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Too Much, Too Soon for Hirving “Chucky” Lozano?

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It has been a busy 2 years for Lozano.

Honduras v Mexico: Final-2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Much like George Costanza was suppose to have his own Summer, this was suppose to be the Summer of Chucky. He was phenom with European teams chasing him and a Manchester United offer waiting for him, allegedly. Chucky was coming off lifting the LigaMX trophy with Pachuca. He was set to play in 2 international tournaments: Copa America Centenario and the Rio Olympics. If anyone was going to have a breakout Summer it was Chucky but that was far from what happened. It started with an underwhelming Copa America and ended with a Red Card as Mexico was eliminated from Rio. Something just seemed off about Lozano’s performances. I tried to find out why and was surprised to see just how much the youngster has played since breaking through in 2014.

Mexico v Chile: Quarterfinals - Copa America Centenario Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Since Summer of 2014 (Lozano)

  • 118 Games
  • 9197 Minutes
  • 32 Goals
  • 78 Mins per Game

Those totals include games with club & country. He was 19-21 years old during that time period. Those are awfully high numbers for such a young player. Especially in an era where teams try to limit playing time for their youth players. Many fear a “burning out effect” when players experience that many minutes at a young age. I think Lozano is in the midst of a rough stretch where the sheer number of minutes over the last 2 years is getting to him. The last 2 months has seen him perform at levels that are below what he is capable of. It almost seems like that extra gear we see him kick into when he is 1v1 just isn’t there. For a player that relies on his quickness as much as Chucky, his fitness is even more important than for other players. The National team asking him to play 2 tournaments this Summer did not do him (or Pachuca) any favors. He looks sluggish on the field and has jumped right back into LigaMX after the Olympics. Compare his recent play with a player he is most compared to, Tecatito Corona.

AS Roma v FC Porto - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round: Second Leg Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Since Summer of 2014 (Tecatito)

  • 102 Games
  • 6927 Minutes
  • 29 Goals
  • 68 Mins per Game

Porto made it very clear there was no chance Corona was going to play in 2 tournaments this Summer. They stressed he needed the rest before the club season started after playing the Gold Cup and Copa America last summer. Before he went down with a minor injury, Porto was reaping the rewards of the rest. He has been one of their best players early on as the Portuguese club qualified for the Group Stage of the Champions League. Chucky’s playing time looks even more daunting when you compare to Tecatito’s own playing time as a 19-20yr old player.

Tecatito (Age 19-20)

  • 69 Games
  • 3613 Minutes
  • 11 Goals
  • 52 Mins per Game

Different circumstances, as Tecatito was making the move to Europe and Lozano was already an established LigaMX player but still a large discrepancy in minutes (5,584mins). I think this dip in form for Lozano will pass but Pachuca will be smart to keep an eye on his workload going forward. Maybe some forced rest during the week will keep him fresh for games as I do not see Pachuca resting him for league matches or JCO leaving him off the national team.