By Michael Lewis
VANCOUVER -- After Mexico and the United States accounted for 19 goals on Friday night, expect more of the same the next time they play on Sunday.
With both teams trying to avoid Canada in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying tournament, they are expected to push forward early and often in their respective games in the doubleheader.
The Mexicans meet the Dominican Republic - still smarting from their record 14-0 loss to Untied States, and the Americans face Guatemala.
If the United States and Mexico draw in their head-to-head confrontation Tuesday night, the Group B title - and semifinal seeding - could come down to goal difference. So both sides are hoping for goals, lots of them.
"The American mentality is that we're not going to give up," said U.S. striker Amy Rodriguez, who scored a game-high five goals after entering the Dominican game at halftime. "We're going to keep pushing. We're going to keep trying. No matter what the score is, we're still striving to do our best."
Earlier that night, Mexico beat Guatemala 5-0.
"It's important to have a good game, a good beginning," Mexico coach Leonardo Cuellar said. "It was important for us to do well."
With teams playing every other day in the grueling group stage, it is vital for teams to rest players. Cuellar said he had not made up his mind on which, if any players, he would rest against the Dominican Republic.
"We have some players, something in mind," said Cuellar, who was waiting for the U.S. result to evaluate his choices.
After seeing how many goals the Americans tallied perhaps, he might want to use his front line players to score some goals.
The United States was not apologetic about being unrelenting.
"If there is a tie between two teams in our group, then it comes down to goal differential," U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo said. "I'm really proud of our team respecting our opponents so much that to the point we never let up. It was entertaining."
The Americans outshot the Caribbean side 49-3 -- 25 on goal.
Despite the obvious mismatches - three of the four games entering Saturday had margins of victory of five goals or more, U.S. coach Pia Sundhage was not in favor of reducing the size of the field for CONCACAF events.
"No, I don't think so," she said. "I think it's a wonderful experience for all of us to be here. On the contrary, the more chances teams have to travel and play games that really matters in tournaments.
"The other thing is that we had a good start. We just got momentum and played so well. That wouldn't happen against them 10 times in 10. The fact we had a good start made it so hard for them."
While other teams struggle at the competition, Sundhage can't believe the riches with which she has been blessed.
"It's really hard to make the team right now," she said. "We have so many good players. I think if you look at it individually, this is the best team I've ever had since 2008."
That's not something that Guatemala or Mexico necessarily want to hear with key games looming.