U.S. women set for important Olympic qualifying matchup with Mexico

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Photo by Stephen Brashear/ISIphotos.com

The CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament has been a breeze so far for the U.S. women's national team, which has outscored two overmatched opponents by a combined 27-0 margin. Things should be a bit more competitive in Tuesday's final group match.

The U.S. women face Mexico Tuesday night at BC Place with first place in Group B on the line (10:30 p.m., CONCACAF.com stream, Universal Sports Network). Because of its unreachable advantage in goal differential, the United States needs just a draw to win the group, which would make for an easier path to qualification.

After Canada's 5-1 thrashing of Costa Rica Monday night, the tournament hosts captured Group A, meaning that the winner of USA-Mexico will avoid the Canadians and draw the Central Americans in the all-important semifinal round. The two winners that advance to the qualifying tournament final claim CONCACAF's two spots for the Olympics in London.

The U.S. women have had mixed results against Mexico over the last couple of years. Although the United States has won three of the four meetings in that time, all of those games were friendlies on U.S. soil. Mexico, meanwhile, defeated the United States 2-1 in Cancun in World Cup qualifying on Nov. 5, 2010, forcing the region favorites into a tense playoff with Italy just to qualify for last summer's main event in Germany.

While the United States has been on a roll in Olympic qualifying, the same can be said for Mexico. Facing the same Guatemala and Dominican Republic sides that the U.S. women thrashed, Mexico won both games by a combined, and somewhat tamer, 12-0 margin.

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Do you think the USWNT will keep its insane scoring form going against Mexico? Worried at all about the match?

Share your thoughts below. 

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17 Responses to U.S. women set for important Olympic qualifying matchup with Mexico

  1. biff says:

    The US Foxy Babes have a brutal schedule, playing group games every two days and then the all-important semi-final on Friday after today’s game. A loss to Mexico today would really put the ladies under pressure. Canada is capable (albeit unlikely) of beating them, especially with one extra day of rest. Hoping for the best, definitely want to see the USWNT make it to London this summer to win the gold.

    Whatever happens, Pia Sundhage should step down after the Olympics and go out a winner and make room for a new coach, freshen things up a bit. Even Bob Bradley’s most vehement supporters have to admit that the leadership change with the USMNT has already has shown positive results. The guys certainly look happier now than they did last summer.

  2. pd says:

    GO USA.

    but please get new uniforms… y’all look like nurses or something…

    not that there’s anything wrong with nurses, it’s just, oh nevermind.

  3. April H says:

    They have created a stink here in Vancouver and Sundhage is perceived as being very unsportsmanlike running up double digit victories is one thing, but the excessive celebrations when you are up by 10 is hard to watch, even for a US fan. I felt hollow leaving the DR game. I didn’t go to the Guatamala game, but sounds like more of the same.

    In the end, I wouldn’t care that much about us grinding up lesser opponents and rubbing their faces in it time and again if it were basketball or baseball. But soccer, especially women’s soccer, is battling for the bottom end of the sports market dollar. They are competing for sponsorship dollars, media coverage and TV slots. The USWNT has always had the reputation of being a clean, classy, refreshing brand devoid of a lot of the ugliness in sport. They need to do two things:
    (1) win on the big stage and (2) comport themselves as exemplary athletes.
    Sorry, the world is not fair, but you are a niche sport fighting to keep what ground you’ve fought to win.

    Running up the score may be a necessary evil for goal differential and to keep the team sharp. However, you can keep your team from being perceived as unsportsmanlike by telling people to keep goal celebrations on the side lines a bit subdued once you reach the double digits.

  4. Neruda says:

    well said about going overboard with goals. Even still the US should win this match against Mexico by a smaller margin like 7-0.

  5. Supsam says:

    I watch sports to see winners play at their highest level. If someone gets butthurt over being thrashed, well guess what, show some professional mental toughness and get over it! When its not professional competition (college, youth league, recreation, etc), you bring up valid points but for God’s sake, its olympic qualifiers! You do know some reserves played their hearts out cuz, you know, they all want to be in the starting XI.

    Also, after what DR did to Kreiger, they deserved to lose 30-0

  6. glaing says:

    The Navy/Blue uniforms make them look like Naughty Nurses.

  7. April H says:

    I’m not necessarily arguing they shouldn’t score. And yes, reserves can’t be faulted for trying to win a spot. My bigger concern is damage to the brand. Unfortunately, we still have to sell the sport in this country.

  8. agnigrin says:

    USA 4-0!

  9. biff says:

    I watched my first ladies game last summer when the USWNT played in Germany in the Women’s World Cup and I got hooked. Enjoyed it a lot and watched every minute down to the heart-breaking equalizer against Japan and penalty shot fiasco. One thing that struck me was the dignity and sport(wo)man’s ship of the US ladies. On the other hand, some of the teams, Germany and Brazil, for example, struck me as arrogant and unlikable.

    So, my point: I have not watched any of these group games. But, if what you are saying is correct, I would be very disappointed in the ladies. Not good at all. I would hope they would treat the opponents, especially from these little countries with new programs, with more respect. I keep thinking of the picture after Japan beat the US last summer in the Women’s World Cup, when, instead of celebrating, one of the little Japanese players went to console some of the Americans. A class act.

  10. biff says:

    A quick addendum: And the whole world loves the Japanese team.

  11. ... says:

    1-0 Lloyd 6th minute, 2-0 O’Reilly 8th minute.

  12. ... says:

    Still 2-0 U.S. at halftime. U.S. pretty dominant. Abby Wambach had a shot cleared off the line and the U.S. put another off the crossbar. Mexico has had a couple chances but nothing especially dangerous.

  13. ... says:

    2nd half– LeRoux on for Rodriguez.

  14. ... says:

    Hope Solo’s right leg clearly bothering her, has been for at least 5 minutes now, she hasn’t asked for attention but is grimacing, rubbing her leg, and just had a very hard time kicking away a backpass.

  15. ... says:

    3-0 Lloyd with her second, 57th minute, headed in from a set piece. Surely the U.S. can sub out Solo now? She’s only going to hurt herself worse staying in and now Mexico has to score 4 to take 1st in the group. The semifinal is the only important game in this tournament, Solo will be needed then.

  16. ... says:

    Rapinoe in for Wambach.

  17. mardi says:

    April, your assessment of excessive celebration seems completely unfair based on the highlights that I watched on ussoccer.com. There was barely a smile after any of their 27 goals, except for maybe Rachel Buehler (a defender who rarely scores) and Sidney LeReux (a college senior in her 2nd cap). Sure, they scored a lot of goals, but it’s not like you can sub out the whole team. They scored 7 in the first 31 minutes, and then 7 in the first 33 minutes of the second half. I’d say they let off the gas for more than a third of that first game. They were definitely not being unsporting about it, but they were playing hard and preparing for the Olympics.