Five Things to Know: USA vs. Mexico

Having already secured its spot in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team will close out Group A play on Monday, Feb. 26 against longtime foes Mexico.

Having already secured its spot in the quarterfinals of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup, the U.S. Women’s National Team will close out Group A play on Monday, Feb. 26 against longtime foes Mexico. The teams will square off at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. with broadcast coverage available in English on Paramount+ and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.

While the U.S. has already punched its ticket to the knockout stage as one of the top teams in Group A (6 points; +9 goal differential); Mexico is close behind in second (4 points; +8 GD) and both teams still have much to play for. The three group winners, the three group runners-up, and the two best third-place finishers will advance to the tournament’s Quarterfinals, where the pairings will be determined based on the group stage standings, with the team accumulating the most points facing the team accumulating the least points (#1 vs. #8, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, and #4 vs. #5).

If the USA finishes first or second overall following the conclusion of group play, it will play a quarterfinal match on March 2. If they USA finishes third or fourth, it will play a quarterfinal match on March 3.

Get set for the USWNT’s group stage finale with Five Things to Know about USA vs. Mexico.  

MEXICO DOWNS DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FOR FIRST GOLD CUP WIN

After opening the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup with a disappointing scoreless draw against Argentina, Mexico picked up three important points with a dominant 8-0 victory over the Dominican Republic on Friday night. Seven different players scored for Mexico in the victory, led by a brace and two assists from midfielder Jacqueline Ovalle.

Mexico controlled the match from the outset, scoring twice in the first 15 minutes of play and taking a 6-0 lead into the locker room at the half. Ovalle netted a brace in the span of 13 minutes while forwards Nicki Hernandez and Diana Ordonez and defenders Rebecca Bernal and Karen Luna also scored for Mexico in the opening half. Forwards Jasmine Casarez and Maryra Pelayo came on in the second half and rounded out the scoring with goals in the 70th and 90+3rd minutes, respectively.

Overall, Mexico outshot the Dominican Republic 36-1 on the afternoon, including a 11-0 advantage in shots on goal. Like the USA, Mexico has yet to concede a goal this tournament. 

ROAD TO THE W GOLD CUP

After a disappointing showing for the hosts at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico has put together a strong run of form as of late, going unbeaten in all competitions in 2023.

Mexico qualified for the W Gold Cup Group Stage by winning Group A of League A in the Road to the W Gold Cup. Playing in a group with Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico won all four of its matches and outscored the opposition 12-1 with goals from nine different players.

Mexico also competed in the Pan-American Games and  the Central American and Caribbean Games last year, winning both tournaments. Forward Maria Sanchez, who plays for the Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League, led Mexico in scoring with four goals at the PanAm games while Casarez and fellow attacker Kiana Palacios scored four goals each at the Central American and Caribbean Games to lead the squad.

INSIDE THE ROSTER: MEXICO

The roster selected by Mexico head coach Pedro Lopez for the W Gold Cup features 19 players who play their club soccer domestically in Liga MX Femenil, which has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Six players on this roster play for reigning Apertura champions Tigres UANL while another seven play for runners-up Club America.

The four players on this roster competing for clubs outside of Mexico all play in the NWSL. Sanchez, who is from Idaho and played collegiately for both Idaho and Santa Clara, began her professional career with the Chicago Red Stars and recently signed a lucrative three-year deal with the Dash. Forward Diana Ordonez also plays for the Dash and played on the U.S. Youth Women’s National Teams as well as collegiately at the University of Virginia. Forward Scarlett Camberos plays for expansion side Bay FC after spending the 2023 season with Angel City FC while defender Reyna Reyes is entering her second season with Portland Thorns FC, playing alongside Sam Coffey, Olivia Moultrie, Sophia Smith and Becky Sauerbrunn of the USA.

