USWNT Faces Mexico in Group Stage Finale at W Gold Cup

Watch USA-Mexico on Monday, February 26 at 10:15 p.m. ET on Paramount+, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

The U.S. Women’s National Team became the first nation to punch its ticket to the knockout stages of the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup after opening the tournament with two decisive victories. The Americans downed the Dominican Republic 5-0 in the first group stage game on Feb. 20 and followed it up with an energizing 4-0 win against Argentina on Friday evening.


Guaranteed a top-two finish in the group, the USA will now face Mexico with first place in Group A on the line. The teams will square off on Monday, Feb. 26 at Dignity Health Sports Park at 10:15 p.m. ET / 7:15 p.m. PT, with broadcast coverage available in English on Paramount+ and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.

The USA leads Group A with six points while Mexico is in second with four points and heads into Monday’s matchup with great momentum, beating the Dominican Republic 8-0 the last time out.

While Group A play wraps up on Monday, the USWNT will need to wait until Groups B and C complete play to know its opponent and match details for the quarterfinal, which will consist of the three group winners, the three group runners-up, and the two best third-place finishers. Once the quarterfinal teams are determined based on the group stage standings, the seedings for the quarters will feature the team accumulating the most overall points facing the team accumulating the least points, the team with the second most points facing the team with the seventh most points and so on so that the matches will be #1 vs. #8, #2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6, and #4 vs. #5. The first two tie-breakers for teams with equal points will be goal difference and then goals scored

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U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB)

GOALKEEPERS (3): 21-Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), 18-Casey Murphy (North Carolina Courage), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)

DEFENDERS (8): 2-Abby Dahlkemper (San Diego Wave FC), 19-Crystal Dunn (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 12-Tierna Davidson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 23-Emily Fox (Arsenal FC, ENG), 4-Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), 20-Casey Krueger (Washington Spirit), 3-Jenna Nighswonger (NY/NJ Gotham FC), 5-Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns FC)

MIDFIELDERS (6): 15-Korbin Albert (Paris Saint-Germain, FRA), 17-Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns FC), 10-Lindsey Horan (Olympique Lyon, FRA), 16-Rose Lavelle (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 13-Olivia Moultrie (Portland Thorns FC), 14-Emily Sonnett (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

FORWARDS (6): 7-Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave FC), 9-Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), 22-Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), 8-Jaedyn Shaw (San Diego Wave FC), 11-Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns FC), 6-Lynn Williams (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore named the 23-player roster for the Concacaf W Gold Cup on Feb. 7, though two changes have since been made as center back Alana Cook was forced to withdraw due to a minor knee injury sustained during NWSL preseason and was replaced by veteran defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Forward Mia Fishel tore her ACL during training on Feb. 19 and was also forced to withdraw from the roster. She was replaced by veteran forward Alex Morgan.

Twenty-two of the 23 players on the roster have seen the field so far this tournament, with the lone exception being goalkeeper Jane Campbell. Kilgore made 10 changes to the starting lineup from the first match against the Dominican Republic to the second, with midfielder Korbin Albert the only player to start both matches.

LEADERS OF THE GROUP

The top-ranked team in both Concacaf and the W Gold Cup field, the U.S. opened the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup with back-to-back wins and leads Group A with six points. Mexico is in second with four points followed by Argentina in third (1 point) and Dominican Republic (0).

The USA has outshot its two opponents 51-4 so far over two games and qualified for the quarterfinal round with one group match left to play. The U.S. will win the group with a win or tie against Mexico on Monday night.

THE KIDS GOT GAME

While the U.S. has shown balance on attack in the first two games with six different players finding the back of the net, it’s the youngest players on this roster that have garnered the early headlines. Eighteen-year-old midfielder Olivia Moultrie scored two goals in her first start on Feb. 20 against the Dominican Republic and three days later, it was 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw making the most of her minutes, scoring in the 10th and 17th minutes against Argentina.

