for the U.S. WNT. Mallory Pugh (17 in 2016) and Lindsey Horan (19 in 2013) are the most recent teenagers to debut for the WNT.
- Carli Lloyd is the all-time active caps leader with 251, and will earn her 252nd cap today. She scored just 29 seconds after coming into the match against Mexico on April 5 and is sitting on 99 goals, one away from becoming the sixth player to score 100 or more for the USA, and the first since 2009 when Abby Wambach scored her 100th. Lloyd is in sixth place on the all-time caps list and is four away from tying Abby Wambach for fifth place.
- Lloyd scored 36 international goals between the time she debuted six days before her 23rd birthday, and her 30th birthday. Since turning 30, she has scored 63 goals in 116 games in just under six years. The 116 games after the age of 30 rank her seventh all-time in U.S. history that category. Christie Rampone is far and away the leader with 175.
- Lindsey Horan earns her 49th cap today. She had two assists against Mexico on April 5, her first two of the year. It was her third career multi-assists game.
- Morgan Brian is making her third start of 2018 after starting against France and playing all 90 minutes on March 4. Only 25-years-old, Brian will learn her 71st cap.
- Mallory Pugh earns her 35th cap tonight. She leads the WNT in scoring in 2018 after tallying her first career brace against Denmark on Jan. 21 and a goal against France on March 4 and against Mexico on April 5. She is also making her 27th career start. She is second all-time in starts before the age of 20 behind only Tiffany Roberts (41). This afternoon, Pugh will play her final WNT game as a teenager. She will turn 20 on April 29.
- Alex Morgan comes into the match with 83 goals and will earn her 140th cap tonight. At age 28, she sits in sole possession of seventh place on the USA's all-time goal scoring list. She’s scored 10 goals over her last 12 WNT matches, with her most recent against Mexico on April 5. The brace was the 18th of her career, and her 21st multi-goal game.
- Megan Rapinoe makes her 135th international appearance today. She has 35 career goals after scoring the game-winning goal against Germany on March 1. She is tied with April Heinrichs and Sydney Leroux for 15th on the all-time goals list.