Mexico: The world's busiest team aims for two titles after U.S. clash

By Mike Woitalla

In addition to two World Cup qualifiers, including an Azteca Stadium clash with the USA on Sunday, Mexico will be playing at the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup, while squeezing in a couple of friendlies.

El Tri started its marathon with two friendlies in the USA, a 2-1 loss to Croatia in Los Angeles and a 3-1 win over Ireland in New Jersey.

Within 60 days, beginning with the May 27 Croatia clash, Mexico will have played a minimum of 12 games, or as many as 17, depending on how far it progresses in the Confederations Cup and Gold Cup. The maximum would break down to a game every three and a half days.

"We have done everything possible to have a group of 40 good players, so that when we choose the 23, we have the possibility to enjoy a very strong team to face each game,” Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio said.

El Tri, which plays more games in the USA than it does in Mexico, will face Ghana in Houston and Paraguay in Seattle ahead of the Gold Cup.

May 27
Croatia 2 Mexico 1 (Los Angeles, California)
June 1
Mexico 3 Ireland 1 (East Rutherford, New Jersey)
June 28
Mexico-Ghana (Houston, Texas)
July 1
Mexico-Paraguay (Seattle, Washington)

The next two Mexico friendlies are scheduled before the Confederations Cup final four is completed.

June 8
Mexico-Honduras (Mexico City)
June 11
Mexico-USA (Mexico City)

Mexico sits in first place of the Hexagonal, the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, after three wins and a tie. Wins in the next two games would give El Tri 16 points. In the Hexagonal for the 2014 World Cup, Honduras earned third place and an automatic qualifying spot with 15 points (while Mexico needed to play off against New Zealand to earn its World Cup spot after finishing fourth with 11 points). Next up for Mexico is another home game, Sept. 1 against Panama.

Mexico World Cup qualifying roster (Honduras & USA games)
Goalkeepers — Rodolfo Cota (Guadalajara), Guillermo Ochoa (Malaga/Spain), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).
Defenders — Oswaldo Alanis (Chivas), Nestor Araujo (Santos Laguna), Rafa Marquez (Atlas), Hector Moreno (PSV/Netherlands), Diego Reyes (Espanyol/Spain), Luis Reyes (Atlas), Carlos Salcedo (Fiorentina/Italy).
Midfielders — Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal/Spain), Jesus Duenas (Tigres), Andres Guardado (PSV/Netherlands), Jorge Hernandez (Pachuca), Hector Herrera (Porto/Portugal), Miguel Layun (Porto/Portugal), Jesus Molina (Monterrey), Orbelin Pineda (Chivas).
Forwards — Javier Aquino (Tigres), Jesus "Tecatito" Corona (Porto/Portugal), Jurgen Damm (Tigres), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy/USA), Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany), Jesus Gallardo (Pumas), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Raul Jimenez (Benfica/Portugal), Hirving Lozano (Pachuca), Oribe Peralta (Club America), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad/Spain).

June 18
Mexico-Portugal (Kazan, Russia)
June 21
Mexico-New Zealand (Sochi, Russia)
June 24
Russia-Mexico (Kazan, Russia)
June 28/29?
July 2?
Final/third-place game

Mexico has played in six of the previous nine Confederations Cup, winning as host in 1999, finishing third in 1995 and fourth in 2005. Mexico qualified for this year's Confederation Cup, which serves as a dress rehearsal for the Russia-hosted 2018 World Cup, by beating the USA, 3-2, in the 2015 Concacaf Cup, set up to pit the last two Gold Cup winners against each other to determine the region's Confederations Cup representative.

July 9
Mexico-El Salvador (San Diego, California)
July 13
Mexico-Jamaica (Denver, Colorado)
July 16
Mexico-Curacao (San Antonio, Texas)
July 19/20?
July 22/23?
July 26?

Mexico won the USA-hosted 2015 Gold Cup with 3-1 win over Jamaica in the final after beating Panama, 2-1, in the semifinals. It marked Mexico's record 10th Gold Cup title. (The USA has won five Gold Cups, and Canada one.)

"Mexico, as a team, is ready to play against any opponent,” Osorio said. “If we talk about one game at a time, I think Mexico, considering that every country, whether it’s smaller countries than Mexico or bigger countries than Mexico with more players, at the end we’ll be 11 vs. 11. And if Mexico has all its players healthy, I think we can play against anybody."

One thing's for sure, this summer will reveal how deep El Tri's talent pool is.

1 comment about "Mexico: The world's busiest team aims for two titles after U.S. clash".
  1. Jose Moreno, June 6, 2017 at 11:07 p.m.

    For el Tri to revel the player talent pool Osorio and the directors of national team must have elTri as the agenda and not Javier Hernandez scoring unimportant goals.

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