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U.S. women's soccer team is upset by Mexico, 2-1, in World Cup qualifying match

By Steve Goff

In one of the greatest upsets in women's soccer history -- and perhaps in international women's sports history -- Mexico stunned the top-ranked United States, 2-1, Friday night in Cancun, denying the Americans of an automatic berth in the 2011 World Cup.

In order to secure a trip to Germany next summer, the United States will need to defeat Costa Rica in the third-place game of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament Monday and then get past Italy in a two-game playoff later this month.

The Americans, two-time world champions and the defending Olympic gold medalists, were 24-0-1 all-time against Mexico and 54-1-6 in all competitions since the 2007 World Cup. They had dominated this region since the program's inception more than 20 years ago, with 21 straight victories and a 131-3 scoring difference in World Cup qualifying.

However, Mexico went ahead in the fourth minute when Maribel Dominguez worked around Amy LePeilbet and scored from 10 yards. The Americans drew even in the 25th when Carli Lloyd converted from 12 yards after Mexico failed to clear a corner kick. Two minutes later, however, Veronica Perez headed Juana Lopez's free kick past goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart from eight yards.

The Americans dominated possession in the second half but were unable to find the equalizer.

In the first semifinal, Canada clinched a World Cup berth with a 4-0 victory over Costa Rica.

By Steve Goff  | November 5, 2010; 11:54 PM ET
Categories:  CONCACAF, Women  | Tags:  U.S. women's soccer team  
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I blame the Tea Party.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | November 6, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Legalize marijuana, no more drug cartels, no more scared Mexican refs.

Posted by: traughb114 | November 6, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Right! Blame the California voters.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 6, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

crush the Ticas!

Posted by: troy6 | November 6, 2010 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The American people have sent a clear message: Si se puede!

Posted by: PEddy | November 6, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Um, the ref was from Guyana.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 6, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

"Over? Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell, no."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 6, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I thought the U.S. was out. I guess there's a lifeline ....

Posted by: bs2004 | November 6, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

I was feeling cynical earlier, and actually thought to myself earlier that the unthinkable might in fact happen- and it did

Posted by: carmines757 | November 6, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I blame carmines for the bad mojo.

Posted by: troy6 | November 6, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Next jinx to be broken: USMNT drought in Mexico. You heard it here first.

Posted by: Modibo | November 6, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

What an unlikely loss.

Somewhere Hope Solo is preparing a press conference.



Posted by: jayrockers | November 6, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The coach left most of the starters at home, saving them for an upcoming tournament. Or something like that.

Posted by: 22206no1 | November 6, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I don't get this. Why don't they have group stage or some other aggregate-style qualifying? That's what the men have, right? Single-elimination within the region isn't fair. This shows that any team can win one game, but it doesn't show who's the best team in the region. What are the 2 teams' records in all of WC qualifying?

Posted by: NicknameNoOneElseHas | November 6, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

The way Mexico's coach decided to clog the middle reminds me of USA-Spain in the Confederations Cup. And we all know what happened. Mexico will lose to Canada and we will win the World Cup.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@Jay-- Hope's press conference this time would be "even with my shoulder surgery, I would have stopped that"
@NicknameNoOneElseHas--this tournament is it for qualifyiny. They did group stages last week and the top 2 from each group advanced to this round.

Posted by: jmingus | November 6, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I think it's a salutary result. Gives the WWC a bit more "diversity" and maybe gets the US to focus a bit more and crush Costa Rica and Italy to go through to the Cup finals.

Posted by: griffin1108 | November 6, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

'Tis indeed a lesson about hubris. Seems to be a lot of that going around these days.

Hopefully our women will learn from this...and recover from it.

Posted by: seahawkdad | November 6, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

with all the back passes, Hahnemann is Wolve's top field player as well as their MVP...

Posted by: troy6 | November 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

and Bebe is in for ManU! from homeless to EPL in a few short months. I wonder if that church shelter gets a sizeable donation pretty soon.

Posted by: troy6 | November 6, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This is obviously bad news right now for the US women but it could be good in the long term for the growth of women's soccer regionally.

With more regional rivals the US can have meaningful games more frequently. Only Canada has been able to play that role til now.

The CONCACAF women's teams probably can't have a lengthy qualification process because of the cost involved. Even some of the men's teams in the region have difficulty w the travel costs involved in WC qualifying. Countries like Haiti or Guatemala would probably be unable or unwilling to pay for a drawn out Hex-style home and away style qualifying process.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

... and if the US women do reach the World Cup they will be stronger from the experience of having had to go thru Costa Rica and Italy in elimination situations.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the many posts but I didn't see anyone link to the highlight package from Mex-US game in Cancun:,,12813~2209890,00.html

The link is from this article from Soccer America:

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 6, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Sowing what we reap with national team coaches (before Sundhage) and the college game...a complete over-reliance on physicality and little emphasis on skill or tactical felxibility.

Germany and Brazil have passed the US women by, results like this will be more and more common. Partly because the rest of the world is getting better, partly because we are not.

Posted by: teo_68 | November 6, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Another group of people who must be concerned about the situation are the suits at Disney. The difference between a WWC with and without the USWNT, ratings-wise, must be a chasm.

Any thoughts about the lineup? For instance, I wonder about this Mitts>Krieger thing at right back.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 6, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I watched the game, and the reffing was awful. Abby got clobbered and was wearing staples and duct tape by the end of the game - what a warrior!! They have to get it together more to win against the better teams!! Lets Go USA!!

Posted by: ksowa | November 6, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Goff I would just like to let you know that I appreciate the fact that you regularly cover women's soccer and the USWNT, unlike some other soccer blogs which don't think women's soccer is important or popular enough to cover. This is why I come to your site daily to get my soccer news. Keep up the good work

Posted by: amberbs84 | November 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

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