At Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California, the Mexico National Team make their 2017 Gold Cup debut this Sunday against El Salvador.
The pressure is on El Tri. Even with Mexico sprinting clear in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, bad vibes continue to accrue between Mexican media, fans, and Juan Carlos Osorio. Instead of creating a boisterous support around the national team, an intimidating atmosphere has been created that clearly won’t be lifted unless Mexico do something special in the Gold Cup.
Of course, doing something special means winning the tournament, and if Mexico are to win the Gold Cup, they will have to do it with an alternative squad and without the aforementioned Osorio, who received a six-game suspension for insulting officials during the Confederations Cup.
Their first opponent is El Salvador, a team that El Tri has traditionally dominated in recent times, but the big question for Mexico is of who will be in charge of scoring the goals. While even with a squad vastly short of several key players, El Tri seem to have enough talent in every single one of their lines except for the scoring one. To make matters worse, prior to the start of the tournament, Chivas forward Alan Pulido was ruled out through a shoulder injury, paving the way for Houston Dynamo striker Erick “Cubo” Torres. Cubo has looked prolific for the Dynamo this season, and might get the nod as starting striker against La Selecta.
Whether it is Cubo or anybody else scoring the goals, though, the only thing that matters for Mexico is the win. Anything less and the pressure will only grow on Juan Carlos Osorio and Company.
Date: Sunday July 9
Time: 6:00 PM Pacific, 8:00 PM Central, 9:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California
Television: Univision (US-Spanish), Univision Deportes (US-Spanish), Fox Sports 1 (US-English), Azteca 13 (Mexico), UnivisionTDN (Mexico), SKY Planeta Fútbol (Mexico), TDN (Mexico), Sky HD (Mexico), TVC Deportes (Mexico), Canal de las Estrellas (Mexico)