Thanks to Pablo Barrera's early red card, 'Chepo' Jose Manuel de la Torre learned very little about his team from Friday's friendly against Nigeria. The Mexico attack looked potent in the early minutes and created plenty of chances before 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez finally found a breakthrough, but Chepo surely wanted to see more than 27 minutes of 11-on-11 football.
Making lineup projections is hard for a few reasons. The lack of real 11-on-11 football in the most recent friendly is the most obvious one, but the fitness of Giovani dos Santos and Hector Moreno is another. They've been cleared to play, but are they really at peak fitness? Only Chepo and his assistants know.
Without any further ado, we present our projected lineup for Tuesday's game against Jamaica. This is a statement of opinion on what de la Torre will do, not what the writer prefers to see. If this were my team, only eight of the players listed below would be starting.
Projected lineup (4-4-2): Jesus Corona; Carlos Salcido, Diego Reyes, 'Maza' Francisco Rodriguez, Servero Meza; Andres Guardado, Gerardo Torrado, Jesus Zavala, Pablo Barrera; Aldo de Nigris, 'Chicharito' Javier Hernandez
Let's address some questions you probably have.
Corona over Ochoa?
I didn't think Chepo would do it, but he did it against Nigeria. I don't think Corona did anything to change his mind. It would be surprising to see him make the switch back to Memo.
Aldo over Gio?
I think Mexico is best with Gio in a free role under a center forward in a 4-2-3-1, something that Jason Marquitz, one of our other writers, disagrees with. Aldo and Chicharito made a fantastic pair to start the Nigeria game, however, and it would be silly to break them up. Especially given how poor Gio was in the first Jamaica game.
Torrado and Zavala keep their places?
I thought the Gerardo Torrado train had long since departed the station, but it looks like he's still in Chepo's plans. As long as he's here, he's probably worth using. These two made a great pair on Friday but, once again, they only had 27 minutes to show off their best stuff. In any event, they did nothing to indicate that Chepo should make a switch if he was willing to try this in the first place. I can't imagine it going any better than it did. If he ever had interest in these two as a pair going forward, nothing that happened Friday should have changed his mind.
No spot for Hector Moreno?
Hey, I'll cheer just like the rest of you if 'Maza' goes to the bench, but I don't think Chepo's going to pull his captain. A disastrous result in Kingston might convince him that it's time to make the move, but he's shown commitment to Maza through thick and thin so far. Reyes is the future of El Tri and has been good every time he's played. Benching him for player who just recently returned from injury seems unwise. Though I'd take a limping Moreno over a healthy Maza any day.
Can we just be done with Carlos Salcido already?
No, Mexico is still managed by Chepo de la Torre.