USWNT Faces Mexico; Begins 2019 World Cup Journey

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With a trip to the 2019 Women’s World Cup on the line, the U.S. will kick off the start of the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship today at 5:30 MT on FS2 against Mexico.

The field will consist of eight countries battling for three automatic bids to the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and a fourth team advancing to a two-legged playoff against Argentina to reach the World Cup.

Opponents

The U.S. were drawn into Group A for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, along with Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. The schedule is as follows:

October 4 U.S. vs. Mexico 5:30 MT
October 7 U.S. vs. Panama 3 MT
October 10 U.S. vs. Trinidad 5:30 MT

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Recent Success

The USWNT is coming off two dominant friendly victories over South American qualifier Chile in August, winning 3-0 on August 31 and 4-0 on September 4. The U.S. is currently unbeaten in 2018, sporting a 11-0-2 record. So far in 2018, the U.S. has recorded wins over Denmark, Germany, England, Mexico (twice), China PR (twice), Japan, Brazil and Chile (twice), along with ties against France and Australia.

The U.S. has won two tournament championships during the year, winning the SheBelieves Cup in March and the Tournament of Nations in July.

Roster

The U.S. carries 20 players on its roster for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, 10 of which who will be participating in their first qualifying cycle. Of the 10 with previous experience, four have played in multiple tournaments.

Goalkeepers: Alyssa Naeher, Ashlyn Harris

Defenders: Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Hailie Mace, Kelly O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Casey Short, Emily Sonnett

Midfielders: Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis

Forwards: Tobin Heath, Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Christen Press, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe

CONCACAF Championship History

The U.S. will be playing in their sixth CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament since the inception of the event in 1991, only not appearing in 1998 by virtue of being the 1999 Women’s World Cup host country.

The U.S. has won the title five times (1991, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2014), and third in 2010 and having to win a two-legged playoff vs. Italy to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup.

Other than the one loss to Mexico, the U.S. has dominated World Cup qualifying, going 27-1 overall while outscoring opponents 158-5.

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Chasing 100 Goals

Forward Alex Morgan currently has 90 career international goals, sitting alone in seventh place on the all-time goals list for the USWNT at age 29. Morgan led the U.S. in goals in 2017 and has currently scored 10 goals in 2018 to lead the team. Morgan has scored seven goals against Mexico, the first team the U.S. will face in Group A action.

Prediction

The U.S. is clearly the class of Group A. While winning the CONCACAF Championship isn’t guaranteed, winning the group and advancing to the semifinals might as well be. The U.S. has the deepest, most experienced team and the best offense at the tournament. Expect the U.S. to take all nine points and finish at the top of Group A with a tough win over Mexico and easy victories over Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

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