14. US Cup 97; Pasadena, Calif.; Jan. 19, 1997: Mexico 2, US 0
There wasn’t so much back-and-forth in this rivalry quite yet. Although World Cup qualifying was slated for later in 1997, the Americans hosted Mexico in the annual US Cup, only this time the game was played in the relative dead of winter in Southern California. Surprisingly, this game did not draw the masses as only 31,725 showed up at the Rose Bowl to watch a game that drew more than 90,000 at the same venue just seven months prior. The match was Mexican domination at its finest as Luis Roberto Alves “Zague” scored three minutes in while Alberto Garcia Aspe knocked in a goal with 20 minutes to spare to give the Mexicans a 2-0 victory. However, the match became etched in the minds of American fans forever after a fracas between the two sides ensued. During the altercation, which was mostly pushing and shoving between the two sides, Mexico’s Ramon Ramirez kneed Alexi Lalas in the groin in an image that has been etched into this rivalry and is still talked about to this day.
United States: Brad Friedel, Mike Burns, Jeff Agoos, Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Jovan Kirovski, Martin Vasquez (Preki, 50), Jason Kreis (Frankie Hejduk, 53), Claudio Reyna, Joe-Max Moore, Brian McBride (Roy Lassiter, 66)
Mexico: Adolfo Ríos, Pavel Prado, Claudio Suárez, Duilio Davino, Ramón Ramírez, Alberto Coyote, Alberto García Aspe (Marcelino Bernal, 74), Benjamín Galindo, Enrique Alfaro (Nicolás Ramírez, 83), Carlos Hermosillo (Luis García, 68), Luis Roberto Alves (Luis Hernández, 54)
Mexico – Zague 3
Mexico – Aspe 71