Moultrie became the third-youngest player in USWNT history to score in a competitive match and the third youngest in program history to score multiple goals in a game. Shaw, who scored her first international goal on Oct. 29 against Colombia and netted the game-winning goal against China PR on Dec. 5 in her first career start (which coincidently came in her hometown of Frisco, Texas), became the seventh player to score in each of her first two starts for the USWNT, joining Michelle Akers, Shannon Boxx, Danielle Fotopoulos, Ashley Hatch, Christen Press and Christie Welsh. She now has four goals in her first six caps, tied for third-most in USWNT history after six caps.

The back-to-back braces from Moultrie and Shaw mark the first time in the 39-year history of the U.S. Women’s National Team that two different teenagers have scored multiple goals in consecutive games. With Shaw’s goal in the final match of 2023, it is also just the second time in USWNT history and first since 1991 that teenagers have scored in three consecutive matches.

Shaw earned her first call-up to the senior national team in September of 2023 and made her debut on October 26 while Moultrie’s first call-up came in October 2023 and she debuted on December 2.

MORGAN ON THE MARK

One of the most experienced players on this roster and one of the highest active scorers in the world, Alex Morgan has also netted two goals this tournament, coming on as a substitute and converting a penalty kick in the win over the Dominican Republic and before starting against Argentina and scoring off a looping header. The goals were the 122nd and 123rd of her international career, putting her just seven goals away from tying her childhood hero Kristine Lilly for fourth on the USWNT’s all-time scoring charts.

Heading into the Concacaf W Gold Cup, Morgan – who tied for the team lead with five assists in 2023 - had gone scoreless in 11 consecutive appearances and had scored just twice in her last 18 appearances for the USWNT. However, she flipped the script in 2024, netting two goals in a span of less than 72 hours to open the tournament.

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 came 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.

WORLD CUP 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. 

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.

NAEHER NEARING 100 CAPS

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her 60th career clean sheet in the USA’s Feb. 20 win over the Dominican Republic, which was also her 98th cap for the team. Naeher is now just two caps away from becoming the third goalkeeper and 42nd player overall in U.S. Women’s National Team history to reach the 100 cap milestone. Naeher is, and has been for a while, the goalkeeper with the third-most caps (98), wins (80) and shutouts (60) in U.S. history, trailing only Hall-of-Famers Briana Scurry and Hope Solo.

A two-time FIFA Women's World Cup champion, Naeher debuted for the USWNT in December of 2014 and became a consistent starter following the 2016 Olympics. She matched her calendar-year high with nine shutouts for the USWNT in 2023, three of which came at the World Cup as the U.S. allowed just one goal the entire tournament and has recorded a clean sheet in each of her last five appearances.

ALL ABOUT THE GOLD CUP

The Concacaf W Gold Cup is the region's new flagship competition for Women's National Teams, providing additional opportunities for competition and exposure. The field for the final tournament was finalized on Feb. 17 as the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Puerto Rico won their Preliminary Round matches to secure their spot in the 12-team field. The Dominican Republic topped Guyana 1-0 to join the USA in Group A, Puerto Rico upset Haiti 1-0 to join Group B and El Salvador defeated Guatemala 3-1 to secure a spot in Group C.

The 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup is being played in four venues across the United States, with matches being played at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, Shell Energy Stadium in Houston and BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

Group A is being played entirely at Dignity Health Sports Park, while Group B, which features Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Puerto Rico, is playing all its matches at Snapdragon Stadium. Canada, Costa Rica, Paraguay and El Salvador make up Group C, which is staging its group games at Shell Energy Stadium in Houston.

The top two finishers from each group will advance to the knockout rounds, along with the two best third-place teams overall. The knockout rounds begin with the Quarterfinal Round on March 2 and 3 at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, with the pairings to be determined according to which team accumulates the most points overall in group play (with various tie-breakers in place to for teams which accumulate the same amount of points) facing the country that finishes eighth, the second place team will face the seventh place team, and so on, so the #1 seed will face the #8 seed, #2 will play #7, #3 will play #6 and #4 will play #5.

