Mexico–United States soccer rivalry
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|Locale||North America (CONCACAF)|
|Teams|| Mexico |
|First meeting||24 May 1934|
(MEX 2–4 USA)
|Latest meeting||11 September 2018|
(USA 1–0 MEX)
|Most wins||Mexico (34)|
|All-time series||34–15–19 (W–D–L) (Mexico)|
|Largest victory||4 September 1949|
(MEX 6–0 USA)
A sports rivalry exists between the national football teams of Mexico and the United States, widely considered the two major powers of CONCACAF. The first match was played in 1934, and the teams have met 67 times, with Mexico leading the overall series 34–15–19 (W–D–L). However, the Americans lead the series 18–12–14 since the beginning of the 1980s.
Matches between the two nations often attract much media attention, public interest and comment in both countries. The U.S.-Mexico matches are widely attended; several matches at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico have drawn over 100,000 fans, and several matches at the Rose Bowl in the United States have drawn over 90,000 fans.
The most important matchups take place in quadrennial FIFA World Cup qualification matches and major tournaments such as the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The rivalry plays out often in annual friendlies scheduled during the early months in U.S. cities with large Mexican American populations such as Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix.
The first match between the two sides was a qualifying match in Italy for the final ticket to the 1934 World Cup. Where football was seen as a foreign sport in the United States, in Mexico, like many Latin American nations, it 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.
Prior to 2012, Mexico had never lost to the United States at home and now owns a 23–3–1 (W–D–L) record on their native soil. Mexico has won in the United States ten times, compiling a record of 10–12–15 (W–D-L).
For most of the 20th century, the rivalry between the two nations was not significant due to the superiority of the Mexican team for the majority of that period. This began to change in the 1990s, when a new generation of United States players made the matches seriously competitive for the first time.
Several significant matches in the early 21st century ended in a 2–0 scoreline in favor of the United States, which was nicknamed Dos a Cero by fans. Starting in 2001 during the qualifying cycle for the 2002 World Cup, the U.S. hosted Mexico in Columbus, Ohio at Columbus Crew Stadium, now known as Mapfre 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 at 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 10 September 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. In addition, the U.S. has won three friendlies against Mexico by that score since 2000—in Los Angeles in 2000, the Phoenix area in 2007, and San Antonio in 2015.
On 11 November 2016, Mexico was finally able to win a Hexagonal World Cup qualifier in Columbus after beating the U.S. 1-2 with a late Rafael Marquez header. A favourable result for Mexico over the U.S. in World Cup qualifying had not been obtained on U.S. soil since 1972. This would become a major factor in the U.S. failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as they would fail to make the final tournament for the first time in 32 years.
On a macro level, Mexico leads the series 34–15–19, with almost double the goals of the U.S. (139–80).
On neutral territory, the United States leads the series 3–1. In addition, the lone World Cup match between the two countries, a Round of 16 meeting at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea, resulted in a 2–0 victory for the United States.
|Years||Matches||For Mexico||Draw||For USA||Goals|
|All Time||68||34||15||19||Mexico 139–80 United States|
|1930s–1940s||7||6||0||1||Mexico 38–12 United States|
|1950s–1960s||8||6||2||0||Mexico 30–8 United States|
|1970s–1980s||12||10||1||1||Mexico 27–7 United States|
|1990s||14||5||6||3||Mexico 17–15 United States|
|2000s||16||4||2||10||Mexico 13–23 United States|
|2010s||11||3||4||4||Mexico 13–15 United States|
|Main Championship Titles||Mexico||United States|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|CONCACAF Gold Cup|
*no longer played
Gold Cup finals
The United States and Mexico have met in five Gold Cup finals to date, with Mexico holding a four games to one lead over the United States.
