In the draw carried out at CONCACAF headquarters in New York on Tuesday, the Mexican national team was drawn into Group A of the 2011 Gold Cup, alongside Costa Rica, El Salvador and Cuba. FMF General Secretary Decio de María was quick to label the group as "morboso," which literally translates as morbid. In Costa Rica, Mexico will face a side coached by former Mexico manager Ricardo La Volpe and the only side to have beaten Mexico at the Estadio Azteca.
El Salvador and Cuba are opponents comparatively weaker than Costa Rica, but both could represent stumbling blocks for Manuel de la Torre's side if they become complacent. Realistically, Mexico should expect a first place finish and a favorable draw for the quarter-finals, but any slip up could mean a potentially tough quarter-final draw. However, only a third-place group finish from either the United States or Mexico would see the two powerhouses meet before the final.
Mexico will be looking to string together consecutive Gold Cup victories after thrashing the United States in the 2009 final, albeit with both teams fielding weakened squads. However, there is added incentive in this year's edition of the Gold Cup, with the winner earning a berth in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil. With the United States having made a huge impact in the 2009 edition of the tournament with its 2-0 win over Spain, de María and the Mexican federation are keen to make an impression of their own.
"El objetivo nuestro no es citar ese tipo de cuestionamientos, el objetivo nuestro es llegar a la final y una vez en ella, poder levantar la Copa para llegar a la Confederaciones, y si para eso hay que jugar contra Ricardo, que divertido, ahí lo saludaremos."
De María is saying that Mexico's objective will not be to worry about a potentially tough group, but to get to and win the final to qualify for the Confederations Cup, but if that requires going through La Volpe's Costa Rica, then it will be nothing more than a fun experience to face their former manager.
More information on the draw and the teams involved can be found at the CONCACAF website.