Mexico–United States soccer rivalry

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Mexico vs. USA
City or region North America (CONCACAF)
Teams involved Mexico vs. USA
First contested May 24, 1934
(MEX 2–4 USA)
Number of meetings 63
Most wins Mexico (33 wins)
Most recent meeting April 2, 2014
(USA 2–2 MEX)
All-time series 33–18–14 (Mexico)
Largest victory MEX 6–0 USA
(September 4, 1949)

A sports rivalry that exists between the national soccer teams of Mexico and the United States, widely considered the two major powers of CONCACAF. Matches between the two nations often attract much media attention, public interest and comment in both countries. The first match was played in 1934, and the teams have met 62 times, with Mexico leading the overall series 33–18–14 (W–L–T), outscoring the U.S. 131–73. However, since the 1990s, tides began to change due to a rapid growth of soccer in the United States. During this decade, Mexico continued to hold an edge over their arch-rivals but since the 2000s the series has favored the U.S. 12–5–5 (W–L–T).

Origin[edit]

The first match between the two sides was a qualifying match in Italy for the final ticket to the 1934 World Cup. Where soccer was seen as a foreign sport in the United States, in Mexico, like many Latin American nations, was embraced from the start as part of their culture. The U.S. had established a professional league in 1921, but it had folded in 1933. The final score was United States 4–2 Mexico. Three years later, Mexico began a winning streak over the U.S. in friendlies 7–2, 7–3, and 5–1 in Mexico City.

Recent years[edit]

The rivalry continues to play out most often in annual friendlies, usually scheduled during the early months in U.S. cities with large Mexican American populations such as Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, and Chicago. The most important matchups take place in quadrennial World Cup qualification matches and major tournaments such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa América.

On neutral territory, the United States leads the series 3–2. In addition, the lone World Cup finals match between the two countries, a knockout, Round of 16 meeting at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Jeonju, South Korea, resulted in a 2–0 victory for the United States. This defeat is considered one of the worst embarrassments ever for soccer in Mexico and since then the rivalry grew significantly.

Prior to 2012, Mexico had never lost to the United States at home and now owns a 23–1–2 (W–L–T) record on their native soil. Mexico has won in the United States seven times, compiling a record of 7–13–9 (W–L–T). The overall Mexican record in the U.S., however, does not reflect the current competitive nature of the series. Since their 1999 win in the U.S. Cup, Mexico has been 2–9–3 on U.S. soil.

To date, only three players, Martin Vasquez, Edgar Castillo, and Joe Corona, have played for both nations. Castillo, who was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, debuted with the Mexican side in August 2007 under then manager Hugo Sánchez of which whom was also part of the 2008 CONCACAF Men Pre-Olympic Tournament. Castillo played his first game for the United States, a friendly against Denmark in 2009.

In the 21st century, the rivalry added a new chapter with the nickname Dos a Cero (2–0) to U.S. fans. Starting in 2001 during the qualifying cycle for the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. hosted Mexico in Columbus, Ohio at Crew Stadium. The first meeting between Mexico and the United States ended in a 2–0 win for the U.S. Following the victory, the U.S. hosted Mexico in Crew Stadium again in 2005, 2009, and 2013 for World Cup Qualifiers (2006, 2010, and 2014 qualifying cycles). Each time these teams met in Columbus, the U.S. has come out with a 2–0 win. Following the September 10, 2013 game the U.S. clinched a World Cup berth following a Panama Honduras 2–2 draw. Their meeting in the round of 16 of the 2002 World Cup also ended in a U.S. win by the same score.[1]

Incidents[edit]

Prior to an Olympic qualifying game in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, on February 10, 2004, U.S. player Landon Donovan reportedly urinated on the pitch during practice, according to Mexican media, which angered Mexican fans and media outlets.[2] Subsequent video showed Donovan actually urinated near some bushes outside the practice areas. Two days later, on February 12, 2004, Mexico defeated the US 4-0, and the crowd was heard chanting "Osama, Osama, Osama", in reference to Osama bin Laden and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.[3]

In a friendly held in Glendale, Arizona on February 7, 2007, Landon Donovan scored in injury time to give the US a 2-0 lead and win over Mexico. After the goal, Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez tried to trip U.S. player Eddie Johnson as Johnson was running to celebrate the goal with Donovan. No contact was made, and no reprimand resulted.[4]

On February 11, 2009, the first qualifier for the 2010 World Cup was held in Columbus Crew Stadium, and resulted in a 2-0 victory for the U.S. against Mexico. After the game, Frankie Hejduk was involved in an altercation with Mexican assistant coach Francisco "Paco" Javier Ramírez, who slapped Hejduk in the tunnels as both teams headed to the locker room.[5] Hejduk did not retaliate, and Ramirez was not reprimanded.