List of matches
|May 24, 1934||Stadio Nazionale, Rome, Italy||1934 FIFA World Cup Qualifier||4–2||10,000||1–0–0 USA|
|September 12, 1937||Parque Asturias, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||7–2||21,000||1–0–1|
|September 19, 1937||Parque Necaxa, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||7–3||22,000||2–0–1 MEX|
|September 26, 1937||Parque España, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||5–1||3–0–1 MEX|
|July 13, 1947||Estadio Tropical, Havana, Cuba||1947 NAFC Championship||5–0||4–0–1 MEX|
|September 4, 1949||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1949 NAFC Championship[n 1]||6–0||60,000||5–0–1 MEX|
|September 18, 1949||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1949 NAFC Championship[n 1]||6–2||54,500||6–0–1 MEX|
|January 10, 1954||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier||4–0||60,000||7–0–1 MEX|
|January 14, 1954||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–1||40,000||8–0–1 MEX|
|April 7, 1957||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier||6–0||75,000||9–0–1 MEX|
|April 28, 1957||Veterans Memorial Stadium, Long Beach, California||1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier||7–2||12,500||10–0–1 MEX|
|November 6, 1960||Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California||1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–3||8,000||10–1–1 MEX|
|November 13, 1960||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–0||80,000||11–1–1 MEX|
|March 7, 1965||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–2||19,337||11–2–1 MEX|
|March 12, 1965||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||64,285||12–2–1 MEX|
|September 3, 1972||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–1||29,891||13–2–1 MEX|
|September 10, 1972||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||9,620||14–2–1 MEX|
|October 16, 1973||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||2–0||14,000||15–2–1 MEX|
|September 5, 1974||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León||Friendly||3–1||25,000||16–2–1 MEX|
|September 8, 1974||Cotton Bowl, Dallas||Friendly||1–0||22,164||17–2–1 MEX|
|August 24, 1975||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||2–0||18–2–1 MEX|
|October 3, 1976||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||31,171||18–3–1 MEX|
|October 15, 1976||Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla, Puebla||1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–0||35,000||19–3–1 MEX|
|September 27, 1977||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León||Friendly||3–0||20,000||20–3–1 MEX|
|November 9, 1980||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier||5–1||90,000||21–3–1 MEX|
|November 23, 1980||Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida||1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||2,126||21–3–2 MEX|
|October 17, 1984||Estadio Neza 86, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México||Friendly||2–1||22–3–2 MEX|
|March 12, 1991||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1991 North American Nations Cup||2–2||22–4–2 MEX|
|July 5, 1991||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1991 Gold Cup semifinal||2–0||41,103||22–4–3 MEX|
|July 25, 1993||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||4–0||120,000||23–4–3 MEX|
|October 13, 1993||RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.||Friendly||1–1||23,927||23–5–3 MEX|
|June 4, 1994||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||Friendly||1–0||91,123||23–5–4 MEX|
|June 18, 1995||RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.||1995 U.S. Cup||4–0||38,615||23–5–5 MEX|
|July 17, 1995||Estadio Parque Artigas, Paysandú, Uruguay||1995 Copa América Quarterfinal||0–0 (4–1) PK||15,000||23–6–5 MEX[a]|
|June 16, 1996||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||1996 U.S. Cup||2–2||92,216||23–7–5 MEX|
|January 19, 1997||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||1997 U.S. Cup||2–0||31,725||24–7–5 MEX|
|April 20, 1997||Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts||1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–2||57,877||24–8–5 MEX|
|November 2, 1997||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||115,000||24–9–5 MEX|
|February 15, 1998||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||1–0||91,255||25–9–5 MEX|
|March 13, 1999||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California||1999 U.S. Cup||2–1||50,234||26–9–5 MEX|
|August 1, 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1999 Confederations Cup semifinal||1–0 aet (0–0)||65,000||27–9–5 MEX|
|June 11, 2000||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey||2000 U.S. Cup||3–0||45,008||27–9–6 MEX|
|October 25, 2000||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||Friendly||2–0||61,072||27–9–7 MEX|
|February 28, 2001||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,329||27–9–8 MEX|
|July 1, 2001||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier||1–0||110,000||28–9–8 MEX|
|April 3, 2002||Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver||Friendly||1–0||48,476||28–9–9 MEX|
|June 17, 2002||Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea||2002 FIFA World Cup Round Of 16||2–0||36,380||28–9–10 MEX|
|May 8, 2003||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas||Friendly||0–0||69,582||28–10–10 MEX|
|April 28, 2004||Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas||Friendly||1–0||45,048||28–10–11 MEX|
|March 27, 2005||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||110,000||29–10–11 MEX|
|September 3, 2005||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,685||29–10–12 MEX|
|February 7, 2007||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona||Friendly||2–0||62,462||29–10–13 MEX|
|June 24, 2007||Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois||2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||2–1||60,000||29–10–14 MEX|
|February 6, 2008||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas||Friendly||2–2||70,103||29–11–14 MEX|
|February 11, 2009||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||23,776||29–11–15 MEX|
|July 26, 2009||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||5–0||79,156||30–11–15 MEX|
|August 12, 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||110,000||31–11–15 MEX|
|June 25, 2011||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||4–2||93,420||32–11–15 MEX|
|August 10, 2011||Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia||Friendly||1–1||30,138||32–12–15 MEX|
|August 15, 2012||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||1–0||56,000||32–12–16 MEX|
|March 26, 2013||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||85,500||32–13–16 MEX|
|September 10, 2013||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,584||32–13–17 MEX|
|April 2, 2014||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona||Friendly||2–2||59,066||32–14–17 MEX|
|April 15, 2015||Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas||Friendly||2–0||64,369||32–14–18 MEX|
|October 10, 2015||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||2015 CONCACAF Cup||3–2||93,420||33–14–18 MEX|
|November 11, 2016||MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||24,650||34–14–18 MEX|
|June 11, 2017||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier||1–1||71,537||34–15–18 MEX|
|September 11, 2018||Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee||Friendly||1–0||40,194||34–15–19 MEX|
The United States and Mexico also compete to convince players who are eligible to play for both the United States and Mexico (e.g., a player who was born in the United States to Mexican parents) to play for their particular national team. To date, only two players, Martín Vásquez and Edgar Castillo have played for both nations. Castillo, who was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, debuted with the Mexican side in August 2007 for a match that was part of the 2008 CONCACAF Men Pre-Olympic Tournament. Castillo played his first game for the United States, a friendly against Denmark in 2009.
