The USMNT battles Mexico tonight in the first match from the Hex Group play. We take a look back at a few of the forgotten US heroes of this rivalry.
Earlier this week, we looked at who would make up a best combined XI across the US and Mexican national team camps. However, tonight the two CONCACAF giants do battle in the familiar confines of MAPFRE Stadium.
It is a long and complicated relationship between these two sides. While the focus of tonight will be on the start of the Hex, the Dos a Cero streak, and the fallout from the Trump election, there is a lot more there. We take a look back at three forgotten heroes from the USMNT past and their impact on the rivalry.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@ussoccer_mnt) May 24, 2016
1 – Aldo “Buff” Donelli
We got all the way back to the beginning – 1934. It would be the first time the two sides would battle, but surprising the match took place in Rome! It was a one-match knockout style qualifier for the 1934 World Cup in Italy. An American style football player/coach from the collegiate level, he joined the team later in the build up and would go on to make history. Buff Donelli put four goals in the back of the net as the US won the first ever showdown with Mexico. Crazy Fact: Italian leader Benito Mussolini was in attendance that day.
2- Steve Moyers
It would be nearly 50 years before the US would beat Mexico again. So if you thought the last Gold Cup was difficult to watch, imagine the small but loyal fan base of the 40s through the 70s. In front of only about 2,000 fans, the Missouri native put away two to finale break the long losing drought. While the US wouldn’t use that victory to do much on the international level for years to come, Moyers performance reminded US fans what was possible and kick started the era of US competitive play against their neighbors. The confidence was restored!
3 – Steve Ralston
One half of the original Dos a Cero. What has become the American Outlaws favorite streak and the first thing out of US fans’ mouths when discussing Mexico. The New England Revolution stalwart knocked in the first goal for the Americans during 2006 Hex qualifying. It would be one of only four career goals for Ralston. Without it, Dos A Cero wouldn’t be a thing. The US wouldn’t always play in Columbus for the Mexico match and this gem wouldn’t mean the same