PREVIEW: USWNT to Take on Mexico in the Send-Off Series, Presented by VisaWatch USA-Mexico on Thursday, July 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN
The U.S Women’s National Team will play the first of its final two matches before heading to Japan for the delayed 2020 Olympics when it kicks off the WNT Send-Off Series, presented by Visa, on July 1 with a matchup against Mexico. The Concacaf foes will square off at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN. Official kickoff is slated for 7:38 p.m. ET with pre-match coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.
The USA heads into the match against Mexico in the midst of a 42-game unbeaten streak, one shy of matching the second-longest such streak in program history. In its most recent on-field action, the USA won all three of its matches at the WNT Summer Series in Texas, beating Portugal, Jamaica and Nigeria.
Some of the biggest news however came off the field, as USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski unveiled the 18-player squad for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Wednesday, June 23. The team features seven first-time Olympians and 17 World Cup champions.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (2): 18-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 5), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 71)
DEFENDERS (6): 17-Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 69/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 32/1), 6-Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 114/24), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 138/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 186/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 54/0)
MIDFIELDERS (5): 6-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 110/20), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 96/21), 16-Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 55/14), 6-Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 24/4), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 75/22)
FORWARDS (5): 7-Tobin Heath (Unattached; 169/33), 10-Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 304/125), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 178/110), 11-Christen Press (Unattached; 147/61), 15-Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 177/59)
ANDONOVSKI NAMES OLYMPIC ROSTER
On June 23, USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski (with an assist from AFC Richmond head coach Ted Lasso) named the roster for the 2020 Olympics and those 18 players will comprise the roster for the two games vs. Mexico. Eleven players who were on the USA’s roster for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil make a return, while 17 players who were members of the USA’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup championship team were named to the roster for Tokyo. Kristie Mewis is the only player to make the Olympic Team who was not on the 2019 World Cup roster.
Two players – forwards Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath – make their fourth Olympic Team, tying former captain and 2021 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Christie Pearce Rampone for the most in USWNT history. Lloyd, who will turn 39 on July 16 just before the Olympics begin, is the oldest-ever U.S. Women’s Soccer Olympian, nearly two years older than Rampone when she played in the 2012 Olympics. Prior to the naming of this roster, 12 USWNT players had previously made three Olympic Teams. Add to that list defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O’Hara as well as forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, who all played in the 2012 and 2016 Games. Defender Crystal Dunn, midfielders Lindsey Horan and Julie Ertz, forward Christen Press and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher make their second Olympic Teams and will be working for their first Olympic medals. The seven first-time Olympians are defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Tierna Davidson and Emily Sonnett, midfielders Samantha Mewis, Kristie Mewis and Rose Lavelle and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.
Andonovski also chose four alternate replacement players who will travel to Japan: goalkeeper Jane Campbell, defender Casey Krueger, midfielder Catarina Macario, and forward Lynn Williams. Teams can make a roster change due to injury all the way to and during the Olympic Tournament and should a change be necessary, it will come from these four players.
USWNT DEBUTS OLYMPIC NUMBERS IN SEND-OFF SERIES
All teams participating in the Olympics must number their roster 1-18 with the goalkeepers required to wear number 1 and 18. That means that several National Team regulars will be wearing numbers that may not be familiar to the fans. Abby Dahlkemper will be in 17. Tobin Heath will wear 7. Christen Press will wear 11. Crystal Dunn will wear 2. Kristie Mewis will wear 6.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. MEXICO
The July 1 matchup will be the 40th meeting all-time between the USA and Mexico. The fifth most played opponent in program history, the USA has won 37 of the previous 39 meetings with Mexico and has just one loss and one draw all-time against its southern neighbors. The USA has won the last 13 head-to-head meetings with Mexico and has outscored La Tri, 56-4, during that run. The USA’s 13-match winning streak against Mexico came after a 2-1 defeat to Mexico in World Cup Qualifying in 2010. The USA went on the qualify for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and is since unbeaten in its last 54 games against Concacaf foes, with 51 wins and three draws since that defeat to Mexico in Cancun.
The most recent matchup between the teams came on February 7, 2020, when the USA punched its ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a 4-0 victory over Mexico in the semifinal of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Rose Lavelle kicked off the scoring in the fifth minute before a pair of goals from Samantha Mewis in the 14th and 67th minutes and a sublime chip from Christen Press in the 73rd secured the USA a spot in the since-delayed but now fast-approaching games in Tokyo.
