The U.S. Women's National Team will face Mexico on Thursday night at
EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida (7 p.m. ET; FS1 & UDN) in the
first of two friendlies between the teams as both countries set their
sights on the Concacaf Women's Championship this coming October.
The second leg of the two-game set takes place on April 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium, home to the NWSL's Houston Dash, at 12:30 CT on FOX. These two meetings mark the first matches against Mexico since a clash in group play at the 2016 Olympic Qualifying tournament, a 1-0 U.S. win on a goal from Carli Lloyd. The USA is 3-0-1 so far in 2018, with wins over Denmark, Germany and England, along with a tie against France.
U.S. Women’s National Team Roster by Position (Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18- Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 2/0), 24- Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 14/0), 1- Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 26/0)
DEFENDERS (7): 7- Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 16/0), 17- Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 3/0), 14- Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars; 3/0), 25-Hailie Mace (UCLA: 0/0), 27-Tegan McGrady (Stanford), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 135/0), 16- Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 14/0),
MIDFIELDERS (6): 6- Morgan Brian (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 71/6), 26-Haley Hanson (Houston Dash; 0/0), 9- Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 46/4), 10- Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash; 249/98); 20- Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC; 34/6), 3- Andi Sullivan (Stanford; 9/0)
FORWARDS (7): 19- Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC, ENG; 59/23), 22- Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit; 1/0), 21- Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC; 3/0), 13- Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 137/81); 11- Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 32/9), 15- Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign; 132/35), 12- Lynn Williams (NC Courage; 18/4)
Mexico Women's National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash, USA), 12-Cecilia Santiago (Club América)
DEFENDERS (9): 2-Kenti Robles (Atlético Madrid, ESP), 3-Bianca Sierra (Thór / KA, ISL), 4-Vanessa Flores (West Virginia, USA), 5-Mónica Flores (Unattached), 13-Annia Mejía (Unattached), 14-Jocelyn Orejel (Colorado, USA), 16-Marcela Valera (Atlas FC), 22-Greta Espinoza (Levante, ESP), 23-Christina Murillo (Chicago Red Stars Reserves, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Karla Nieto (Pachuca), 7-Cristina Ferral (Olympique de Marseille, FRA), 10-Stephany Mayor (Thór / KA, ISL), 11-Mónica Ocampo (Pachuca), 17-María Sánchez (Santa Clara, USA)
FORWARDS (5): 8-Ariana Calderón (Thór / KA, ISL), 9-Anisa Guajardo (Sundsvalls DFF, SWE), 18-Kiana Palacios (Unattached), 19-Katie Johnson (Sky Blue FC, USA), 21-Renae Cuéllar (Unattached)
Possible Concacaf Preview: With the USA and Mexico both top teams in the Concacaf Confederation, these games could be a preview of what’s to come later in the year at the World Cup qualifying tournament. The Concacaf Women’s Championship will take place from Oct. 4-17 in the United States in venues to be announced soon. The USA, Canada and Mexico have automatic berths into the final eight-team tournament while the other five nations will have to go through pre-qualifying in their respective regions. From the final competition, three teams will qualify directly to France while a fourth will enter a two-leg playoff against the third-place team from South America. As the USA faces Mexico in these two friendly games, all the players and coaches will cast a distant eye on the all-important qualifying tournament about six months from now.
USA vs. Mexico History: Although the USA has faced Mexico 34 times in its history, the teams have met just once in the past two and half years, that coming in February of 2016 during Olympic Qualifying in Frisco, Texas, a 1-0 victory on a goal from Carli Lloyd. Just seven of the 23 players on this U.S. roster played against Mexico during that match which saw the game knotted at 0-0 until the 80th minute despite the USA out-shooting Mexico 16-2 for the game. The last friendly between the teams took place on May 17, 2015, in a Women's World Cup warm-up match, a 5-1 U.S. victory in Carson, Calif. That game was tied 1-1 at halftime before the USA exploded for four goals in the second half. Across 34 all-time meetings, Mexico has defeated the USA once and drawn once. The win came in the semifinal of Concacaf Qualifying for the 2011 Women's World Cup, a 2-1 victory in Cancun, Mexico. The setback forced the USA to win the tournament's third-place match and then a two-leg playoff with Italy to qualify for the Women's World Cup in Germany.
New Face on the Opposing Bench: This will be the first game against Mexico in almost 20 years in which long-time Mexico head coach Leo Cuellar will not be on the opposing bench. Mexico's new head coach Roberto Medina was a professional player who played with Pachuca, Tecos, Monterrey, Leon, Puebla, Atlante, Irapuato, Veracruz and the Pumas of the National University. He is the former head coach of the Mexico U-20 WNT, which he coached at the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, as Mexico advance to the quarterfinal before falling to South Korea.
New Kits: The U.S. WNT will debut its new uniforms in the two-game series vs. Mexico, wearing the light kits for both matches. The MNT debuted the dark kits on March 27 in a 1-0 victory against Paraguay in Cary, N.C. Since 2014, the unifying phrase, "One Nation. One Team." has defined U.S. Soccer. In the 2018 kits, the words are emblazoned on the inner neck of both light and dark shirts. There, the adage forms a distinct starting point for a set of uniforms that will see both teams through initial qualifying stages for their next major international tournaments. READ MORE .
Next Generation: On the USA’s 23-player roster, 13 players were born in 1993 or later, with the average age of the group being 25 years old.
Smells Like Teen Spirit: The USA has had two teenagers in its starting XI in all four of its games played so far in 2018 in 19-year-olds Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson. Between them, they have combined for three goals and two assists. Before the first game of 2018 on Jan. 21, the last time two teenagers were in the U.S. WNT starting lineup was June 30, 2001 against Canada in Toronto. Aleisha Cramer (18) and Cat Whitehill (19) both played the entire game. Pugh currently leads the WNT in goal scoring with three so far in 2018.
Closing in on 100: Carli Lloyd is currently sitting at 98 goals and with two more would become the sixth player in WNT history to reach 100 for her country.Back at the Bank: The match at EverBank Field will mark just the third visit to Jacksonville for the U.S. Women's National Team, which first played there when the stadium was named Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in a 2-1 loss to Norway in 1996 during a match played in freezing temperatures. Most recently at EverBank Field, the WNT earned a 4-1 victory against Scotland in February of 2013. The venue is the home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, which are owned by Shahid Khan, who also owns Fulham Football Club in London.