Honduras forward Antony Lozano (9) and USMNT defender Mark McKenzie (15) battle for the ball in the second half during the semifinals of the 2021 CONCACAF Nations League semifinals (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
CHICAGO — The best rivalry in the region resumes June 6 in Denver for the 71st edition of USA-Mexico, with the teams contesting a final for the eighth time.
It’s for the inaugural Concacaf Nations League trophy that’s on the line Sunday night at Empower Field at Mile High. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET live on Univision, TUDN, Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, with kickoff set for 9:36 p.m. ET.
Fans will also be able to follow the match via Facebook, Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT and the official U.S. Soccer App.
The road to the final
The U.S. men’s national team finished atop Group A of Concacaf Nations League A and advanced to the final four after posting a 3-1-0 record in matches against Cuba and Canada.
Weston McKennie, Jordan Morris and Josh Sargent paced six U.S. scorers with three goals apiece. McKennie and Morris put their names in history books against Cuba Oct. 11, 2019 in Washington, D.C, with McKennie recording the USMNT’s fastest hat-trick from the start of a match just 13 minutes in, while Morris scored a goal and provided a record-tying three assists.
In the semifinal against Honduras, an 89th-minute diving header from second-half substitute Jordan Siebatcheu made the difference in the 1-0 victory.
The Americans played their first game against Mexico in 1934, winning 4-2 in Rome, Italy, in a one-off qualifying match for the 1934 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. didn’t win another game against Mexico until 1980, when two goals from Steve Moyers resulted in a 2-1 victory on Nov. 23 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
While Mexico had historically dominated the series, competition between the teams has grown into a proper rivalry since 2000 during which time the U.S. has held the edge, amassing a record of 14-9-6 against its neighbors to the south. The most important meeting in the modern era came at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan in the Round of 16. Goals from Brian McBride and Landon Donovan knocked Mexico out of the World Cup following a 2-0 shutout at Jeonju Stadium in Jeonju, South Korea.
The teams have met three times during the current World Cup cycle. Tyler Adams scored his first international goal to lead the USMNT to a 1-0 victory in a friendly on Sept. 11, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.
About a year later, Mexico bested the USMNT, 1-0, in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup final, before defeating the USA, 3-0, in a friendly two months later in East Rutherford, N.J.
Detailed Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 5/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 22/0)
DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 42/3), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 16/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 9/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 4/0), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 22/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 43/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 11/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 63/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 29/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 12/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 22/7), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 23/6), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 5/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 11/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 6/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 36/16), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 6/2), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 16/5), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI; 4/1), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 11/1)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Rodolfo Cota (León; 4/0), Guillermo Ochoa (Club América; 112/0), Alfredo Talavera (Pumas UNAM; 31/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Néstor Araujo (Celta Vigo/ESP; 43/3), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk/BEL; 9/0), Jesús Gallardo (Monterrey; 52/), Héctor Moreno (Unattached; 111/4), Luis Rodríguez (Tigres), Carlos Salcedo (Tigres; 40/1), Jorge Sánchez (Club América; 13/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Edson Álvarez (Ajax/NED; 37/2), Uriel Antuna (Guadalajara; 18/8), Sebastián Córdova (Club América; 6/2), Andrés Guardado (Real Betis/ESP; 167/28), Hector Herrera (Atlético Madrid/ESP; 80/6), Diego Lainez (Real Betis/ESP; 11/1), Oberlín Pineda (Cruz Azul; 28/2), Carlos Rodríguez (Monterrey; 17/0), Luis Romo (Cruz Azul; 7/0)
FORWARDS (4): Jesús Corona (Porto/POR; 47/8), Hirving Lozano (Napoli/ITA; 45/14), Henry Martín (Club América; 10/2), Alan Pulido (Sporting KC/USA; 15/5)