The winners of the single-match elimination games will then advance to the semifinal and final rounds.

The tournament will then head to San Diego where the Semifinal (March 6) and Final (March 10) will be played at Snapdragon Stadium, home of the 2023 NWSL Shield Winners San Diego Wave FC.

HAYES TO THE HELM IN MAY

After a worldwide search process led U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker, Emma Hayes was officially announced as the 10th head coach in U.S. Women’s National Team history on November 14, 2023. The long-time head coach for English powerhouse Chelsea FC, Hayes started her coaching career in the United States in the early 2000s and more than two decades later will take the helm of the USWNT. Due to her contact with Chelsea, Hayes will finish the 2023-24 Women’s Super League season in England and then join the U.S. team officially two months prior to the start of the Olympics. U.S. Soccer has put a comprehensive plan and process in place to maximize the productivity in all aspects of moving the USWNT forward leading into the Olympics, a key part of which is interim head coach Twila Kilgore continuing in her role and then joining Hayes’ staff full-time as an assistant coach in late May.

SHEBELIEVES CUP ON THE HORIZON

Following the completion of the Concacaf W Gold Cup, the U.S. will turn its attention to the 2024 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa. The USA will host Brazil, Canada and Japan in the ninth edition of the four-team tournament. All four participants are ranked in the top 11 in the world and competed in last year’s tournament, where the U.S. took first, followed by Japan in second, Brazil in third and Canada in fourth. In the Semifinals on April 6 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the USA (#2) will face Japan (#8) at 12:30 p.m. ET (TNT, Telemundo, Max & Peacock) and Brazil (#11) will take on Canada (#10) at 3:30 p.m. ET (Universo, Max & Peacock).

The four nations will then travel to Columbus, Ohio with Lower.com Field hosting the final two games of the tournament at 4 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on April 9 as the Semifinal winners play in the Championship and the losers play in the Third-Place Match. The USA will play in the 7 p.m. ET time slot (TBS, Universo, Max & Peacock) whether it is playing in Championship or Third-Place Match, and the other game will be at 4 p.m. ET (TBS, Universo, Max & Peacock).

Tickets are available for purchase now at ussoccer.com/tickets.

PATHWAY TO PARIS

With about five months until the start of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris, the USWNT is deep in preparation for its pursuit of a fifth Olympic gold medal. The Olympic Football Tournament features 12 teams and will be contested in seven different venues across France from July 25 to August 10: Parc des Princes in Paris, Stade de Lyon, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Etienne, Stade de Marseille, Stade de Nice, Stade de Bordeaux and Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes. The USA is one of just seven teams to have already qualified for Paris, joining hosts France, South American qualifiers Brazil and Colombia, New Zealand from Oceania, Spain from UEFA and Canada, which secured Concacaf’s second berth to the Olympics berth by beating Jamaica in a two-game playoff during the September international window.

The USA qualified for Paris by virtue of winning the 2022 Concacaf W Championship in Monterrey, Mexico, which served as the region’s qualification for the Olympics as well as the 2023 World Cup.

All but two of the remaining Olympic berths will be determined during this February International Window. The Netherlands and Germany square off on Feb. 28 in Third-Place Match of the 2024 UEFA Women’s Nation’s League Finals to determine the final participant from Europe and the second leg of 2024 AFC Olympic Qualifying Tournament wrapping up that same day with Australia hosting Uzbekistan and Japan hosting North Korea.

The 2024 CAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament will wrap up in early April to produce two qualifiers from Africa  while the Final Draw to set the tournament schedule will be held on March 20 at 2 p.m. ET and will be streamed on FIFA.com.

