PREVIEW: USWNT Finishes Pre-Olympic Schedule on Monday vs. Mexico as Send-Off Series, Presented by Visa, ConcludesWatch USA-Mexico on Monday, July 5 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN, TUDN.com and the TUDN App
The U.S Women’s National Team will play its last match before heading to Japan for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, taking on Mexico on July 5 in the second and final match of the WNT Send-Off Series, presented by Visa. The USA and Mexico will square off for the second time in five days at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. The match will be broadcast at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN, TUDN.tv and the TUDN App, with official kickoff slated for 5:09 p.m. ET.
Not even a torrential rainstorm could dampen the mood of the 21,637 fans on hand for the first match of the Send-Off Series on July 1, in which the USA defeated Mexico, 4-0. Samantha Mewis opened the scoring in the 21st minute off an assist from her older sister Kristie, marking the first sister-to-sister assist-goal combination in USWNT history. Christen Press added goals in the 39th and 85thminutes to continue her stellar run of attack form, while Tobin Heath marked her return to the pitch with a wonder strike from 32 yards out less than a minute after entering the match.
With the July 1 win over Mexico, the USWNT extended its unbeaten streak to 43 games in row, tied for the second-longest such streak in program history. The record for the longest unbeaten streak in USWNT history is 51 games, which spanned from December 2004 to September 2007. The USA also had a 43-game unbeaten run that began in March 2012 and ran to March 2014 and can surpass that record with a positive result vs. Mexico on July 5.
Following the match against Mexico, the USA will depart for its pre-Olympic training camp in Miyazaki, Japan, located on the southern island of Kyushu. The USWNT kicks off play in Group G on July 21, taking on Sweden in its opening match of the group stage.
USWNT DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION VS. (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (2):18-Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 6), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 72)
DEFENDERS (6):17-Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG; 70/0), 12-Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 33/1), 2-Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC; 115/24), 5-Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit; 139/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC; 187/0), 14-Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit; 55/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6):8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 110/20), 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 97/21), 16-Rose Lavelle (OL Reign; 55/14), 19-Catarina Macario (Olympique Lyon, FRA; 6/1), 6-Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash; 25/4), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 76/23)
FORWARDS (5): 7-Tobin Heath (Unattached; 170/34), 10-Carli Lloyd (NJ/NY Gotham FC; 305/125), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 179/110), 11-Christen Press (Unattached; 148/63), 15-Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign; 178/59)
LAST TIME OUT
A strong group effort led the U.S. Women’s National Team to a commanding 4-0 victory in its first match of the 2021 WNT Send-Off Series, presented by Visa.The USA out-shot Mexico, 29-9, with most of the U.S. shots coming in the second half.
Playing its penultimate match before the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the game was open from the get-go as the USA was patient in possession while building its attacks but Mexico was unafraid to venture forward as well. Samantha Mewis was dynamic as an attacking midfielder, and her efforts paid off in the 21st minute. Kristie Mewis teed up her younger sister for the historic sibling assist-goal combo and Sam’s fifth goal of the year. The Mewis sisters have now scored or assisted on 10 of the USWNT’s 33 goals thus far in 2021.
A driving rain blanketed the field shortly after the goal, making connecting passes a bit more difficult, but Samantha Mewis catalyzed the second goal in the 39th minute. She did well to split the defense and slip a pass to Rapinoe running into the penalty area on the left side. Rapinoe then dribbled to the end line and played short pass back to Press for her to touch home her 62nd career international goal. It was Rapinoe’s 69th career assist as she chases Abby Wambach (73 career assists) for third all-time.
After the break, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch replaced Naeher to pick up her sixth USWNT cap. In the 72nd minute, forward Tobin Heath delighted the crowd of more than 21,000 fans in her USWNT return, playing for the first time since Nov. 27, 2020, against the Netherlands. Less than a minute after entering the match, Morgan found Heath on the run down the middle of the field. She looked up and ripped a shot from 36 yards out that skipped off the wet turf, off the left post and in for her 34th international goal and first score since Olympic qualifying in Jan. 2020.
Press put an exclamation point on things in the 85th minute, continuing her scoring streak by deftly deflecting a nice cross from substitute Tierna Davidson into the back of the net for her 63rd career USWNT goal and her ninth career multi-goal game for the USWNT.It was Davidson’s sixth career assist for the USWNT and first of the year.
INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. MEXICO
The July 5 matchup will be the 41st meeting all-time between the USA and Mexico. The fifth most played opponent in program history, the USA has won 38 of the previous 40 meetings with Mexico and has just one loss and one draw all-time against its southern neighbors. The USA has won the last 14 head-to-head meetings with Mexico and has outscored La Tri, 60-4, during that run. The USA’s 14-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 in a playoff vs. Italy and is since unbeaten in its last 55 games against Concacaf foes, with 52 wins and three draws since that defeat to Mexico in Cancun.
SUCCESS ON HOME SOIL
With its July 1 win over Mexico, the USA extended its home unbeaten streak to 57 consecutive games, with 52 wins and five draws. During this home unbeaten streak, the USA has outscored its opponents 200-27, including a 70-3 margin during its last 19 matches at home, all of which have been wins. The USA’s current 19-game home winning streak dates back to a 3-2 win over Sweden on November 7, 2019, which was also first match in charge of the USWNT. The 19-game home winning streak is the third-longest home win streak in program history and the team’s longest since a 20-game home winning streak that spanned from October 2005 to October 2007. The USA’s longest home winning streak was 23 games and spanned from April 1993 to February 1996.
PRESS CONTINUES STELLAR RUN OF FORM
Heading into her second Olympics, Christen Press is in the middle of one of the finest stretches of her career – and of anyone’s career for the USWNT – as she has been directly involved in 36 goals in her last 36 games for the USWNT, scoring 16 goals with 18 assists. She also served in the free kick that led to Rose Lavelle’s game-winner vs. Canada on Feb. 18 and earned the penalty kick that was converted by Lindsey Horan on June 13. Since the start of 2019, Press leads the USWNT with 19 assists and is third in scoring with 17 goals over that span.
Press has either scored or assisted in 17 of her last 20 games for the USA -- including each of her last five outings – and has scored 14 goals during that 20-game stretch. Press’ brace against Mexico on July 1 marked the 9th multi-goal game of her career – good for 11th in USWNT history – and her first such game since 2020 Olympic Qualifying. She now has 148 caps, 63 career goals and 42 career assists and is the 14th player in U.S. history with a combined 100 or more goals and assists in her international career.
MEWIES IN THE MIDFIELD
With both Kristie (30-years-old) and Samantha Mewis (28) named to roster for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, they become the first sisters ever named to a world championship roster at the senior level for the USWNT. Kristie is the older sister by 592 days. Both Samantha and Kristie played for the USA at the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, in which the USA advanced to the final, and at the 2010 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Together, they have combined for 101 caps (76 for Samantha and 25 for Kristie).
Together, the Mewis sisters have scored (7) or assisted (4) on ten of the USA’s 33 goals in 2021. They produced the first sister-to-sister goal in USWNT history on July 1 as Kristie set up Samantha for the USA’s first score in the 4-0 win vs. Mexico. It was their second consecutive and third career start together for the USWNT.
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.
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 for gold 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 MATCHESUnder 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 free Coach 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 also marked the debut of CHAMP -- 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
Carli Lloyd has the most Olympic appearances coming into the tournament with 16 and the most Olympic goals with eight. Tobin Heath has made 12 Olympic appearances.
So far this year, 12 players have scored the USA’s 33 goals: Megan Rapinoe (7), Samantha Mewis (5), Christen Press (5), Alex Morgan (3), Lindsey Horan (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Margaret Purce (2), Carli Lloyd (2), Lynn Williams (2), Rose Lavelle, Catarina Macario and Tobin Heath.
Thirteen different players have also tallied an assist in 2021: Carli Lloyd (5), Lindsey Horan (4), Christen Press (4), Samantha Mewis (2), Rose Lavelle (2), Megan Rapinoe (2), Kristie Mewis (2), Alex Morgan (2), Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Emily Sonnett, Casey Krueger and Tierna Davidson.
Overall, 16 different players have been directly involved in at least one of the USWNT’s 33 goals in the 2021 calendar year.
Rapinoe (7 goals, 2 assist) and Press (5 goals, 4 assists) lead the way with nine goal contributions while Lloyd (2 goals, 5 assists) and Samantha Mewis (5 goals, 2 assists) have been involved in seven.
IN FOCUS: MEXICO | FIVE THINGS TO KNOWFIFA World Ranking: 28
Concacaf Ranking: 3
World Cup Appearances: 3 (1999, 2011, 2015)
Olympic Appearances: 1 (2004)
Record vs. USA: 1-38-1
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 40 times and leads the overall series 38-1-1. Prior to the July 1 friendly to start the Send-Off Series, the most recent meeting between the teams was a 4-0 U.S. victory during Olympic qualifying in January of 2020. Before that, the teams played in the final Send-Off Match before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a 3-0 win for the USA.
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.
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.
Mexico is led by 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.