Being that Mexico faces off against Wales on Monday for the first of three friendlies in the lead-up to the World Cup, we take a look at three things we would like to see Mexico do against, not only Wales, all three match-ups they have planned before Russia.
First things first.
Mexico Team Update thanks to Tom Marshall from ESPN FC:
Players currently injured: Hector Moreno(Real Sociedad), Andres Guardado(Real Betis), and Diego Reyes(FC Porto)
Current players with seasons still in progress: Carlos Vela (LAFC), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), and Giovanni Dos Santos (LA Galaxy)
Current players with seasons that just ended or are just old: Alfredo Talavera (Toluca FC), Rafa Marquez (retired from club football), Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Miguel Layun (Sevilla FC), and Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt).
1. A back-line that contains Edson Alvarez.
Edson Alvarez. Come on, he deserves it. They took him to the Confederations Cup to give him experience and get him used to the moment.
Now it’s time to put up or shut-up. He’s got the talent. He’s a lengthy defender that can run for days and has been versatile when Las Aguilas have needed him to be this past Clausura. He’s also one of the only players that genuinely shows enthusiasm, heart, and effort wearing the green jersey. The other option is Jesus Gallardo , but what else is he going to do other than run up and down the flanks putting gel in his hair?
2. Attack potential on full display.
Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano and Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona wreaking havoc on the flanks, making those Welsh defenders seem like, well, proper League One defenders. Obviously, all of this with Javier “Chicharito playing as the main striker (jeez you guys ripped me on that article of why Chicharito shouldn’t start, so here. You win!). This is a big deal though. Nobody wants to see Javier Aquino lined up on the other side of Lozano, and nobody wants to see Jurgen Damm lined up on the other side of Corona. This ideal front three of Chucky-Tecatito-Chicharito is what is needed. For ages, Mexico has lacked proper wing players and a proper goalscorer. To have these three players available ahead of a World Cup is monumental. The one time they lined up like this was against Canada for World Cup Qualifiers and it was a thing of beauty.
3. Erick Gutierrez starting and given quality minutes.
Probably one of the best talents that Mexico has next to Rodolfo Pizzaro(Chivas fan here. I beg of you Vergara, don’t sell him) is Erick Gutierrez. He hasn’t had the best showings playing under Osorio, but he should be given more opportunities. He controls the tempo of the game for Los Tuzos, especially in counter attacks, can place passes beautifully, and finds spaces cleverly. Given his young age, Gutierrez’s inclusion in the list of players called up by Osorio means a lot. This is a relatively more mature Mexico squad. The fact that Mexico has trouble turning promising young players into full-blown national team quality players, makes this even more noteworthy.
What do you think? What do you expect from Mexico when they take on Wales on Monday?