Héctor Herrera and Porto finished their UCL road trip with a 1-1 draw against FC Basel. Porto plays at home against FC Basel on Tuesday, March 10.
Chicharito played 20 minutes against FC Shalke in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win in the UCL.
Giovani and Jona played a full 90 against Eibar today. Giovani participated in the winning goal with a slick back heel pass to Vietto for the 1-0 victory.
Tecatito Corona continues to play above and beyond expectations, as he scored a header today against Vitesse. He has claimed 3 goals in three games, and now has the most goals of any Mexican abroad (9).
Raul Gudiño was called to Porto’s U19 squad, and helped them win against Real Madrid in a penalty shootout. Raul was outstanding, saving two of Real Madrid’s shots.
Piojo Herrera made a statement that Jésus Dueñas would be called up by El Tri. Almost on cue after the announcement, Dueñas scored a golazo against Juan Aurich in the Copa Libertadores.
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.
There are teams that you should just not lose to, and Cruz Azul managed to do just that this year at the Club World Cup, when they lost to Auckland City from New Zealand. Now, this isn’t an article to bash Cruz Azul, but to address a problem that has been prevalent in the Liga MX. From the fans, to coaches, to the ownership, the obsession with solely wining the league title and not taking international tournaments is seriously is a definite red flag.
It wasn’t the first time an “on paper” stronger Mexican side had lost in a game it should have been able to win. Tigres did this at the 2012-13′ CONCACAF Champions League, when Tuca sent out a reserve squad that fell, 1-3, to the Seattle Sounders. Tigres had gone into the game with a one goal aggregate lead to add. Had it been a Liguilla game, there is no doubt that Tuca Ferreti sends out his strongest side.
Yet, the unfortunate list goes on; América was eliminated by Alajuelense in the 2013-14′ CCL, Chivas was eliminated by Xelaú in the 2012-13′ CCL, Cruz Azul was eliminated by Alajuelense this year in the CCL, so on and so forth.
When Cruz Azul headed to the Club World Cup, they weren’t a favorite to win. Of course, Real Madrid is virtually unbeatable, so the 0-4 loss was not a disappointment. However, the loss to Auckland was a major let down, especially since New Zealand has no where near the league Mexico has. This should have been an easy win, but at the end, Liga MX walks away looking weaker, not stronger.
The CCL, Club World Cup, Copa Libertadores are all very important tournaments for Mexico. When Monterrey placed 3rd at the 2012 CWC, it helped promote the talent of Tecatito Corona. His play caught the eye of many at the tournament, and now he is having phenomenal year with FC Twente in the Eredivisie.
I support Club América, but I want all Liga MX teams to succeed outside the league play. If Cruz Azul or Club León are playing an international match, I’m Liga MX all the way. I really believe this is how it should be. In 2013, Chivas and Club América had an exhibition in Las Vegas and fans erupted in a massive brawl. Many were left bloodied and bruised, something you never want to see at a football match. Especially against your fellow Mexican fans. Fans you cheer with every Gold Cup, Copa América, World Cup…even friendlies!
I understand the desire to be Liga MX champions is huge in Mexican football culture, but there needs to be more pressure on representing on a national level. The better the Mexican teams do in these tournaments, the better Mexico looks. And yes, a Liga MX team has won the CCL year after year, but many of the Liga MX teams have not shown up, as mentioned earlier.
The league needs to take every chance at success in tournaments outside Mexico, as well as exposing the talent of the league…because it is there.