All 11 USA starters from that 2020 semifinal meeting against Mexico have been named to the final 18-player roster for the Olympics.
In fact, nine of the ten forwards and midfielders selected for the USWNT 2021 Olympic team have scored against Mexico at least once in their career. First-time Olympian Kristie Mewis is the only midfielder or forward on the roster who has never scored against Mexico, though she did tally an assist in her only previous career cap against La Tri in September of 2013.
LAST TIME OUT
The U.S. Women’s National Team topped Nigeria, 2-0, in the final match of the 2021 Summer Series, presented by AT&T 5G
Stoppage-time goals at the end of each half fueled the USWNT as they opened Austin’s new Q2 Stadium with a win. Christen Press continued her torrid attacking hot streak, scoring in first-half stoppage time and teeing up Lynn Williams for an exclamation point in the game’s waning moments.
The Summer Series finale was a more open affair than the USWNT’s first two matches, as Nigeria showed more of an inclination to attack as compared to the bunkers that were dug in by Portugal and Jamaica. In a physical game from the get-go, the USA had the better offensive opportunities, but the Super Falcons weren’t shy about getting up the field in a hurry and laying down hard tackles on the defensive end.
The U.S. continued to knock on the door as the half wore on and finally broke through in stoppage time, when Lloyd’s hustle won a ball and it fell to an unmarked Press who hit a curling first-time shot to the far post for the opening goal.
The USA’s five second-half substitutes also made an impact down the stretch, as the fresh legs of Williams doubled the American advantage. Press found Williams on the run down the right flank and the NC Courage forward did the rest, getting behind the defense before pushing the ball past the ‘keeper and slotting it home just inside the right post for her 11th international goal.
FINAL TUNE-UPS FOR TOKYO
The U.S. Women’s National Team is 9-0-1 in this COVID-impacted year and has just two matches left before kicking off play in the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics, both coming in the WNT Send-Off Series, Presented by Visa, which will see the USA play Mexico on July 1 and July 5. The match on Thursday, July 1 will be broadcast on FS1 and TUDN, with pre-game coverage on FS1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET and kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET. The match on Monday, July 5 will be broadcast on ESPN, TUDN.com and the TUDN App at 5 p.m. ET. Each team will be allowed six substitutes during the matches, in addition to two possible concussion substitutes in line with the established protocols. The final five matches for the USWNT before the Olympics have been and will be played in the summer heat and humidity of Texas and in the Northeast, giving the USA some valuable climate experiences before heading into what is sure to be a grind of an Olympic tournament played in heart of the Japanese summer. Following the completion of the Send-Off Series, the USWNT will depart for its pre-Olympic training camp in Miyazaki, which is located in southern Japan.
SUCCESS ON HOME SOIL
With its three wins at the Summer Series, the USA has extended its home unbeaten streak to 56 consecutive games. The current 56-game home unbeaten streak includes 51 wins and five draws. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 196-27, including a 66-3 margin during its last 18 matches at home, all of which have been wins.The USA’s current 18-game home winning streak dates back to a 3-2 win over Sweden on November 7, 2019, which was also Vlakto Andonovski’s first match in charge of the USWNT.
The USA is also riding a 42-game unbeaten streak – 38 wins and four ties – across all matches and has scored multiple goals in 35 of those games. The current 42-game unbeaten streak is the third-longest in USWNT history. The USA’s longest unbeaten streak spanned 51 matches from December 2004 to September 2007. Most recently, the USA had a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March of 2012 and ran to March 2014, which could be matched with a positive result on July 1 against Mexico.
GEARED UP FOR GROUP G
The Final Draw for the 2021 Olympic Football Tournament was held – virtually – on April 21 to determine the groups and schedule for the 12 teams competing in Tokyo. The U.S. was drawn into Group G and will open Olympic play on July 21 – two days before the Olympic Opening Ceremonies – against Sweden (5:30 p.m. local / 4:30 a.m. ET) at Tokyo Stadium. The Americans will play their second match in Saitama against New Zealand on July 24 (8:30 p.m. local / 7:30 a.m. ET). The USA will finish group play against Australia on July 27 (5 p.m. local / 4 a.m. ET) at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium in Kashima.
