Anchored by its 19-year-old goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago, Mexico faces the always-difficult task of going up against the No. 1 FIFA-ranked U.S. Women’s National Team in a two-game set on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah (7:30 p.m. MT, ussoccer.com) and on Thursday, Sept. 18, at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2; delayed broadcast at 12 a.m. ET/9 p.m. PT on Univision Deportes Network).
IN FOCUS: MEXICO
Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación, A.C.
Founded: 1927 (Joined FIFA in 1929)
Head Coach: Leo Cuellar
FIFA World Ranking: 25
FIFA World Cups: 1999, 2011
Best FIFA World Cup Finish: Group play (1999-16th, 2011-11th)
Mexico Women’s National Team Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Cecilia Santiago (Unattached), 12-Brissa Rangel (Real Celeste)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Arianna Romero (Houston Dash), 3-Monica Alvarado (TCU), 4-Alina Garciamendez (Unattached), 5-Paulina Solis (Once Mexico), 13-Bianca Sierra (Boston Breakers), 14-Christina Murillo (Michigan), 15-Guadalupe Cruzaley (Club Tijuana)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Liliana Mercado (Universidad de las Americas), 7-Nayeli Rangel (Unattached), 8-Teresa Noyola (Houston Dash), 10-Stephany Mayor (Universidad de las Americas), 11-Kenti Robles (Espanyol de Barcelona), 17-Veronica Perez (Washington Spirit)
FORWARDS (6): 9-Tanya Samarzich (USC), 16-Jazmine Ponce (Arizona), 18-Jackie Acevedo (Portland Thorns FC), 19-Luz Duarte (Juventus Sov), 20-Charlyn Corral (Merilappi United), 21-Lizbeth Angeles (Investigadoras PF)
MEXICO ROSTER NOTES
- Five players on Mexico’s 18-player roster come from NWSL clubs, including Washington Spirit midfielder Veronica Perez and Portland Thorns FC forward Jackie Acevedo whose teams advanced to this year’s semifinals.
- Other NWSL players include Houston Dash teammates Arianna Romero and Teresa Noyola and Boston Breakers defender Bianca Sierra.
- Romero, a Phoenix-area native, was the 2013 Big Ten Conference Defender of the Year at Nebraska.
- Noyola was the 2011 Hermann Trophy winner, awarded to the top collegiate player. She became the third straight Stanford player to earn the honor, with the previous winners being the USA’s Kelley O’Hara (2009) and Christen Press (2010).
- Acevedo was born in Austin, Texas, and played collegiately for Tennessee (2008) and Southern Nazarene (2009-11) in Oklahoma.
- Mexico 19-year-old goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago is the youngest goalkeeper to ever appear in a FIFA Women’s World Cup. At 16 years and 251 days old, she played during Mexico’s 1-1 draw against England in Group B play on June 27, 2011, in the World Cup in Germany.
- Four Mexico players compete collegiately in the USA: defender Monica Alvarado at TCU, defender Christina Murillo at Michigan, forward Jazmine Ponce at Arizona and forward Tanya Samarzich at USC.
- Nine of the 15 Mexico players on this roster took the field during its most recent loss to the U.S., a 7-0 defeat on Sept. 13, 2013, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.