Five Things To Know About: Mexico

PRESENTED BY THORNE

The U.S. Men’s National Team opens up its fall 2019 schedule by rekindling its regional rivalry with Mexico on Friday, Sept. 6 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. (8:30 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN) in a rematch of this year’s Concacaf Gold Cup Final.

EL TRICOLOR

Mexico’s National Team is known as el El Tri, short for El Tricolor. The name comes from the tri-color scheme of the squad’s traditional uniforms, which consisted of a green jersey, white shorts and red socks.
 
The colors mimic the country’s flag, which is green, white and red with an eagle devouring a serpent. The eagle can also be found on the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol’s official crest. 






Beginning in 2015, Mexico introduced an all-black primary kit on two occasions (2015 and 2019), the only two times it has so fully deviated from its traditional color scheme since it began in 1958. The team’s secondary kits have often seen a more creative approach taken in their design.

HISTORY & RECENT PERFORMANCES

Historically, Mexico has been one of the strongest teams in the region, qualifying for the past seven FIFA World Cups. El Trí has also participated in the FIFA Confederations Cup on seven occasions (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2013 and 2017) and won the 1999 edition of the tournament, which it also hosted. It has also won the CONCACAF Gold Cup a record seven times (the U.S. has six confederation titles), with the last victory coming in 2015.

Mexico took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, where it opened with a 1-0 upset win against reigning World Cup champion Germany. The side advanced from the group phase but exited the tournament in the Round of 16 for fifth straight time, falling 2-0 to Brazil.  

In the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, Mexico topped Group A, defeating Cuba (7-0), Canada (3-1) and Martinique (3-2). El Trí has gone to extra time in both of its Knockout Round matches, besting Costa Rica on penalties after playing to a 2-2 draw in the quarterfinal, before a 93rd minute penalty kick from Raul Jimenez saw Mexico down Haiti 1-0 in the semifinal. 

MNT HISTORY VS. MEXICO 

The U.S. Men’s National Team played its first game against Mexico in 1934, winning 4-2 in Rome, Italy, in a one-off qualifying match for the 1934 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. didn’t win another game against Mexico until 1980, with two goals from Steve Moyers resulted in a 2-1 victory on Nov. 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 
 
While Mexico had historically dominated the series, competition between the teams has grown into a proper rivalry since 2000 during which time the U.S. has held the edge, amassing a record of 14-7-6 against its neighbors to the south. The most important meeting in the modern era came at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan in the Round of 16. Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan knocked Mexico out of the World Cup following a 2-0 shutout at Jeonju Stadium in Jeonju, South Korea.
 
The most recent meeting was an international friendly on Sept. 11, 2018, a 1-0 U.S. win in front of 40,194 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. U.S. midfielder Tyler Adams scored his first international goal in the 71st minute to earn the U.S. victory in a match that teased a new era of the rivalry.  


The teams have met twice in the last 12 months. A year ago, the USMNT utilized Tyler Adams’ 71st minute goal to earn a 1-0 victory in front of 40,194 fans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. About two months ago, Mexico returned the favor by defeating the USA 1-0 in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Final on July 7 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. 

NEW MAN WITH A PLAN

The Federación Mexicana de Fútbol unveiled Gerardo “Tata” Martino as its newest head coach on Jan. 7, 2019, replacing interim manager Ricardo “Tuca” Ferreti. Since taking over Mexico, Martino has led El Trí to an 9-0-1 record. 

Martino has been largely successful throughout his coaching career which includes stops at the helm of the Paraguay and Argentina national teams on the international stage as well as Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina and Barcelona at the club level. Martino has guided his teams to second-place finishes in many of the sport’s most prestigious competitions including the Copa Libertadores and La Liga at club level and the Copa America and World Cup on the international stage. 

However, Martino’s latest stint before joining Mexico ended in success as he guided Atlanta United FC to its first MLS Cup title in just the team’s second season of existence. 

MEXICO ROSTER

Martino called up a 31-player roster for Mexico’s September matches against the United States and Argentina. The large El Trí squad features all 23 players that were part of the Gold Cup roster, along with the high-profile attacking additions of Javier Hernandez (Sevilla), Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (Napoli) and Jesús Manuel Corona (Porto).

Three players on the Mexico roster also feature in Major League Soccer – the LA Galaxy duo of Jonathan dos Santos and Uriel Antuna, and Philadelphia Union defender Marco Fabian.

DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION 

GOALKEEPERS (4): Rodolfo Cota (Club León; 2/0), Hugo Gonzalez (Necaxa; 2/0), Guillermo Ochoa (Club America; 107/0), Jonathan Orozco (Santos Laguna; 8/0)

DEFENDERS (10): Néstor Araujo (Celta Vigo/ESP; 34/3), Jesús Gallardo (Monterrey; 41/0), Miguel Layún (Monterrey; 71/6), Héctor Moreno (Al-Gharafa; 101/4), César Montes (Monterrey; 9/0), Fernando Navarro (Club León; 2/1), Diego Reyes (Tigres UANL; 64/2), Luis Rodríguez (Tigres UANL; 17/1), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres UANL; 32/0), Jorge Sánchez (Club America; 2/0)

MIDFIELDERS (12): Roberto Alvarado (Cruz Azul; 14/2), Uriel Antuna (LA Galaxy/USA; 8/4), Edson Álvarez (Club América; 28/1), Jonathan dos Santos (LA Galaxy/USA; 46/3), Marco Fabián (Philadelphia Union; 42/9), Andrés Guardado (Real Betis/ESP; 161/28), Érick Gutiérrez (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 17/0), Hector Herrera (Atlético Madrid/ESP; 70/5), Luis Montes (Club León; 25/5), Orbelín Pineda (Cruz Azul; 18/1), Rodolfo Pizarro (Monterrey; 22/4), Carlos Rodriguez (Monterrey; 8/0)

FORWARDS (5): Jesús Manuel Corona (Porto/POR; 40/7), Javier Hernández (Sevilla/ESP; 108/51), Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG; 78/22), Hirving Lozano (Napoli/ITA; 35/9), Alexis Vega (Guadalajara; 5/1)