USWNT boss after rare Mexico defeat: No ‘easy games’ anymore

Photo of author

By jeenmediaa

Interim United States women’s national team coach Twila Kilgore stated that her side face “no easy games anymore” after a stunning 2-0 loss to rival Mexico in a Concacaf W Gold Cup group-stage clash on Monday.

“It just shows how far the game is coming and there’s no easy games anymore,” Kilgore said after the USWNT’s first defeat to Mexico since 2010. “If we don’t take care of business and we don’t execute, this is to be expected and we’ll step up and take ownership of that.”

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

It was just Mexico’s second-ever win over the USWNT and comes after a disappointing run at last summer’s Women’s World Cup that resulted in a U.S. exit at the round of 16. Since Kilgore took over as interim coach after the World Cup, the USWNT was undefeated through eight games until the defeat to Mexico.

Heading into the match, the U.S. had a lopsided lead in the Concacaf rivalry with a 40-1-1 record.

Monday’s result meant Mexico topped Group A with seven points, while the USWNT finished second with six points. Argentina finished third with four points and the Dominican Republic coming last with zero points.

“I think they had a good game plan, I think we had a good game plan and simply they just executed theirs better than ours,” Kilgore said. “Part of that does have to do with intensity but generally can be measured by things like tempo with the ball, but also defensive things like winning first tackles and winning second balls.”

Both Mexico goals — scored by Lizbeth Ovalle and Mayra Pelayo — came from restart moments, an area Kilgore said her side must improve.

“First goal came from a goal kick and [we] probably should have taken care of the first ball, should have taken care of the second ball, had an opportunity to end play and then didn’t, and then in the second goal it came from a throw-in,” Kilgore said.

Mexico coach Pedro Lopez remains undefeated in all competitions since 2023, and said Monday’s result was the best he has accomplished since taking charge in September 2022.

“I suppose yes because of the opponent,” Lopez said. “I loved the [8-0] Dominican Republic game, I liked it a lot, but of course doing it against the United States is special.”

Describing his team as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” before the tournament, Lopez said he still wants more.

“Clearly that wolf was seen today,” he said. “But I insist that for us it would be of no use if in the next game we lose the [W Gold Cup] quarterfinals and we go down in history as the team that only beat the United States one day.”

Both Mexico and the USWNT have qualified for the quarterfinal stage of the inaugural W Gold Cup but will need to wait on final results from Group B on Tuesday and Group C on Wednesday to find out their next opponents. After Wednesday, the top two teams from each group and two best third place teams will qualify for the knockout stages.

Following the quarterfinals in Los Angeles’ BMO Stadium on March 2 and 3, the semifinals and final will be hosted at San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium on March 6 and 10, respectively.

After the tournament and later this spring, Chelsea boss Emma Hayes will take charge of the USWNT.

Source link

Leave a Comment