Mexico is not by any means an Olympic powerhouse. In 2012, the Mexican delegation picked up just seven medals, their second best performance since hosting the summer games in 1968. One of those medals, however, was a gold picked up in men’s soccer. Four years later, Mexico will look to repeat the feat in Rio 2016.
El Tri’s quest to defend Olympic gold begins on Thursday against none other than Germany at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador, Brazil. For Mexico, much of the country’s eyes will be on Raul “Potro” Gutierrez’s side as they seek to establish themselves as one of the competition’s favorites. Gutierrez can boast of having a wide array of promising youngsters like Hirving Lozano, Cesar Montes, Rodolfo Pizarro, and Erick Gutierrez. Mexico finished first in CONCACAF Olympic qualifying, and more than keeping their momentum going, El Tri will need a bright start if they are to be taken seriously at these Olympics.
Of course, Germany is never an easy test. What this German side lacks in big names more than makes up as a team. Right through the squad, there are some promising players for the Germans, including goalkeeper Timo Horn, defenders Matthias Ginter and Niklas Süle, midfielder Max Meyer, and Bayer Leverkusen forward Julian Brandt. Germany have never won a gold medal in men’s Olympic soccer, but back in the land where their senior national team won their fourth World Cup, anything will seem possible for the Nationalelf.
Match date/time: Thursday 4pm EST, 5pm local
Venue: Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador , Brazil
TV: Telemundo (US - Spanish), USA Network (US), Fox Sports 3 (Mexico)