Tata to Mexico: 'We can build a great team'

Argentine Gerardo Martino was officially introduced as Mexico's new national team coach four weeks after leading Atlanta United to the MLS Cup title.

El Tri is Tata's third national team coaching job after Paraguay, which he led to the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup and second place at the 2011 Copa America, and Argentina, which was runner-up at the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas.

Martino replaces Juan Carlos Osorio, who stepped down after the 2018 World Cup and is now Paraguay's head coach.

"My commitment is to work with honesty and respect," said Martino at his first press conference. "With the players here in Mexico and the leagues around the world, we can build a great team. We are interested in showing a team with a clear style of play."

Mexico has qualified for the last seven World Cup and reached the knockout phase each time. It has lost in the round of 16 each time, though.

"I saw Mexico as one of the teams that has evolved the most in the last 20 years," Martino said. "To be able to play right up there with some of the best in the world shows how far Mexico have come."

In 2018, Mexico beat defending champion Germany, 1-0, in its opening game in Russia and then defeated South Korea, 2-1. If the Germany win was one of El Tri's greatest triumphs ever, a 3-0 loss to Sweden was its worst defeat in 40 years. El Tri only advanced to the second round when Germany couldn't beat South Korea, and it exited quietly with a 2-0 loss to Brazil.

Martino will have something of a rebuilding job ahead of him. Osorio took only five players under the age of 25 to Russia.

"The main characteristic is the level of talent that the Mexican soccer players have and that sets the team apart. There is a mix of veterans and young players not just in Liga MX but also playing in Europe," he said. "I am not here to make demands. I am here to share my opinions. But I am very happy to see that we have young players such as [Diego] Lainez and [Roberto] Alvarado. We will be looking to see that they grow."

Lainez, 18, plays for Club America, while Alvarado, 20, is at Cruz Azul. Both debuted for El Tri under interim coach Tuca Ferretti in the fall.
3 comments about "Tata to Mexico: 'We can build a great team'".
  1. Craig Cummings, January 7, 2019 at 7:57 p.m.

    How many ex MLS coaches have  become EL TRI  head coaches?

  2. R2 Dad, January 8, 2019 at 2:13 p.m.

    "With the players here in the US and the leagues around the world, we can build a great team. We are interested in showing a team with a clear style of play."
    Tata would have been great for the USMNT, since this directly addresses our primary weakness...and so much international experience! But we didn't need Tata or Osorio--USSF found a better candiate in .....Jay's brother Gregg? C'mon, USSF, that doesn't even pass the smell test! Or is this just what voters had in mind when they chose Cordiero? This is the kind of soccer inbreeding I had hoped we'd moved beyond. I hear duelling banjos somewhere....

  3. frank schoon replied, January 8, 2019 at 5:14 p.m.

    Damn, R2, you must have eaten extra Wheaties,today. LOL

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