Top Stories

U.S. Women Trounce Mexico at RFK

Sydney Leroux, Heather O'Reilly

Photo by


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Women’s national team paid a visit to RFK stadium on Tuesday night, putting up a touchdown’s worth of goals despite missing several key starters en route to a 7-0 obliteration of Mexico.

“A result like tonight sends a message across the whole squad that nobody’s place is safe in this team,” U.S. coach Tom Sermanni said pitchside after the match. “That’s important for competition and the continuing development of the team.”

Sydney Leroux recorded a hat-trick in the games opening 45 minutes, finishing with four. She was joined by three others on the scoresheet in a comprehensive dismantling of an overwhelmed Mexican side. Leroux was quick to attribute some of her success to her performance in the NWSL, which wrapped its inaugural season just days ago.

“I’ve been feeling confident. I think the league has helped my confidence, given me the confidence to take people on and use my speed,” said an exuberant Leroux after the victory.

Her head coach was full of praise, putting Leroux in legendary company: “To play against her is a real problem as a defender – she’s just nonstop. She’s an amazing physical presence; she’s always in there looking to score goals. She holds the ball up well, and is always involved in the game. She’s a bit like Didier Drogba, you don’t want to play against her because you know you’re going to be in for a tough night.”

The dynamic between the Mexican and American teams, of course, is far different on the Women’s side of the game – where the United States has long been the regional powerhouse – than it is on the men’s side, where both teams have jockeyed for supremacy. Tonight’s 7-0 trouncing wasn’t a fluke; far from it, actually. The seven goal margin was actually only the fourth largest in history – the U.S. women have put up as many as a dozen goals in matches against “El Tri.”

After U.S. forward Abby Wambach opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Leroux tallied the first of her four goals just ten minutes later, easily knocking home a rebound to put the U.S. up by two. Only a minute later, Leroux would once again find the back of the net, opportunistically tapping in another rebound to push the U.S. ahead by two.

Less than eight minutes later, Leroux would strike a third time, darting through the box before cutting back and striking the ball past Mexican keeper Cecilia Santiago. Her hat trick – which came in a nine-minute span – was among the fastest in U.S. history. Improbably, the Boston Breakers forward would score again in the 41st minute, heading home a Lauren Holiday free kick to put the U.S. up by 5 just before halftime.

Defender Rachel Buehler would get in on the mix early on in the second half, scoring a scrappy goal in the box, while forward Morgan Brian (a second half substitute making only her second appearance for the national team) would round out the scoring. Brian, a junior at UVA, was quick to acknowledge her friends and family, many of whom were in attendance.

“My parents are here, my old club coach, and some of my old UVA teammates as well,” a beaming Brian told the media in attendance. “I’m really excited that i got to score in front of this type of a crowd. My parents were pretty loud, honestly. It was hard to miss them.”

Tuesday evening’s victory was more than anything a testament to the national team’s depth, something a confident Wambach was quick to mention after the game.

“I’ve said this for a long time: Our second eleven would get to the semi-finals of any major world championship.”


  1. It’s awesome that Tom is injecting new blood into the program after Pia hardly called in anyone new. This team is so stacked and the youngsters are getting it done. Holiday (Cheney) has always been solid but she has really stepped up her game this year. Not to mention the players that didn’t play: Morgan, Heath, Rapinoe, Press, Krieger, etc. Can’t wait to see this team in Canada.

      • The USWNT from time to time plays scrimmages against Boys U-17 teams. And the boys usually wipe the field with them. Beyond conditioning, I really have to wonder if theere is any real value in playing such scrimmages.

      • Mia herself said “No woman will ever play for any MLS team. The guys are bigger,stronger, faster, better athletes. They would wipe the field with us.” She said this when the 99ers were in their heyday, in the afterglow of their world cup victory. It was said in respponse to a reporter’s query as to when Mia thought she or other female players would play in MLS. Mia gave a pretyy forthright (though politically incorrect) answer, I think.

  2. Sad that only a couple years ago Mexico gave the US team real problems.

    Sure, I think the US team has gotten better under the new coach, but most of it is due to Mexico’s poor treatment and support for the womens game. Pity. One of their “solutions” has always been to just try some from the newest crop of U20s – which is part of what happened last night. Damn shame.

    • To add: Remember leading up to the last WWC, Mexico beat the US 2-1 in qualifying and we then nearly didn’t go at all, relying on last-minute heroics to beat Italy in a playoff.

      I really hope things change in Mexico to make the region more competitive.

      • Uninformed –

        They didn’t call in any of their Euro based players

        They subsidized salaries of their players in the NWSL so they could play

        They started a college centerback in a friendly to get her exprience, and have added some american born ethnic mexicans to their set up via scouting

        It was a friendly

      • You’re putting way too much emphasis on just 1 match. I was at that match (the qualifier that the US women lost to Mexico in Cancun in the last cycle). It was a rather clear “on any given day” kind of situation, no evidence of Mexico truly challenging the level of the US on any consistent basis.

        Yes, hopefully the level of competition will continue to improve across the women’s game, exactly as it has been over the past several years.

      • My source is Wikipedia and Yahoo Sports, so that’s why I went with “apparently”. Not sure what the best source actually is for that type of information.

      • Actually Yahoo read the Wiki wrong and switched goals with appearances. My bad for promoting that fiction. But still, not a bad tally.

      • But as is the case with almost all USWNT players, they pad their stats against the many, many minnows they play. I think Leroux’s first five goals came in the same game if I recall. If the Men played Barbados a few times every year I’m pretty sure Jozy would have killer stats as well, you know, if Jozy didn’t have a big league to play for and always put national team duty far above club play.

      • Abby put it best in the article above: “I’ve said this for a long time: Our second eleven would get to the semi-finals of any major world championship.”

        That is a real damning of the other teams out there.

      • There are only so many teams in the world that can give them a good game — Germany, Sweden, France, Japan. Including the Olympics, they’ve played 7 of the other top 10 teams. Including Germany 4 times.

        The only ones outside the top 40 they have played in the last year are Costa Rica and Ireland (2x). There are only so many times you can play Canada.

      • Leroux also doesn’t have a ton of starts though. She tends to come off the bench behind Wambach and Morgan. I think her goalscoring record is pretty impressive by any measure.

  3. I really like the WNT games. I just don’t compare them to MNT games. For me, the WNT are in a separate category. I can find individual story lines that keep me interested. Other countries have not benefited from a Title IV type program as the USA team has, so the competition is not always stellar. But, they are wearing the USA crest, so I’m backing them,even though my favorite WNT player is Canadian Sydney LeRoux.

  4. The quality of women’s soccer is just so poor. I try to enjoy it. I really do, but it’s almost impossible. I have to put the game on mute because the only thing you hear besides the commentators is grunting and high pitched screaming that you def don’t hear in the men’s games.

    • Obviously the quality of the Mexican team isn’t great, but the World Cup and Olympics are pretty dang entertaining. I normally don’t watch women’s friendlies or even qualifying, but the last Women’s World Cup was thrilling and there were a lot of good goals. I’ll definitely be watching the next one.

    • “The quality of women’s soccer is just so poor.”

      Sorry you can’t see the high quality evident in so much of women’s soccer these days. But happy I’m not missing out like you are.

    • Sometimes the quality is a bit poor, goal number 4 is pretty terrible defending compounded with Joe Hart style(just because its cool right now) goal keeping.

      The problem isn’t with the US team. They look like they actually know how to play and play well. Other teams just end up looking like traffic cones sometimes.

      • Not sure what else was to be expected, given this match-up. I mean in current ranking terms, this was the #1 in the world playing at home against the number #24 in the world. So by comparison to the men’s FIFA ranking, we’d be talking about Spain or Germany hosting Ghana or Norway.

        Or if you want to focus on the Elo ranking aspect of things (that being the basis of the women’s ranking, after all), the home side in this case was ranked about 500 pts higher than the visitors. So you could think Spain or Brazil hosting the U.A.E. or China.

        In each of these examples, the setting also seems a bit like a reasonable recipe for the visitors being made to look like traffic cones sometimes. Not in every outing, mind you, but then this was also not every outing — just 1 match.

      • Of course, one of the problems is the next Women’s World Cup will include 24 teams (up from 16). Hoping that the teams can be more competitive.

      • Well yeah, that will certainly work against the trend of overall increasing competitiveness, in that particular setting. But then it’s also a money move (to be expected) and a move to help boost the spread of the sport elsewhere, so it may well help the level of competitiveness in the long run, even if it weakens it in that particular competition.

        Much like, for example, reducing some places in the men’s tournament that might go to sides in Europe on straight competitiveness, and giving them instead to, say, CONCACAF, to likewise encourage the spread and growth of the sport.

      • The semifinals and finals are usually worth watching. Everything before that is pretty horrid. Can’t imagine needing more teams in the WWC, I guess watching the US roll over Vietnam and the Vatican in the group stages isn’t going to be much worse than it is now though.

    • I enjoy watching the USWNT play more than the USMNT. Sure, the women aren’t as big, strong, and fast as the men (as Mia acknowledged) but they play a great game of soccer. To me, it is thrilling to watch all the new players adding quality depth to what was already a very strong team.

      Having said that, I am also enjoying watching the USMNT more and more of late. I love what Klinsmann is doing with the team and very encouraged with where they are.


Leave a Comment