MEXICO WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Cecilia Santiago (Tigres UANL), 12-Itzel Gonzalez (Club America), 21-Esthefanny Barreras (Pachuca)

DEFENDERS (7): 3-Karina Rodriguez (Club America), 4-Rebeca Bernal (CF Monterrey), 5-Karen Luna (Club America), 6-Reyna Reyes (Portland Thorns FC, USA), 13-Araceli Torres (CD Guadalajara), 14-Greta Espinoza (Tigres UANL), 15-Cristina Ferral (Tigres UANL)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 8-Alexia Delgado (Tigres UANL), 10-Stephany Mayor (Tigres UANL),  11-Jacqueline Ovalle (Tigres UANL), 16-Karla Nieto (Pachuca), 23-Kimberly Rodriguez (Club America)

FORWARDS (8): 2-Nicolette Hernández (Club America), 7-Maria Sanchez (Houston Dash, USA), 9-Kiana Palacios (Club America), 17-Natalia Mauleon (Club America), 18-Jasmine Casarez (FC Juarez), 19-Charlyn Corral (Pachuca), 20-Scarlett Camberos (Bay FC, USA), 22-Diana Ordoñez (Houston Dash, USA)

INSIDE THE SERIES: USA vs. MEXICO

Monday’s group stage matchup will be the 43rd meeting all-time between the USA and Mexico, making Mexico the fifth most-common opponent in USWNT history. The U.S. leads the all-time series with a record of 40W-1D-1L and its 40 wins against Mexico are the second most against any opponent in program history, trailing only Canada (53 wins). The USWNT has won each of the last 16 matches against Mexico, the fifth-longest winning streak against a single opponent in team history, and has outscored Mexico 65-4 during that span, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last six meetings.

The most recent meeting between the USA and Mexico game on July 11, 2022, during the final group stage game at the Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey. The USA prevailed 1-0 in a hard-fought match behind an 89th minute game winner from Kristie Mewis. The USA went on to win the Concacaf W Championship and qualify for both the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics while Mexico failed to advance out of the group.

Overall, the U.S. is now unbeaten in its last 80 matches against Concacaf opposition on home soil, posting a record of 78 wins, two draws and zero losses during this run which dates back to December of 2000.

NEW HEIGHTS 2027

While the USA and Mexico have been longtime competitors on the field, the two nations are teaming up in a join bid to co-host the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Federations officially submitted a joint bid to co-host the 2027 edition of the tournament on December 8, 2023, laying out a comprehensive plan to capitalize on the extraordinary momentum in women’s sports to deliver a tournament of unprecedented success and bring the global game to new heights. The bid proposes an integrated partnership model that brings host cities, stadiums, partners and FIFA together, allowing the ecosystem to collectively tap into greater economic benefits and drive the women’s game forward. 

Women’s soccer has seen a meteoric rise in recent years. In 2023, the Women’s World Cup generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue ($570M), breaking records for both television broadcast (est. 2B viewers) and live attendance (1.9M), while inspiring billions around the globe.

With the growth of the past Women’s World Cups to stand on, for the first time ever, U.S. Soccer is proposing a Women’s World Cup that would receive equal investment to the men’s tournament, with the goal of producing revenues far beyond what has ever been done before. Women’s sports have been on the rise in the U.S. for years and are currently experiencing a run of unprecedented fan interest and economic investment.

The United States and Mexico are in a unique position to play host to the largest women’s sporting event in history, filling 70k+ stadiums for every match and hosting fan festivals for millions of attendees.

As global leaders in the international soccer community, U.S. Soccer is committed to using the bid to continue to push the game forward and support women around the world in their fight for equal pay and equal treatment on and off the field.

Furthermore, U.S. Soccer and Mexico pledge to partner with FIFA to invest the proceeds from the tournament into a fund to support coaching education and player development in the women’s game for every MA around the globe. With the total revenue of this tournament, we believe FIFA can grant all MAs $2M+ to further support the development of the women’s game across the globe.

From total prize money to media rights, the USA-Mexico bid is in a unique position to bring investment in the Women’s tournament in line with that of the Men’s tournament.

The 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be the 10th edition of the tournament. The U.S. hosted the tournament in 1999 and then stepped in to stage a 2003 tournament due to a SARS outbreak in the host country of China. The 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl still boasts the largest officially recorded international match attendance at 90,185.

Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have also submitted a joint bid for the 2027 tournament, as has Brazil. The host for the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup will officially be announced in May of 2024 at the 74th FIFA Congress.