[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP QUALIFYING] USA-Mexico with a World Cup berth in play. Sound familiar? USA-Mexico is one of the world's great men's rivalries. On the women's side, the series has been a tad one-sided: 24 U.S. wins and one tie. The USA will face the Tri femenil for the fifth time in Women's World Cup qualifying with a berth at Germany '11 on the line Friday night in Cancun.
(Click here for live coverage via free web stream -- the commentary will be in Spanish.)
The USA has won the previous four qualifiers, but the scores have gotten closer each time -- 12-0, 9-0, 3-0 and 2-0.
The Americans won a pair of friendlies earlier in the year -- 3-0 in San Diego and 1-0 in the snow in Sandy, Utah.
The weather report calls for temperatures in the 60's and a chance of rain Friday night at Estadio Quintana Roo.
The match will feature the tournament's two top scorers -- Abby Wambach with six goals for the USA and Mexico’s Maribel Dominguez with five.
Dominguez, known as "Marigol," is one of several familiar names in the Mexico team. She has been living and playing in Spain for the past five years but previously played in the WUSA for Atlanta Beat during 2003.
Mexico has several Mexican-American players, including defender Rubi Sandoval, who played at Cal State Fullerton, former University of Washington star Veronica Perez and Natalie Vinti and Natalie Garcia, who played together at the University of San Diego.
Dallas native Alina Garciamendez, who is a sophomore at top-ranked Stanford, joined Mexico in Cancun after the Cardinal's 3-0 win over Cal last Saturday and played in Tuesday's 3-0 loss to Canada that sent the Tri femenil into the semifinals against the USA and set up a much easier game for Canada against Costa Rica's Ticas in the other semifinal.
Garciamendez will not play against the USA as she has returned to Stanford to prepare for Friday’s Pac-10 showdown against Oregon State that will decide the conference title. Both teams are 7-0-0 in conference play.