USA TEAM & ROSTER NOTES

  • The USWNT has played more matches in California (55) than any other state in the country and has never lost a match in the Golden State, boasting an overall record of 51W-4D-0L.
  • The USWNT is also unbeaten all-time at the Dignity Health Sports Park, at which it has played more matches than any other venue in the country, with a record of 19W-1D-0L.
  • The U.S. is unbeaten in its last 21 games overall and its last 15 games on home soil, both streaks that date back to the year-end victory over Germany to close out the 2022 campaign.
  • Becky Sauerbrunn (218), Alex Morgan (217), Crystal Dunn (141 caps) and Lindsey Horan (140 caps) are the only players on this roster with 100+ international appearances.
  • Five players on this roster have fewer than 10 caps, four of whom debuted in 2023: 23-year-old Jenna Nighswonger (4 caps), 20-year-old midfielder Korbin Albert (3 caps), 19-year-old Jaedyn Shaw (6 caps) and 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie (3 caps).
  • Seven players on this roster – Naomi Girma, Sophia Smith, Nighswonger, Trinity Rodman, Albert, Shaw and Moultrie – were born after the historic 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary this summer. Smith became the first player born after the ’99 World Cup to earn a USWNT cap when she debuted for the U.S. on November 27, 2020, against the Netherlands.
  • Morgan is the top scorer on this roster with 123 career international goals, followed by Horan with 32 goals, Lavelle and Dunn with 24 each, Williams with 18 and Smith with 15. 
  • Six different players have scored so far for the USWNT in 2024 – led by two goals each from Morgan, Moultrie and Shaw and one each from Horan, Nighswonger and Williams.
  • Midge Purce leads the U.S. with two assists in 2024 while Smith, Horan, Rose Lavelle and Casey Krueger all have one assist.
  • Twelve players called up for this camp were on the USA’s roster at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and nine – Dahlkemper, Davidson, Dunn, Horan, Lavelle, Morgan, Naeher, Sauerbrunn and Sonnett – were on the roster for the 2019 Women’s World Cup Champions.
  • Eight of the 14 NWSL clubs are represented on this roster, led by seven players from NJ/NY Gotham FC. Portland Thorns FC and San Diego Wave FC have four players each.
  • Three players on this roster play for clubs in Europe – two in France (Lindsey Horan at Olympique Lyon and Korbin Albert at Paris Saint-Germain) and one in England (Emily Fox at Arsenal FC).

IN FOCUS: MEXICO | FIVE THINGS TO KNOW

FIFA World Ranking: 35
Concacaf Ranking: 3
Olympic Appearances: 1 (2004)
Best Olympic Result: Quarterfinals (2004)
Record vs. USA: 1W-1D-40L (GF:15, GA: 172)
Last Meeting vs. USA: July 11, 2022 (1-0 win for the USA in Monterrey, Mexico at the 2022 Concacaf W Championship)
Head Coach: Pedro Lopez (ESP)

MEXICO WOMEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER 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)

MEXICO TEAM NOTES

  • In the 2010 Concacaf World Cup qualifying tournament, Mexico registered one of its greatest victories, beating the USA, 2-1, in the semifinal in Cancun to earn its World Cup berth, but then fell to Canada in the Championship Game, 1-0, on a Christine Sinclair penalty kick. It remains Mexico’s only victory vs. the USA.
  • Mexico’s one tie vs. the Americans came on Oct. 20, 2007, a 1-1 draw in Albuquerque, N.M. after the 2007 World Cup.
  • Of the 42 meetings between the teams, 13 have been in qualifying for the World Cup or Olympics.
  • 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, who led the league in scoring with 15 goals, 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 central defender Karina Rodriguez, who hails from Torrance, Calif., starred at UCLA, and playing sparingly in the NWSL for the Washington Spirit before moving to Club America. Rodriguez played for the USA at the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan and at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship before changing associations to Mexico.
  • Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago is 29 years old and has been playing for the Mexico senior team since she was 16, playing for Mexico in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany where she was the youngest GK ever to play in a World Cup tournament. She played in three FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups.
  • Forward Charlyn Corral, now 32, also played in three U-20 Women’s World Cups and debuted for Mexico’s senior team when she was just 16. She also played in the 2011 FIFA women’s World Cup. She played a few seasons of college soccer at Louisville and has spent about seven seasons playing in Spain.