Category Archives: Confederations Cup

Why the Gold Cup should be Mexico’s top priority in 2015

Rafa could say farewell to international play after 2015 (Getty)

Mexico has a very busy year planned for 2015. Along with the youth qualifiers and World Cups, the senior team has two major tournaments it is preparing for; 2015 Copa América and the 2015 Gold Cup. That being said, many fans want Mexico to send strong squads to both tournaments, but being a month apart makes it very difficult. Therefore, here are the reasons why Mexico should view the Gold Cup as its main priority…

Mexico will be participating in two Copa América’s

Unlike in the previous cycle, the Copa América will have tournaments in consecutive years. The 2015 edition is going to be held in Chile and will be one month before the Gold Cup. Although Mexico would love to send its best team, there is reassurance that in 2016, the Copa América will return. Moreover, the 2016 edition will be held in the United States. This means that home field advantage will be a first for Mexico in the tournament, and that it can be a main focus for El Tri. The 2015 version of the tournament will have to be a training ground for some players, while the first team is sent to the Gold Cup.

Winning the Gold Cup is a ticket to the Confederations Cup playoff

In 2011, Mexico won the Gold Cup and won a ticket to the 2013 Confederations Cup. However, the format for the Confederations Cup ticket has changed in the CONCACAF; the 2013 Gold Cup gave the U.S. a spot in the Confederations Cup playoff. This format change means that Mexico needs to win this cup in order to play the United States in autumn this year. The winner will represent the region in 2017, but if Mexico doesn’t win, they will have no chance of making it to the next Confederations Cup. And why is this important? If Mexico represents CONCACAF in 2017, they will play in a major cup every year until the World Cup (2015 Gold Cup, 2016 Copa América and 2017 Confederations Cup), and nothing helps a teams evolution more than playing against the best year in and year out.

The 2015 Gold Cup will most likely be Rafa Márquez’s final showing in an El Tri kit

Mexico’s legendary skipper, Rafa Márquez, may no longer represent Mexico after this year. At 36 years old, the defender has played a lot for country and club, which means Mexico needs to start focusing on a replacement heading into 2018. Reports have come out that Rafa will be captaining El Tri one more time at the 2015 Gold Cup (along with other top Mexicans abroad). It would be great to send Rafa to Chile for the Copa América, but seeing that he will play with what looks to be Mexico’s stronger team in the Gold Cup, it would be great to see El Capitán go out on top.

Mexico will have two different teams playing in tournaments this year. It may seem unfortunate at first glance, but Mexico will have a major opportunity to win the 2015 Gold Cup, as well as sending a top squad to the 2016 Copa América. Not to mention, a Gold Cup victory gives Mexico a slot in the CONCACAF playoff for the 2017 Confederations Cup. Expect Mexico to take this years Gold Cup very seriously, and with good reason.

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Breaking down El Tri’s World Cup group

Mandžukić and Croatia will look to cause problems against Mexico in the final match of group play (Getty)

 

On December 6th, the world watched as the draw was made for the FIFA World Cup. Mexico was drawn into a difficult group with Cameroon, Brazil (Host), and Croatia. However, at the end of the draw, Mexico looks to have the best chance to advance from their group as a CONCACAF representative. Moreover, Mexico’s group might be just the right balance of comfort and difficulty to make a run in 2014.

Cameroon:

Currently ranked 59th in the FIFA rankings, Cameroon is Mexico’s first foe in the World Cup. Cameroon qualified fairly easily, but has had some suspect results in 2013. In the 2014 Africa cup of Nation’s qualification, Cameroon has lost to both the Congo and Gabon. It is hard to gage how powerful Cameroon will be but they will be lead by Samuel Eto’o. However, with a lack of marquee victories, Mexico shouldn’t feel overly intimated facing Cameroon, but also shouldn’t believe it will be a walk in the park.

Brazil:

Well…they are the dreaded top dog of the group. Mexico had been in Brazil’s group for the 2013 Confederations Cup and lost 0-2. Brazil would go on to win the Confederations Cup with a 3-0 victory over Spain. This will be a very difficult game for El Tri, but that doesn’t mean points are impossible. In their matchup in 2013, Brazil scored early and Mexico missed several opportunities to tie it up. Brazil’s second goal came on a defensive error and late in the game. Moreover, the Mexico side was at the time, in an ugly rut. A motivated Mexico can still fight for a positive result, and El Tri has had excellent matches against Brazil over the past few years. Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, even called Brazil vs Mexico a “classico,” so expect a target on Mexico’s back. That being said, this should be the most anticipated match of Group A.

Croatia:

A Top-20 side, Croatia has a very talented team in this group. Being the final rival for Mexico in group play means that these two could be fighting for the second spot to advance. Lead by big names like Srna and Mandžukić, Croatia are a quality European side. Expect this match to be a very physical one, which means it could all come down to one goal. Croatia may even be favorited to advance in this group, but if Mexico catches its fire from 2011/12, the Croatians may have a lot to handle.

Mexico opens up their World Cup group play on June 13, 2014 against Cameroon.

Vamos México!

Mexico 1, Panama 2: “three strikes, you’re out”

Panama smashed Mexico’s hopes twice in one cup (USA Today)

 

Mexico was at one of its top peaks in recent history at the finish of 2012. Still toting the well deserved Gold medal, the boys in green were walking tall. The future was bright; continue demolishing the region in WCQ, and finish it off with some pizazz during the two upcoming tournaments.

