Game: United States vs. México
Date: Thursday, July 1st
Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC
Venue: Pratt & Whitney Stadium (East Hartford, Conn.)
México’s trend of playing ever more difficult opponents reaches its logical conclusion as they face off against their northern neighbors, who just happen to be the reigning two-time World Cup champions. México will be up against it, looking for their third ever win and against their arch-rivals, their first since November 5, 2010. For reference, squad members Alison González, Nicole Pérez, and Nicole Soto were just nine years old when Maribel Domínguez and Veronica Pérez helped get a 2-1 win in CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2011 World Cup.
That was then, and this is now. México brings in most of the players from their last outing, a disappointing 5-1 loss to Japan in Japan. It will be interesting to see how much the team and head coach Mónica Vergara have learned from their recent games, where they also lost to Spain while drawing Slovakia and getting a win and a draw against Costa Rica.
Their rivals haven’t lost since January 19, 2019 when France handed them a 3-1 loss in a friendly. Since then they’ve won 38 and drawn just four games. They’ll use this two match series to tune up before heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where they’re heavy favorites to win a gold medal.
México has been working towards playing their strongest rivals since Vergara took over the program, and now the opportunity is here. The players need to remember that the pressure isn’t on them however and that this is part of a long process for México which culminates in the 2023 World Cup in Australia, not on a college football field in Connecticut.