Mexico has just finished up their warm-ups for the Olympics. The results were; 1-1 tie with Club Leon, 1-0 victory over Great Britain, 0-1 loss to Spain, and a 1-2 loss to Japan. The friendlies have shed some light at what to expect for Thursday, as Mexico begins its road to Olympics against South Korea.
1) Defense showing holes:
After the 1-0 victory over Great Britain, Mexico was outscored 1-3. The defense could have coughed up more against Spain, as they let through 2 major break aways. Luckily for Mexico, there were stopped by Corona. Against Japan, Mexico was disorganized and let the Japanese through for an easy tap-in for the 1-0 lead. The defense will need to find away to build some consistency, because their competition is going to be a lot stronger with the stakes raised.
2) Missing names are indeed…missed:
Going to keep this one short and sweet. Some of the names that were hopefuls for the Olympic roster, are now ones that Mexico really needed. Pulido, Jonathan Dos Santos, and Vela would have been a huge boost to this squad.
3) Experienced players not adding any experience:
With exception of Corona, Salcido and Peralta has been bigger problems than solutions. The purpose of the 3 overage players was to add major help for the younger standouts, but Salcido has not found a rhythm, and Peralta is a complete no-show. Of course I loved being proved wrong, as it could be the opposite come Thursday. Both could come out swinging…yet from the friendlies, they have worried me more than add optimism.
1) Certain players are showing great consistency:
Although the overage players have not dazzled the El Tri fans, some of the youngsters have. The likes of Fabian, Herrera, Aquino have been a great sight. We all knew that Fabian has been consistent, but he has been responsible for 2 of 3 Mexico’s goals in warm-ups. Herrera has been an engine, never giving up on plays, as well as Aquino. I feel these three will be our best come Thursday.
2) Mexico is still the favorite of the group:
Although they lost two friendlies, we must remember…they were friendlies. Mexico is still a force in their group, and doing well could catapult momentum for the knockout rounds. Many players can turn on their performance knowing whats on the line, and I’ am optimistic this will be the case.
Usually this would be a negative, yet we have seen these U-23 stars shine when it was all on the line. Being down 0-1 to Honduras in the CONCACAF Pre-Olympic tournament final in the 70th minute wasn’t enough to stop Fabian and co. from claiming the crown. Not to mention the excellent finish in the Toulon cup, Mexico has shown it can turn things around late.
Mexico will take the pitch Thursday against South Korea in London at 9:30 A.M. EST. We will see if the guys can build off the positives…or if the negatives will be too much for a medal.