However, after a disastrous start to WCQ and flop out of the Confederations, the Gold cup was supposed to be the last chance to cleanse ourselves of this summer of hell.

The tournament kicked off just as bad as we could have imagined. First, beaten in a Mexican backed Rose Bowl by our Panamanian foes. Followed by two victories which, in short, were snoozers.

After sneaking past Trinidad in the quarterfinals, it almost (keyword) looked as if Mexico would finally wake up to take on Panama for a revenge date. Yet again, Chepo de la Torre did anything but lead this team into the semifinals.

Not only did the game start off identical to the first game, but Chepo still didn’t budge on the changes needed. The two striker failure continued; Rafa Marquez Lugo was slow, lethargic, and looked lost. Chepo started him knowing full blown that he hasn’t scored, or caused any problem for opponents.

Mexico had a mix up on a set piece early in the second half and it was the nail in the almost inevitable coffin. Mexico couldn’t find the second goal…close, but even if they scored, Panama was the much more hungry side.

Mexico is leaving the Gold cup in complete disappointment. As two time reigning champs, the semifinal bow out is the cherry on the top of this summer of failure. The players do not trust Chepo, the tactics look off, and the brakes have given out on this ride. We have seen where it goes from here.

Unfortunately, Mexico fans (like myself) will most likely not get our wish. There will be little chances of a coaching change. There are a plethora of excuses the FMF will use. Injuries, out of form players, not the most crucial of tournaments etc. Are they valid? To an extent. But looking back on this cup, it was predictable.

But is it really hard to see?

  • WCQ
  • Confederations cup
  • Gold cup

Not one, not two, but three major failures.

That’s three Chepo…you’re out.

Mexico v Japan: A result which means nothing for Chepo’s future

Chepo’s run with Mexico in the Hex and Confed. cup has been a disaster (Reuters)

 

I rarely write negative about El Tri. I like to stay positive and look at the bright side about the future. However, I cannot bite my tongue much longer about Chepo. I have been reading the exact same thing from dozens of fans. If we have all been on the same page then something needs to be said. TriReport may be small, but as members of the media, we can voice the opinion of the fan. It seems most media is “talking” about Chepo’s poor performances, but no one is truly exposing his bullheaded ways.

Tomorrow, Mexico and Japan will take part in a complete friendly. It is such a low-tier game that will be shown on ESPNews. Instead Brazil and Italy will have the spotlight.

Wether Mexico is able to snag a measly three points tomorrow, it should have no effect on wether Chepo has earned the right to stay as manager. He has taken Mexico from a true force, to a one of the weakest teams in the Confederations cup.

At the moment, Chepo has Mexico sitting with an embarrassing 8 points in the Hex. We even needed our most dreaded rival to win, just to keep us from losing a spot in WCQ. Mexico has zero wins in Azteca, and not even a single goal scored at home.

Coming into June, Mexico needed results. The race for the World cup was getting tighter, and after three matches, El Tri sat with 5 weak points. Then Mexico, with their heads hanging, went to Brazil. Nothing changed with Chepo. He fields the same thing with minor touches, expecting different results…which is mind boggling.

It is clear Chepo has no idea what to do now. Instead of integrating the Olympic side (U-23, not overage) little by little, he kept them on the bench, and hasn’t called others. He continues a love for Salcido, Torrado, Maza, and other inefficient “vets.”

Torrado has been one of the most ineffective players since Guille Franco and Bofo in the 2010 World cup. He has no offensive presence and any quality opposing attack leaves him in the dust. Salcido seemed to have found a rhythm at LB, but that quickly fell apart. His slow tendencies, long shots, and indecisive nature adds nothing for Mexico.

Then there is Maza.

He gets manhandled by Mario Balotelli, and instead of making a statement and throwing in Reyes against Brazil…Maza is the starter. And what happened? Maza heads the ball beautifully to Neymar’s foot, almost on queue, for a Brazil goal. Then in the 93rd minute, Neymar makes a cut on Mier, and instead of covering for Mier, Maza watched Neymar fly into the box for the assist. 

I said months ago that Maza was not worthy of starter, let alone being captain. Yet, mistake after mistake, Chepo gives Maza the captains armband. As if Maza flipping off a camera wasn’t enough to show he is a weak leader.

Obviously, Maza has only been able to lead a team into a gentlemans club.

If Mexico can get a win against Japan, that is always good, but the verdict is out as far as I am concerned. Chepo de la Torre has lost his right to coach Mexico from here on out.

Mexican NT sex scandal…again

Reports have been circulating around the Mexican National soccer team and their alleged visit to a strip club establishment after the loss to Italy in the Confederations Cup.

This is not the first time that these types of events have occurred.

In the 2011 edition of the Copa America in Ecuador, several players were punished for bringing prostitutes into their rooms. Among those were Jonathan Dos Santos and Marco Fabian.

The party was brought to the team in 2010 after a friendly against Colombia in Monterrey. Several players were fined. It was that occasion when Carlos Vela was suspended for the team and he hasn’t returned since that call.
Continue reading Mexican NT sex scandal…again

Brazil 2, Mexico 0: Short lived dreams

Mexico suffered a defeat at the hands of Brazil, falling 2-0 during a group match in the Confederations Cup.

Goals from Neymar and Jo left Mexico with a second defeat in the tournament and zero points.

Fellow group member Japan gave Mexico hope during their match against Italy, but the eventual loss by the Asian nation meant that el Tri would not move beyond the group stages of the tournament.

Continue reading Brazil 2, Mexico 0: Short lived dreams