The Olympic Football Tournament runs from July 21-Aug. 6 with six group games taking place on each of the first-round dates -- July 21, 24 and 27 -- giving all nations only two days of rest between matches. The Olympics is an intense tournament as there are also only two rest days between the second and third group games, between the end of group play and the quarterfinal, and between the quarterfinal and the semifinal. Teams that make the Final will be gifted with a third rest day before squaring off for the gold medal.
The 12 countries that have will be playing in the Olympic women’s soccer tournament are the USA and Canada from Concacaf; Australia, Japan and China PR from Asia; Great Britain, Netherlands, and Sweden from Europe; Brazil and Chile from South America; New Zealand from Oceania and Zambia from Africa.
USWNT EYES OLYMPIC HISTORY
The U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team had advanced to the gold medal game of every Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament that had been contested until 2016, when the Americans were knocked out in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round by Sweden. The USA won the inaugural gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, won silver in 2000 in Sydney and then won three straight golds after standing atop the podium in Athens, Greece in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. The USA has an all-time Olympic record of 25-2-5.
The USA has lost just one game in regulation in the Olympics, that coming in the opening match of the 2008 Beijing Games, a 2-0 setback to Norway, but the USA would go on to win the gold. The USA has not lost an Olympic match in regulation time since that tournament, winning all six matches in England in 2012 and winning two and tying two in Brazil in 2016, which included that penalty kick loss Sweden. That match officially counts as a draw. The other four draws were against China PR (1996), China PR (2000), Australia (2004) and Colombia (2016). In the 2000 Olympic gold medal game, the USA lost 3-2 to Norway on a controversial “golden goal” that hit the arm of forward Dagny Mellgren, causing the ball to move forward toward the goal before she scored past U.S. goalkeeper Siri Mullinix.
U.S. SOCCER UNVEILS DEIB INIATIVES AROUND USWNT AND USMNT MATCHES: Under the umbrella of ‘One Nation,’ U.S. Soccer’s social responsibility platform, the Federation is focused on taking specific actions to inspire greater inclusion and generate real change in the communities it visits.
For the matches in Hartford, U.S. has partnered with the Connecticut Junior Soccer Association to run a freeCoach for Community event at the Bloomfield Soccer Club on Saturday, July 3. Visa has donated tickets to the local community for both matches, as players from the Hartford Lions Soccer Academy will attend the July 1 game while Hugh Russell, owner of local Caribbean restaurant The Russell – one of the few Black-owned restaurants in downtown Hartford - and guests will attend on July 5. COVID-19 vaccines will be available on-site at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field from Griffin Health. A free $15 concession voucher will be given to anyone vaccinated at the venue before either match.
The Send-Off Series will also mark the debut ofCHAMP-- a custom Volkswagen telepresence robot that will allow young soccer fans facing hardship to virtually participate in pregame ceremonies. On July 1, 10-year-old Luna Perrone, an avid youth soccer player recently diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer, will take the field for the National Anthem with USWNT players.
Learn more about U.S. Soccer’s One Nation initiatives here.
2021 USWNT MEDIA GUIDE
The 2021 U.S. Women’s National Team Media Guide is available for download. The Media Guide features all the history and statistics of the USWNT, as well as full bios on technical staff and the current top players, information on the USA’s Youth National Teams, and general important information on U.S. Soccer.
USA ROSTER NOTES
The roster averages 111 international caps per player and has a combined total of 77 Olympic appearances and 17 Olympic goals, courtesy of Lloyd (8), Alex Morgan (5), Megan Rapinoe (3) and Crystal Dunn (1). By comparison, at the time of roster announcement for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup roster, the squad averaged 80 caps per player. while the 2016 Olympic roster averaged 77 caps per player heading into the send-off matches with a total of 53 combined Olympic caps.
Nine of the 18 players on the roster for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have 100+ caps and every outfield player on the roster has at least 24 caps.
The average age of the U.S. Olympic Women’s Soccer Team when the USA opens play on July 21 will be 30.8 years old.
At 22-years-old, Tierna Davidson is the youngest player on the roster, a distinction she also held at the 2019 World Cup. Davidson was born in September 1998, more than two years after the USA won the first-ever gold medal in women’s soccer at the 1996 Olympics.
The USA has scored in 71 consecutive matches and has averaged just more than three goals per game in that time. The run of 71 consecutive matches with a goal is the longest such streak in USWNT history and began following a 1-0 loss to Australia in the 2017 Tournament of Nations.
