Mexico–United States soccer rivalry
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|Locale||North America (CONCACAF)|
|First meeting||May 24, 1934
(MEX 2–4 USA)
|Latest meeting||June 11, 2017
Mexico City, Mexico
(MEX 1–1 USA)
|Most wins||Mexico (37)|
|All-time series||37-14–19 (Mexico)|
|Largest victory||September 4, 1949
(MEX 6–0 USA)
A sports rivalry exists between the national soccer 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 66 times, with Mexico leading the overall series 35–19–14 (W–L–D), outscoring the U.S. 139–79. 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. 13–7–6 (W–L–D).
Matches between the two nations often attract much media attention, public interest and comment in both countries. The US-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 soccer 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 23–1–2 (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 4–8–4 on U.S. soil.
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 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 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. 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 November 11th, 2016, Mexico was finally able to win a hexagonal world cup qualifier in Columbus after beating USA 1-2 with a late Rafael Marquez header.
On a macro level, Mexico leads the series 33–19, with almost the double of goals to the US (131–75).
On neutral territory, the United States leads the series 3–2. 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||35||14||19||Mexico 139–79 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||15||6||5||4||Mexico 15–18 United States|
|2000s||16||4||2||10||Mexico 13–23 United States|
|2010s||10||3||4||3||Mexico 13–14 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|
|September 12, 1937||Parque Asturias, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||7–2||21,000|
|September 19, 1937||Parque Necaxa, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||7–3||22,000|
|September 26, 1937||Parque España, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||5–1|
|July 13, 1947||Estadio Tropical, Havana, Cuba||1947 NAFC Championship||5–0|
|September 4, 1949||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1949 NAFC Championship[n 1]||6–0||60,000|
|September 18, 1949||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1949 NAFC Championship[n 1]||6–2||54,500|
|January 10, 1954||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier||4–0||60,000|
|January 14, 1954||Estadio de los Deportes, Mexico City, D.F.||1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–1||40,000|
|April 7, 1957||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier||6–0||75,000|
|April 28, 1957||Veterans Memorial Stadium, Long Beach, California||1958 FIFA World Cup qualifier||7–2||12,500|
|November 6, 1960||Wrigley Field, Los Angeles, California||1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–3||8,000|
|November 13, 1960||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1962 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–0||80,000|
|March 7, 1965||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–2||19,337|
|March 12, 1965||Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City, D.F.||1966 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||64,285|
|September 3, 1972||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–1||29,891|
|September 10, 1972||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1974 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||9,620|
|October 16, 1973||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||2–0||14,000|
|September 5, 1974||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León||Friendly||3–1||25,000|
|September 8, 1974||Cotton Bowl, Dallas||Friendly||1–0||22,164|
|August 24, 1975||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||2–0|
|October 3, 1976||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||31,171|
|October 15, 1976||Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla, Puebla||1978 FIFA World Cup qualifier||3–0||35,000|
|September 27, 1977||Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León||Friendly||3–0||20,000|
|November 9, 1980||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier||5–1||90,000|
|November 23, 1980||Lockhart Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, Florida||1982 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||2,126|
|October 17, 1984||Estadio Neza 86, Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, Estado de México||Friendly||2–1|
|May 10, 1990||Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada||1990 North American Nations Cup||1–0|
|March 12, 1991||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1991 North American Nations Cup||2–2|
|July 5, 1991||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1991 Gold Cup semifinal||2–0||41,103|
|July 25, 1993||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||4–0||120,000|
|October 13, 1993||RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.||Friendly||1–1||23,927|
|June 4, 1994||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||Friendly||1–0||91,123|
|June 18, 1995||RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.||1995 U.S. Cup||4–0||38,615|
|July 17, 1995||Estadio Parque Artigas, Paysandú, Uruguay||1995 Copa América Quarterfinal||0–0 (4–1) PK||15,000|
|June 16, 1996||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||1996 U.S. Cup||2–2||92,216|
|January 19, 1997||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||1997 U.S. Cup||2–0||31,725|
|April 20, 1997||Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts||1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–2||57,877|
|November 2, 1997||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||115,000|
|February 15, 1998||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||1–0||91,255|
|March 13, 1999||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California||1999 U.S. Cup||2–1||50,234|
|August 1, 1999||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||1999 Confederations Cup semifinal||1–0 aet (0–0)||65,000|
|June 11, 2000||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey||2000 U.S. Cup||3–0||45,008|
|October 25, 2000||Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California||Friendly||2–0||61,072|
|February 28, 2001||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,329|
|July 1, 2001||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier||1–0||110,000|
|April 3, 2002||Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver||Friendly||1–0||48,476|
|June 17, 2002||Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea||2002 FIFA World Cup Round Of 16||2–0||36,380|
|May 8, 2003||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas||Friendly||0–0||69,582|
|April 28, 2004||Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas||Friendly||1–0||45,048|
|March 27, 2005||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||110,000|
|September 3, 2005||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,685|
|February 7, 2007||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona||Friendly||2–0||62,462|
|June 24, 2007||Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois||2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||2–1||60,000|
|February 6, 2008||Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas||Friendly||2–2||70,103|
|February 11, 2009||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||23,776|
|July 26, 2009||Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey||2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||5–0||79,156|
|August 12, 2009||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||110,000|
|June 25, 2011||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final||4–2||93,420|
|August 10, 2011||Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia||Friendly||1–1||30,138|
|August 15, 2012||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||Friendly||1–0||56,000|
|March 26, 2013||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier||0–0||85,500|
|September 10, 2013||Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–0||24,584|
|April 2, 2014||University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona||Friendly||2–2||59,066|
|April 15, 2015||Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas||Friendly||2–0||64,369|
|October 10, 2015||Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California||2015 CONCACAF Cup||3–2||93,420|
|November 11, 2016||MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio||2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier||2–1||24,650|
|June 11, 2017||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, D.F.||2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier||1–1||71,537|
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.
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 pitch 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 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. 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 US 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 US fielding their U20 team in that tournament as opposed to their senior team.
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 soccer. This includes the conflict of Mexican-American players in the U.S. while their family might support Mexico.
- Matches were also qualifiers for the 1950 World Cup.
- Manfred, Tony (September 10, 2013). "DOS A CERO: USA Beats Mexico 2–0 Again, Qualifies For The 2014 World Cup". Business Insider. Retrieved September 10, 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. April 16, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- "EU – México | Donovan orinó la cancha del Jalisco". Es.rec.deportes.futbol.narkive.com. 2004-02-11. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- Whiteside, Kelly (2004-02-12). "USATODAY.com – Notebook: Mexicans' behavior part of the game". Usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "USA v Mexico 2/7/07". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Frankie Hejduk Gets Slapped By a Mexican Coach". Bleacher Report. 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
- "Gringos at the Gate (2012)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
-  Archived November 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.