Games[edit]

Date Location Competition Result Attendance
May 24, 1934 Italy Stadio Nazionale, Rome, Italy 1934 FIFA World Cup Qualifier United States 4–2 10,000
Sep 12, 1937 Mexico Parque Asturias, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly Mexico 7–2 21,000
Sep 19, 1937 Mexico Parque Necaxa, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly Mexico 7–3 22,000
Sep 26, 1937 Mexico Parque España, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly Mexico 5–1
Jul 13, 1947 Cuba Estadio Tropical, Havana, Cuba 1947 NAFC Championship Mexico 5–0
Sep 4, 1949 Mexico Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F. 1949 NAFC Championship[n 1] Mexico 6–0 60,000
Sep 18, 1949 Mexico Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F. 1949 NAFC Championship[n 1] Mexico 6–2 54,500
Jan 10, 1954 Mexico Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F. 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 4–0 60,000
Jan. 14, 1954 Mexico Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F. 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 3–1 40,000
Apr 7, 1957 Mexico Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F. 1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 6–0 75,000
Apr 28, 1957 United States Veterans Memorial Stadium, Long Beach, California, California 1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 7–2 12,500
Nov 6, 1960 United States Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier 3–3 8,000
Nov 13, 1960 Mexico Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F. 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 3–0 80,000
Mar 7, 1965 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier 2–2 19,337
Mar 12, 1965 Mexico Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F. 1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 2–0 64,285
Sep 3, 1972 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 3–1 29,891
Sep 10, 1972 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 2–1 9,620
Oct 16, 1973 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly Mexico 2–0 14,000
Sep 5, 1974 Mexico Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León Friendly Mexico 3–1 25,000
Sep 8, 1974 United States Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas Friendly Mexico 1–0 22,164
Aug 24, 1975 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly Mexico 2–0
Oct 3, 1976 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier 0–0 31,171
Oct 15, 1976 Mexico Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla, Puebla 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 3–0 35,000
Sep 27, 1977 Mexico Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León Friendly Mexico 3–0 20,000
Nov 9, 1980 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 5–1 90,000
Nov 23, 1980 United States Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier United States 2–1 2,126
Oct 17, 1984 Mexico Estadio Neza 86, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México Friendly Mexico 2–1
May 10, 1990 Canada Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada 1990 North American Nations Cup Mexico 1–0
Mar 12, 1991 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1991 North American Nations Cup 2–2
Jul 5, 1991 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinal United States 2–0 41,103
Jul 25, 1993 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup final Mexico 4–0 120,000
Oct 13, 1993 United States RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. Friendly 1–1 23,927
Jun 4, 1994 United States Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California Friendly United States 1–0 91,123
Jun 18, 1995 United States RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. 1995 U.S. Cup United States 4–0 38,615
Jul 17, 1995 Uruguay Estadio Parque Artigas, Paysandú, Uruguay 1995 Copa America Quarterfinal United States 0–0 (4–1) PK 15,000
Jun 16, 1996 United States Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 1996 U.S. Cup 2–2 92,216
Jan 19, 1997 United States Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 1997 U.S. Cup Mexico 2–0 31,725
Apr 20, 1997 United States Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier 2–2 57,877
Nov 2, 1997 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier 0–0 115,000
Feb 15, 1998 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup final Mexico 1–0 91,255
Mar 13, 1999 United States Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California 1999 U.S. Cup Mexico 2–1 50,234
Aug 1, 1999 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal Mexico 1–0 aet (0–0) 65,000
Jun 11, 2000 United States Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey 2000 U.S. Cup United States 3–0 45,008
Oct 25, 2000 United States Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California Friendly United States 2–0 61,072
Feb 28, 2001 United States Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier United States 2–0 24,329
Jul 1, 2001 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 1–0 110,000
Apr 3, 2002 United States Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado Friendly United States 1–0 48,476
Jun 17, 2002 South Korea Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea 2002 FIFA World Cup Round Of 16 United States 2–0 36,380
May 8, 2003 United States Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas Friendly 0–0 69,582
Apr 28, 2004 United States Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas Friendly United States 1–0 45,048
Mar 27, 2005 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 2–1 110,000
Sep 3, 2005 United States Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier United States 2–0 24,685
Feb 7, 2007 United States University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona Friendly United States 2–0 62,462
Jun 24, 2007 United States Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final United States 2–1 60,000
Feb 6, 2008 United States Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas Friendly 2–2 70,103
Feb 11, 2009 United States Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier United States 2–0 23,776
Jul 26, 2009 United States Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final Mexico 5–0 79,156
Aug 12, 2009 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier Mexico 2–1 110,000
Jun 25, 2011 United States Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final Mexico 4–2 93,420
Aug 10, 2011 United States Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Friendly 1–1 30,138
Aug 15, 2012 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. Friendly United States 1–0 56,000
Mar 26, 2013 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F. 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier 0–0 85,500
Sep 10, 2013 United States Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier United States 2–0 24,584
Apr 2, 2014 United States University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona Friendly 2–2 59,066

Statistics[edit]

Matches For Mexico Draw For USA Goals
64
33
14
18
Mexico MEX 131 / United States USA 73
Main Championship Titles Mexico United States
Confederations Cup
1
0
CONCACAF Gold Cup
6
5

Women's soccer[edit]

The rivalry is less hostile in women's soccer but still important. Most games have been played on U.S. soil. However, games have been played between both teams in Mexico as well; including one at Estadio Azteca in 1999 which ended 0–0. Another was played during the 2008 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship at Puebla, Mexico, where the U.S. U–20 defeated the Mexico U-20 3–0. The Mexican women's team has only defeated the U.S. twice; once at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, where Mexico won 3–2 after being down 2 goals. The other time was the 2010 CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup semifinal, where they won 2–1. This win got the Mexican women to their second Women's World Cup. While the match at the Pan American Games is not considered official by both associations and FIFA, the match at the Gold Cup is official.

Popular culture[edit]

A 2012 documentary, Gringos at the Gate / Ahi Vienen Los Gringos, written and directed by Pablo Miralles, Roberto Donati, and Michael Whalen,[6] focuses on the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico when it comes to soccer. This includes the conflict of Mexican-American players in the U.S. while their family might support Mexico.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Matches were also qualifiers for the 1950 World Cup.

References[edit]

1. FIFA.com

External links[edit]