The USA is riding a 42-game unbeaten streak – 38 wins and four ties – which is the third-longest in USWNT history. The USA’s longest unbeaten streak spanned 51 matches from December 2004 to September 2007. Most recently, the USA had a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March 2012 and ran to March 2014, which could be matched with a positive result on July 1 vs. Mexico.
So far this year, 11 players have scored the USA’s 29 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Samantha Mewis (4), Alex Morgan (3), Christen Press (3), Lindsey Horan (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Margaret Purce (2), Carli Lloyd (2), Lynn Williams (2), Rose Lavelle, and Catarina Macario.
Twelve different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (5), Lindsey Horan (4), Christen Press (4), Samantha Mewis (2), Rose Lavelle (2), Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Megan Rapinoe, Emily Sonnett, Kristie Mewis, Casey Krueger and Alex Morgan.
Overall, 15 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 29 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
Rapinoe leads the way with eight goal contributions (7 goals, 1 assist), while Lloyd (2 goals, 5 assists) and Press (3 goals, 4 assists) have each been involved in seven.
U.S. head coach Vlatko Andonovski is 20-0-1 in his first 21 games (two at the end of 2019, nine in 2020 and ten so far in 2021), setting a record for best start for a head coach in USWNT history.
FIFA World Ranking: 28
IN FOCUS: MEXICO | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
Concacaf Ranking: 3
World Cup Appearances: 3 (1999, 2011, 2015)
Olympic Appearances: 1 (2004)
Record vs. USA: 1-37-1
MEXICO DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Emily Alvarado (Texas Christian, USA), 12- Itzel González (Tijuana)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Bianca Sierra (Tigres), 3-Karina Rodríguez (Washington Spirit, USA), 4-Jocelyn Orejel (América), 5-Jimena López (OL Reign, USA), 13-Reyna Reyes (University of Alabama, USA), 14-Cristina Ferral (Tigres), 15-Nicole Soto (Arizona State, USA)
MIDFIELDERS (8): 6-Rebeca Bernal (Monterrey), 7- Daniela Espinosa (América), 8-Belén Cruz (Tigres), 11-María Sánchez (Tigres), 16-Nancy Antonio (Tigres), 17-Lizbeth Ovalle (Tigres), 18-Dania Pérez (Monterrey), 21-Diana García (Monterrey)
FORWARDS (4): 9-Kiana Palacios (Real Sociedad, ESP), 10-Stefany Mayor (Tigres), 19-Katty Martínez (Tigres), 20-Alison González (Atlas)
MEXICO ROSTER NOTES
The USA has faced Mexico 39 times. Of the last five meetings, one came in 2019, a 3-0 win in the final Send-Off Match before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, three were in 2018, 4-1 and 6-2 U.S. victories in friendlies and a 5-0 victory in World Cup Qualifying, and most recently, a 4-0 U.S. victory during Olympic qualifying in January of 2020.
Eight Mexican players who played against the USA in January of 2020 are on this roster. Thirteen of the 14 U.S. players who played in that game made the 2020 Olympic Team roster.
The most recent meeting was in the semifinal of the qualifying tournament and that’s the game that sent the USA to the Olympics in Japan. Rose Lavelle opened the scoring in just the fifth minute before a pair of goals from Samantha Mewis (14th and 67th) and a magical Christen Press chip (73rd) ensured the USA would be represented at the Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament
This will be the first match against the United States for relatively new manager Monica Vergara, who took over in January of 2021. She is the first female head coach in Mexico WNT history. The 38-year-old Vergara was a long-time member of the Mexican National Team and debuted as a teenager. She was a member of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Team as a 16-year-old, playing against Germany and Italy. She played against the USA prior to the World Cup on March 28, 1999, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Prior to getting the head coach job with the senior team, Vergara coached the Mexico U-15, U-17, and U-20 teams. She led the U-15 team to a third-place finish at the Youth Olympic Games and most notably took the U-17s to the championship game of the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup where Mexico fell to Spain.
Mexico has been able to play five matches this year, including a pair of friendlies in Mexico City in February in which Mexico defeated Costa Rica 3-1 and drew 0-0. Mexico also traveled to Europe in April, drawing 0-0 with Slovakia and falling 3-0 to rising world power Spain. Most recently, Mexico traveled to Japan where it lost 5-1 to the hosts in mid-June. Forward Alison Gonzalez scored Mexico’s lone goal in that game.