- William Yarbrough - born March 20, 1989 in Aguascalientes, Mexico to American parents, has an extensive career with Liga MX club León. Yarbrough did participate with a Mexico U20 squad in 2007 but did not obtain any playing minutes. In March 2015 he appears for the US team in a friendly against Denmark.
- Isaác Brizuela - born August 28, 1990 in San Jose, California to Mexican parents. Brizuela has made an entire career with Liga MX clubs Toluca, Atlas and Chivas Guadalajara. He was part of the Mexican delegation that obtained the gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games. He makes his full appearance with Mexico in 2013.
- Miguel Ponce - born April 12, 1989 in Sacramento holds an extensive career with Liga MX clubs Chivas Guadalajara, Toluca and Necaxa. Ponce was part of the Mexico squads that took part in the 2011 Copa América, obtained gold medals at the 2011 Pan American Games and the 2012 Olympic Games. Makes his full appearance scoring one goal at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- Jonathan González - born April 13, 1999 in Santa Rosa to Mexican parents. A product of the US national team youth program, González was part of the USA U20 squad that won the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. In 2014 he enters Liga MX club Monterrey’s juvenile program and is eventually promoted to the senior squad in July 2017. In December 2017 González publicly states his wish to represent Mexico on the official scale. In January 2018 FIFA grants his request and makes his full appearance with Mexico on January 31 in a friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina. González has also been involved in Mexico’s youth squad projects such as the 2018 Toulon Tournament in which Mexico’s U20 ended as runner-ups of the tournament.
Prior to an Olympic qualifying game in Guadalajara, Mexico, on February 10, 2004, Mexican media reported that U.S. player Landon Donovan urinated on the field during practice, which angered Mexican fans and media outlets. Subsequent video showed Donovan actually urinated near some bushes outside the practice areas. Two days later, on February 12, 2004, Mexico defeated the U.S. 4–0, and the crowd was heard chanting "Osama, Osama, Osama", in reference to Osama bin Laden and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In a friendly held in Glendale, Arizona on February 7, 2007, Landon Donovan scored in injury time to give the U.S. a 2–0 lead and win over Mexico. After the goal, Mexico goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez tried to trip U.S. player Eddie Johnson as Johnson was running to celebrate the goal. No contact was made, and no reprimand resulted.
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, as both teams headed through the tunnels to the locker room, Mexican assistant coach Francisco "Paco" Javier Ramírez slapped Frankie Hejduk in the face. Hejduk did not retaliate, and Ramirez was not reprimanded.
The rivalry is less hostile in women's football 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. once, at 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. Mexico also defeated the U.S. at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, where Mexico won 3–2 after being down 2 goals, though this match is not considered official by both associations and FIFA due to the U.S. fielding their U20 team in that tournament as opposed to their senior team.
On January 28, 2018 for the first time in women’s official competitions of any category a Mexican U-20 squad had finally defeated the US. Mexico’s U-20 side won the 2018 CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship after having ended in a 1-1 draw in the full 90 minutes. Mexico went on to defeat the US 4-2 in penalty shoot.
In popular culture
A 2012 documentary, Gringos at the Gate / Ahi Vienen Los Gringos, written and directed by Pablo Miralles, Roberto Donati, and Michael Whalen, focuses on the cultural differences between the United States and Mexico when it comes to football. This includes the conflict of Mexican-American players in the U.S. while their family might support Mexico.
- Matches that go to penalty shootouts are always counted as ties by FIFA, regardless of which team won.
- Matches were also qualifiers for the 1950 World Cup.
- "Compare Teams". FIFA.com. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
- Krauze, León (12 September 2018). "The Beautiful, Ugly Game". Slate. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
- Manfred, Tony (10 September 2013). "DOS A CERO: USA Beats Mexico 2–0 Again, Qualifies For The 2014 World Cup". Business Insider. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- "Legend of "Dos A Cero" lives on: Here's the full list of 2-0 wins by the US national team over Mexico". Major League Soccer. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "EU – México | Donovan orinó la cancha del Jalisco". Es.rec.deportes.futbol.narkive.com. February 11, 2004. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- Whiteside, Kelly (February 12, 2004). "USATODAY.com – Notebook: Mexicans' behavior part of the game". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "USA v Mexico 2/7/07". YouTube. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "Frankie Hejduk Gets Slapped By a Mexican Coach". Bleacher Report. February 13, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
- "Gringos at the Gate (2012)". IMDb.com. Retrieved July 29, 2015.
-  Archived November 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine