All posts by Bryan W.

Originally from Cleveland, Bryan has a Bachelors in Sport Management and Communications. He is an avid sports fan; especially fútbol.

Quick El Tri Headlines: October 22, 2015

Mexico booked it’s ticket to Russia 2017 and Brazil 2016 on the same day (AP photo)

Welcome back to quick El Tri headlines…it’s been a while, so let’s get right to it!

  • Mexico’s victory over the USA drew in more TV viewers than even the MLB playoff games.
  • Chicharito scored two goals in Bayer’s 4-4 draw with Roma. He was also added to the Champions League team of the week!
  • Layún continues to find his spot with Porto, as he added another assist in their 2-0 win over Tel-Aviv. Also, Tecatito played 54 minutes, and Herrera played 6 minutes.
  • Mexico’s U17 group currently is with 4 points after two matches. They play a difficult third match against Germany on Saturday, October 24.
  • Mexico cruised in Olympic qualification, as they went undefeated and took the CONCACAF title against Honduras with a 2-0 win.
  • With Mexico’s 3-2 win over the USA, and 2-0 over Honduras in Olympic qualification, Mexico swept every regional category for titles (U17, U20, U22, Senior).
  • Mexico’s senior team (excluding Copa América and Non-FIFA rosters) has not lost a game in 2015.
  • Our 2015 Schedule is up-to-date!

Chicharito vs Roma

Layún’s assist for Porto 

Mexico’s CONCACAF Pre-Olympic title win


Whether he knows it or not, the pressure is building on Piojo

Piojo needs to see results or the pressure will be headed his way (Getty)

I am a fan of Piojo. I have liked his enthusiasm, flair, and ability to boost a teams confidence.

However, with sub-par results and bizarre player call-ups, Piojo is starting to feel a little heat on his back.

The Copa América squad finished their warm-ups with a win over Guatemala (3-0), draw with Peru (1-1), and a loss to Brazil (0-2). What makes matters worse for Mexico fans and Piojo is that the roster doesn’t show anything outside a few players with major potential.

When the U.S. embarrassed a weak Mexican side 0-2 in April, many thought we would for sure never see the likes of several players from that roster. However, names that played sub-par found their way back to the Copa América and Gold Cup rosters.

And the results of other Mexican teams are not helping the pressure for Piojo and the upcoming Copa América squad. The U-22 Toulon team looked to have booked their trip to the final, only to be beaten by a 10-man Moroccan side, eliminating them from the tournament.

Moreover, the U-20 World Cup squad opened up group play with a 0-2 loss to Mali after going down to 9 players. Almaguer would go on to make endless tactical errors, which lead to Serbia shutting them out 0-2 (see a trend here?).

Piojo said he had major expectations for the Copa América and Gold Cup, but we aren’t seeing the chemistry after those statements.

After defeating Holland and Germany on the road, the USA looks to have gained hold of the “favorite” for the Gold Cup. And if the Copa América plays and looks as bad as they have, Piojo will have only one last shot to impress in the summer…

If he gets it wrong, and we are looking back at some of his decisions…Piojo may be in a spot several coaches before him were in.

2014/15 Mexicans Abroad Season Ratings

Herrera had a monstrous season with FC Porto (Mexsport)

The 2014/15 season saw some ups and downs for the Mexicans abroad. From some players having major breakthroughs to players seeing most of the time off the pitch. Nevertheless, here are the ratings for the Mexicans in Europe…

Chicharito, Real Madrid: B

It was a major plus for Chicharito to get out of Manchester United when he joined Real Madrid. He was signing with one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so getting a starting spot was going to be difficult. He was able to score a few goals early on in the season, but when you play on a huge club, it’s hard to find time. But, with what could have been a D+ rating type of season, Chicharito turned it around when he was given the opportunity. He had a tremendous April/May with Real Madrid, from sending Real Madrid to the semifinal of the Champions League with a game winning goal, to having an assist or goal in almost every game he played. Chicharito looked at top form at the end of the season, which will definitely bode well for him moving forward and with El Tri this summer.

Raúl Jiménez, Atlético Madrid: C-

Raúl’s signing with Atlético Madrid was a major headline for Mexicans abroad. He was a young talent with Club América, and the jump would be a big one for the striker. Unfortunately, Jiménez was given sporadic minutes and only scored once this season. He had a bit of a burst late in the season when he assisted his teammates in a couple of games, but when he was left of the roster several times when it mattered. It was apparent that his season wasn’t looking as opportunistic as expected.

Hector Herrera, FC Porto: A

Hector’s year with FC Porto was one of the best, if not the best for Mexicans abroad. He helped them in major matches, became an absolute starter and even got attention with his stylish play in the Champions League. Hector may stay with FC Porto, but if he doesn’t, it’s because he will be going to great places.

Tecatito Corona, FC Twente: B+

The 22 year-old became one of FC Twente’s best player in just a few months. He finished the season with 9 goals, 4 assists on a team that was…not that strong. He has received major recognition for his great play, as WhoScored.Com has placed him on the Eredivisie Best XI of the season. 

Giovani dos Santos, Villarreal: C+

This was a major rollercoaster year for Gio at Villarreal. Battling injuries became the norm for Mexico’s #10. He did have some moments of brilliance, especially in the Europa League, in which he had 3 goals, 2 assists with the club. However, a nagging muscle injury put Giovani out on the sidelines for a large portion of this season.

Guillermo Ochoa, Malaga: F

This has to be one of the most disappointing ratings for Mexicans abroad. Memo Ochoa went from a phenom at the 2014 World Cup, to a keeper who rarely saw the pitch at his new club. The part which hurts the most for Memo is that the keeper ahead of him, Carlos Kameni, had some unbearably poor performances. For a guy that had the world giving him praise, Memo needs to go to a club that will put him on the pitch immediately.

Andres Guardado, PSV: A-

Andres joined PSV and quickly became a fan favorite. He had big role in their Eredivisie title and was voted as MVP of the league. He didn’t have a lot of stats, but if anyone watched his games with PSV, you could spot him all over the pitch contributing in any way possible. I think we will see a lot of happy moments for Guardado with PSV for some time to come.

Diego Reyes, FC Porto: D+

This is another hard rating because of the fact that he saw strange playing time. When he did play for Porto in the league, he seemed to do quite well, but it wasn’t often. That’s why giving him a sub-C rating hurts, because it wasn’t as if he was stinking up the pitch. There was controversy over Reyes when he was taken off the pitch before half against Bayern Munich, but it wasn’t as if the goals scored against Port were his fault. It was a tactical change to become more offensive, and it actually didn’t do too much. Hopefully, Diego recovers some composure with Mexico this summer and returns for next season on a high note.

Jonathan dos Santos, Villarreal: B+

Jonathan quickly became a favorite at Villarreal. The midfielder joined his brother Giovani and has reached a great level of play in La Liga this year. As long as he continues at the level he has with Villarreal, he will be an automatic starter with club and country. Jonathan even scored 3 goals this season, including one against his former club Barcelona.

Carlos Vela, Real Sociedad: B-

Carlos had a solid season with Real Sociedad, who were recovering from the loss of Antoine Griezmann to Atlético Madrid. Carlos V had some top performances, as he scored in victories against Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid, and helped Real Sociedad beat Barcelona. However, his season took a hit as he was out for 8+ weeks with a knee surgery, yet still returned and managed to finish the season with 10 goals.

Miguel Layún, Watford FC: C+

It was an interesting move for Layún. He went to a much more physical league and got a new experience in the world of football. He had some very good matches and some mediocre ones, but overall he had a decent stay at Watford. It’s nice to see that he was part of the team that was promoted to the Premier League.

Hector Moreno, Espanyol: B-

Somewhat of a bland rating, but Hector returned from a leg fracture at the World Cup and played a fairly decent season at Espanyol. He returned to his starting spot and did his job. Not too much else to comment on. Will be nice to see him return with Mexico this summer at the Gold Cup.

Rafa Márquez, Hellas Verona: C

At 36, the fact Rafa is still starting in Europe is pretty impressive. He’s had a decent stint at Verona, but of course, he also had some up and down matches as well. Similar to Carlos V, Rafa had a knee injury to sidelined him for two months. However, he returned to have a few strong matches.

Javier Aquino, Rayo Vallecano: D-

To be fully honest, it was hard to not give Aquino an F on this season. He had some atrocious matches with Rayo, and doesn’t have anything on the stat sheet that catches the eye. He played 24 matches with Rayo and tallied 2 assists. With a season like this, I wouldn’t be surprised if Aquino returns to Mexico.

Ulises Dávila, Vitoria de Setubal: C-

Hard to rate Ulises this season with Setubal in the Portuguese league. He was given mixed minutes and didnt’ have any impressive stats. May need another season to get a good read on him, but I don’t see him getting any looks at the national team any time soon.

Alan Pulido, Levadiakos: C

Hard to give him a full rating, as he only played 6 games. However, he did score and received “man of the match” in his first appearance.

Piojo calls a strong Euro backing to the Gold Cup

Gio and brother Jona help boost the Gold Cup roster (Reuters)

It has been known that the Gold Cup will be Mexico’s number one priority in 2015. A win at the Gold Cup give Mexico a playoff ticket against the U.S. in the fall for 2017 Confederations Cup qualification. With that being said, Piojo Herrera called up a very strong Euro contingency for the Gold Cup.

The Call ups:

Memo Ochoa, Carlos Vela, Chicharito, Giovani dos Santos, Tecatito Corona*, Diego Reyes, Hector Herrera, Jonathan dos Santos, Hector Moreno, Miguel Layún, Andres Guardado.

Predicted XI (5-3-2)

  • Ochoa
  • Pizarro, Reyes, Maza, Moreno, Layún
  • Jonathan, Guardado (C), Herrera
  • Vela, Chicharito

*Tecatito will participate in both the Copa América and Gold Cup

Mexico’s (early) Copa América roster

Mexico’s Copa América squad is almost complete (Getty)

Here is the early list of players that will attend the Copa América in Chile (June 11-July 4). There are expected changes to happen before the team travels to South America.

The first friendly for the team will be on May 30 against Guatemala.

Goalkeepers: Corona, Talavera, Melitón Hernández.

Defenders: George Corral, Gerardo Flores, Adrián Aldrete/Jorge Torres Nilo, Rafael Márquez, Julio Domínguez, Hiram Mier, Efraín Velarde, Carlos Salcedo.

Midfielders: Javier Güemez, Juan Carlos Medina, Luis Montes, Marco Fabián, Javier Aquino, Isaac Brizuela.

Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Eduardo Herrera, Matías Vuoso, Enrique Esqueda/Javier Orozoco.

Opinion piece: FMF to blame for rivalry fiasco

(USA Today)

To the view of the U.S. fan, Wednesday’s game between the USA and Mexico went quite brilliantly. They not only defeated their biggest rival, but by the historic scoreline of 2-0.

For the Mexican fans, Wednesday was a horror show. One that was predicted early on when the initial rosters were released by the federations. On one hand, you have Mexico bringing completely untested names, many of which have never played with each other let alone on the national team. On the other, you have a U.S. side with a strong core with a few new sprinkled in-names.

The non-FIFA date between the two may have seemed like a friendly, but there is a lot more that carries on with a loss to your biggest rival…which is all to the fault of the FMF.

The result gives your rival extra confidence 

This match shouldn’t be looked into very detailed. It was a non-FIFA date in which both teams, predominately Mexico, were testing some things out. Yet, the media did not make it seem like a friendly. Fox sports basically previewed it as a World Cup qualifier.

If it were against a team like Bolivia, Peru, Finland etc. I really wouldn’t have minded a non-FIFA date where you can test players out. But against your rival? It’s simply ridiculous. Both the U.S. and Mexico are going to be fighting this summer in the Gold Cup, and this loss does nothing for Mexico. For the USA, it relieves pressure off Klinsmann, who by the way came into this match with 1 win in 8 matches. In addition, you give one more game, friendly or not, notched on the side of your rival in the overall series.

Mexico walks away with what it already knew coming into the game

We knew this team had no chemistry. There were five players with 0 total caps entering this match, and several with just a few small appearances. Outside a decent first half defense, the team couldn’t pass, players weren’t talking to each other, and there were only 3 or 4 total created chances.

Piojo made it clear that this roster was not as strong as possible because of the leagues teams that needed their best players due to relegation battles and international competition (Atlas, Tigres, América, Chivas etc). Which makes it even more absurd as to why the Mexican Federation would agree to a friendly in the middle of April, and against it’s biggest rival nonetheless.

Money talks

It’s pretty apparent that the FMF penciled the game in because of the dollar signs. The rivalry between the U.S. and Mexico shouldn’t be this watered down, but if it can get people into the stadium then that’s what matters to the federation.

Oh, and let’s not get started on the horrific condition on the field in San Antonio. Both teams suffered injures as Kyle Beckerman hurt his leg in the second half for the USA, while Luis Montes had internal ear bleeding and Oswaldo Alanís left with a foot injury on Mexico’s side.

Mexico now has to compile a list of players to bring to the Copa América and Gold Cup. Many names have already been talked about for which tournament they will compete in, but after Wednesday’s flop, it’s clear there will be a few names not added to either roster…

El Tri roster for USA clash

Peralta and co. will look to claim a win against rival USA in San Antonio (Getty)

Here are Piojo’s roster calls for the match against the USA on Wednesday, April 15 in San Antonio, Texas.

Goalkeepers: Saucedo, Orozco

Defenders: Jerry Flores, Mier, Maza, Dominguez, Efraín Velarde, Carlos Salcedo, Alanís, Maza, Corral, Aldrete

Midfielders: Luis Montes, Antonio Rios, Jürgen Damm, Chaka Rodríguez, Mario Osuna

Forwards: Cubo Torres, Lalo Herrera, Oribe Peralta

Notes: Memo Ochoa and Diego Reyes were unable to get permission to play in this Non-FIFA date friendly.

Vamos México!