Gold Cup

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USA-Mexico: The last 10 meetings

Clint Dempsey and Carlos Salcido, February 11, 2009, Columbus, Ohio.
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Ives Galarcep

Ives Galarcep is a 14-year veteran of the American soccer beat. He created and operates the popular American soccer blog, Soccer By Ives, which was voted Best American Soccer Blog by US Soccer in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Ives was also voted Best Football Writer by SoccerLens in 2010. 


The USA-Mexico rivalry has been around for decades (77 years, to be exact), but it has been the past decade when the CONCACAF rivals have shared the pedestal as regional powerhouses, having pushed each other to new heights.

The US men’s national team has enjoyed the edge over the past decade, sporting an 8-4-2 record in 14 meetings. Mexico holds a perfect record (3-0) in games played in Mexico, while the Americans have dominated on American soil (7-1-1), with their only loss coming with a reserve squad in the 2009 Gold Cup Final.

I have been lucky enough to attend 10 of the past 11 meetings. The only one I missed was a 1-0 USA victory in Dallas in 2004 that came courtesy of an Eddie Pope goal. Of the rest of the matches, almost all have been intense affairs where both teams have had chances to win.

Here is a closer look at those 10 USA-Mexico meetings:


Mexico's problems with the United States (particularly in the United States) extend back beyond the last 10 matches. In fact, you have to go back to the late`90s to see a time when Mexico had better footing in the rivalry. Once there, however, you see a time when Mexico had little trouble winning when visiting their neighbors to the north.
July 1, 2001 Mexico City (WCQ) 1-0 MEX
February 28, 2001 Columbus (WCQ) 2-0, USA
October 25, 2000 Los Angeles (Friendly) 2-0, USA
June 11, 2000 East Rutherford (US Cup) 3-0, USA
August 1, 1999 Mexico City (Confed. Cup) 1-0, MEX (aet)
March 13, 1999 San Diego (US Cup) 2-1, MEX
February 15, 1998 Los Angeles (Gold Cup) 1-0, MEX
November 2, 1997 Mexico City (WCQ) 0-0
April 20, 1997 Foxboro (WCQ) 2-2
January 19, 1997 Pasadena (US Cup) 2-0, MEX

Aug. 12, 2009 (Mexico 2, USA 1)

Charlie Davies opened the scoring in this tightly-contested World Cup qualifier at Estadio Azteca, but Mexico rallied and scored a late winner to keep the United States from escaping Mexico City with a qualifying point for just the second time in the history of the series.

July 26th, 2009 (Mexico 5, USA 0)

The Gold Cup Final was on American soil (Giants Stadium in New Jersey) but it had the feeling of a Mexico home game, and the fans in green were treated to a blowout as Mexico’s attack overwhelmed an American squad made up of back-ups (the US first team played in the Confederations Cup that summer).

Feb. 11th, 2009 (USA 2, Mexico 0)

Mexico came into this match looking like a team capable of scoring its first qualifying win in Columbus, Ohio, but the US defense stood tall and Michael Bradley scored a pair of goals to help the Americans record yet another “dos a cero” result.

Feb. 6th, 2008 (USA 2, Mexico 2) Jozy Altidore made his first U.S. national team start a memorable one, scoring his first national team goal as the Americans jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Clint Dempsey nearly sparked the rout with a goal that was ruled offside, but then Mexico responded with two goals from Jonny Magallon to equalize at Reliant Stadium.

June 24th, 2007 (USA 2, Mexico 1)

Mexico looked ready to blow away the Americans after a fast start and a 1-0 halftime lead, but Landon Donovan converted an equalizing penalty before Benny Feilhaber’s long-range blast won the 2007 Gold Cup for the USA at a packed Soldier Field in Chicago.

Feb. 7th, 2007 (USA 2, Mexico 0)

Mexico came into this match-up in Arizona a heavy favorite as it’s first team figured to steamroll a U.S. squad featuring mostly MLS players, but Bob Bradley’s first game as head coach in the USA-Mexico rivalry was a successful one as Landon Donovan registered an assist and a clinching goal.

Sept. 3, 2005 (USA 2, Mexico 0)

Facing off in a relatively warm Crew Stadium in Columbus, USA and Mexico battled with the winner securing its place in the 2006 World Cup. The Americans rode goals from Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley to put up yet another 2-0 victory and secure a World Cup place with three qualifiers to spare.

March 27th, 2005 (Mexico 2, USA 1)

On a hot and humid day at Estadio Azteca, the United States was run into the ground by a motivated Mexico side. Jared Borgetti and Sinha delivered Mexico’s goals while Landon Donovan helped set up an Eddie Lewis consolation goal for the USA.

May 8th, 2003 (USA 0, Mexico 0)

There were no goals in this match at Houston’s Reliant Stadium, but it was an entertaining back-and-forth encounter that saw the United States create several chances as Clint Mathis put on a good show. Tim Howard was the star for the United States in a match being scouted by Manchester United, which acquired him two months later.

June 17th, 2002 (USA 2, Mexico 0)

The match that woke up Mexican fans to the reality that the United States was no longer second fiddle in the region, this World Cup Round of 16 match in South Korea was all USA, as the Americans swarmed Mexico, leading El Tri to make a first-half substitution to try and keep up. Brian McBride opened the scoring before Landon Donovan headed home the insurance goal to eliminate Mexico and move USA to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for covering Major League Soccer and the U.S. national team.

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