That opened the door for players such as Brian, a 20-year-old junior at the University of Virginia who is still in a bit of awe over the chance to share the field with her heroes.
"You look around at the players that you're playing with, and it's Abby Wambach," Brian said. "I mean, some of these players are 13, 14 years older than me."
Wambach is indeed 33, but she's not going anywhere anytime soon. She broke Mia Hamm's international mark of 158 goals in the U.S. team's previous game and played a part in all four goals scored in the first 30 minutes on Tuesday.
Totally unmarked by the Mexican defense directly in front of the goal, Wambach look almost casual as she swung her left foot on a crossing pass from Kristie Mewis to put the U.S ahead in the 11th minute. Wambach's celebration — a leap that showed off her highlighter-pink shoes — took as much effort as the goal itself.
Wambach then had a shot saved by goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago in the 21st minute, but Leroux was there to head in the rebound. One minute later, Wambach made a nice touch pass that sprung Lauren Holiday for a shot again saved by Santiago, but Leroux was there again to pounce on the rebound to make it 3-0.
In the 30th, Wambach was the catalyst one more time, nodding the ball forward to set up Leroux's run that ended with a falling-down left-footed shot for the striker's third goal.
Leroux scored again in the 41st on a set piece, heading in a free kick from Holiday. Leroux has 42 goals in just 18 games for the U.S. team, including her five-spot against Guatemala in the Olympic qualifying tournament last year.
"She still hasn't even touched her potential," Wambach said. "And that's scary."
Goalkeepers Hope Solo (first half) and Nicole Barnhart (second half) combined for the shutout.
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP