Hope Solo posts 72nd shutout
SANDY, Utah -- In the waning moments of the U.S. women's rout of Mexico, the crowd behind Hope Solo's goal began chanting her name.
They knew she was on the verge of making history. With the 8-0 U.S. victory, Solo collected her record 72nd shutout with the national team.
"The best part about it is the best is yet to come," she told cheering fans when the milestone was announced at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
She passed Briana Scurry (1994-2008) on the career list. Solo has played in 154 international matches.
"It's been a long journey. A lot of tears, a lot of blood, a lot of sweat. Some heartaches, Some incredible moments," she said. "It's crazy to think it's been close to 15 years."
Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach each scored twice for the United States, which improved to 28-1-1 against Mexico and extended the women's winning streak to 86 straight games on American soil. Sydney Leroux, Heather O'Reilly and Whitney Engen also scored.
The U.S. will host Mexico again on Thursday night in Rochester, New York.
Both teams are training for October's championship of soccer's North and Central American and Caribbean region, which serves as qualifying for the Women's World Cup next year in Canada. The United States and Mexico are in opposite groups for the championships, which will be played in four U.S. cities with the final scheduled for Oct. 26 at PPL Park in Pennsylvania.
The United States went up 1-0 in the 12th minute on Mexico captain Alina Garciamendez's own goal. Garciamendez was trying to slow the hard-charging Wambach and stumbled, knocking the ball over goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago's head.
Wambach made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, and Morgan scored in the 36th minute, dribbling the ball off her chest and over Santiago into the goal. Santiago threw her hands up in frustration following the play.
Wambach added her second goal in the 41st minute off a feed from Morgan.
Morgan's second goal came in the 56th minute. Less than two minutes later, Engen scored on a header to put the United States up 6-0.
Morgan needs just two more goals to become the 10th player in the team's history to reach 50.
"I thought we had a lot of opportunities and I thought we put away a lot. Obviously there were a couple that were close, a couple unlucky shots, but overall I think everyone was really happy with the result tonight," Morgan said. "And just the fact that we didn't really drop our level too much, obviously there was waves her and there, but I thought overall we set the tempo."
Morgan made her international debut at Rio Tinto, the home of Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake, back in 2010 -- a game that was dubbed the Snow Clasico because it was played in a frigid snowstorm. The United States won that one 1-0 and players made snow angels on the sidelines.
Mexico's lone victory over the United States came during qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. Mexico won the semifinal 2-1, forcing the U.S. into the third-place match and then a two-game playoff against Italy for a World Cup spot.
The last time the two teams met was in Washington D.C. last September. Leroux had four goals in a 7-0 shutout.
Ranked No. 1 for the past five years, the U.S. has been in Salt Lake this past week for its first extended training camp under coach Jill Ellis, who took over on an interim basis when Tom Sermanni was fired in April, and then got the job going forward in May. Ellis is charged with cutting her roster to 20 players for the CONCACAF championship.
Ellis praised Solo for her accomplishment.
"I tip my hat. I'm phenomenally proud of her," Ellis said.
"Her teammates worked hard for her to make sure Mexico had lots to do on the other end. Really proud of her. Very deserving."
Solo was already thinking ahead.
"I still feel young, I still feel good, I still feel healthy," she said. "And hopefully the best part of the journey is yet to come. Hopefully next summer in Canada."
Mexico is ranked No. 25 in the world.