Welcome to your live thread for the United States Women's National Team against Mexico in Group A play of the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship (7:30 p.m., FS2 and UDN). The USWNT begins its World Cup qualifying run against our neighbors to the south as eight teams chase three direct berths into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The U.S. is 34-1-1 against Mexico in 36 all-time meetings, which include a pair of friendlies back in April, when the Yanks won, 4-1, and 6-2, in Jacksonville and Houston, respectively. Orlando Pride striker Alex Morgan scored four of the Yanks’ 10 goals in that pair of friendlies. Today’s match takes place in Cary, NC, at WakeMed Soccer Park, where the USWNT is 7-0-0 all-time and three players — Crystal Dunn, Sam Mewis, and Abby Dahlkemper — play for their NWSL club. The Yanks are also 27-1-0 all-time in World Cup qualifying and 13-0-0 at home.
Prior to April’s friendlies, the last time the two sides met was in 2016 World Cup qualifying. Carli Lloyd’s goal held up in a 1-0 U.S. win in Frisco, TX. Mexico’s only win in the series came in 2011 Women’s World Cup qualifying — a 2-1 final that forced the United States to win the Concacaf third-place match and then a two-leg playoff against Italy to qualify for the World Cup in Germany.
There aren’t many surprises in Jill Ellis’ 20-player roster for the tournament. Defender Tierna Davidson’s injury made room for UCLA’s Hailie Mace, who has only two caps to her name thus far. The next lowest total belongs to Rose Lavelle, at 13. Everyone else is a seasoned veteran.
The United States should not have trouble with Mexico, although El Tri took an early 2-1 lead in the last meeting before the Stars & Stripes punished them for their insolence. The USWNT is 11-0-2 in 2018 and has gone 21 games without a loss (18-0-3) since the Tournament of Nations in 2017.
Mónica Ocampo and Sky Blue FC’s Katie Johnson are the players to watch for Mexico, which sits 24th in FIFA’s current world rankings. The Tricolores are a program on the rise. Mexico won the Barranquilla 2018 Women’s Football Tournament in Colombia, defeating Trinidad & Tobago, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Costa Rica. The Mexicans also finished as runners-up in this year’s Turkish Women’s Cup, beating Latvia, Jordan, and Poland, before losing to a France ‘B’ side.
I don’t expect Mexico to threaten the U.S. much. This is a game the United States should win handily, although it may take until the second half to wear down the visitors. Then again, you never know what might happen when the ball is kicked.
Goalkeepers (2): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 17/0), 1-Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 33/0).
Defenders (7): 7-Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 23/0), 19- Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 69/23), 20-Hailie Mace (UCLA; 2/0), 5-Kelly O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 108/2), 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 143/0), 14-Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 25/0), 2-Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 21/0).
Midfielders (5): 6-Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 79/6), 8-Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 66/16); 9-Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 56/6), 16-Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 13/3), 3-Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 38/7).
Forwards (6): 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns; 138/21), 10-Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 259/102), 13-Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 147/90), 12-Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 104/45), 11-Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 37/12), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 140/38).
Goalkeepers (2): 1-Cecilia Santiago (América), 12-Bianca Henninger (Houston Dash, USA).
Defenders (6): 2-Kenti Robles (Atlético de Madrid, Spain), 3-Christina Murillo (Chicago Red Stars, USA), 4-Bianca Sierra (Thór / KA, Iceland), 5-Mónica Flores (Valencia FC, Spain), 13-Rebeca Bernal (Monterrey), 14-Arianna Romero (Valur Reykjavik, Iceland).
Midfielders (8): 6-Nancy Antonio (Tigres de la U.A.N.L.), 7-Nayeli Rangel (Tigres de la U.A.N.L.), 8-Karla Nieto (Pachuca), 10-Stephany Mayor (Thór / KA, Iceland), 11-Mónica Ocampo (Pachuca), 16-Cristina Ferral (Tigres de la U.A.N.L.), 17-María Sánchez (Santa Clara University, USA), 20-Jacqueline Ovalle (Tigres de la U.A.N.L.).
Forwards (4): 9-Charlyn Corral (Levante UD, Spain), 15-Ariana Calderón (Thór / KA), 18-Kiana Palacios (Real Sociedad, Spain), 19-Kaitlyn Johnson (Sky Blue FC, USA).
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: WakeMed Soccer Park — Cary, NC.
TV: FS2, UDN.
Streaming: FOX Sports GO.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go America!