Today the US hosts Mexico in the next of their warmup friendlies before this summer's World Cup, with Reign players Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe (and sort-of Reign player Abby Wambach) expected to start. The match will kick off at 6pm at the LA Galaxy's StubHub Center (while the defending MLS champions are away visiting Orlando City for the first time) and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (or Galavision, for the more Spanish-ly inclined).
In their last match, the US comfortably beat Ireland, though not as comfortably as we expected given the talent gap between the teams and the absence of much of the Ireland squad's usual starters. Striker Wambach started the match and missed a number of early shots (perhaps reflecting the rust that comes with not playing club soccer this year) before settling in to score a brace just before halftime to lead the US to a 3-0 win.
Now the US takes on a Mexico team that will be joining them in Canada this summer, but who — ranked 25th in the world — will have their sights set much lower. Just advancing from a grouping with France, England, and Colombia will be an accomplishment for a team that's never made it out of a World Cup group, and making any progress in the knockout stages would be a historical achievement.
That said, the team is coming off of a very strong Cyprus Cup performance in March, taking third place ahead of much higher ranked teams like Australia, the Netherlands, and Italy. That performance was built on a stout defense that didn't surrender a goal in their three group stage matches.
The Mexican team includes a few names that will be familiar to Seattle soccer fans. Veronica Perez had a stellar career at the University of Washington before playing for the Seattle Sounders Women. Now she's a regular for El Tri and the Washington Spirit. Teresa Noyola was one of the few bright lights in the dark 2013 Reign campaign, but she was traded to Kansas City mid-season for Renae Cuellar and is now without a club. And finally Alina Garciamendez is a young, talented center-back whose NWSL rights the Reign traded for.
After tonight's match the team will go on a short break before reconvening for their final warmup friendly against Korea Republic on May 30th.