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USA vs. Mexico, 2019 Friendly: What we Learned

Mexico v United States Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

The Mexico National team absolutely wiped the floor with the United States on Friday, earning a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Stars and Stripes. Here is what we learned from Mexico’s goal fest at MetLife.

Chicharito still got it

I won’t bore you with the same washed up talking points about how there is internal competition inside the squad and Gerardo “Tata” Martino having a selection headache ahead of every Mexico National Team match. But you have to give it to Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for saying present, taking advantage of the situation and scoring his goal. Chicharito’s crowning moment came in the 21st minute and it arrived in a very typical Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez fashion.

Of course, a lot of credit has to go to Jesus Manuel “Tecatito” Corona who made fools out of Christian Pulisic and Sergiño Dest, but Chicharito has made a living out of his ability to sniff out spaces and put himself in scoring positions. That has always been his bread and butter and what has catapulted him to the very top of the Mexico National Team scorer list.

Hernandez’s record speaks for itself, and while Raul Jimenez will most likely continue to be the national team’s number one striker moving forward, this was a reminder of what Chicharito can still do for El Tri. Like all great players that make their mark with their national team, Chicharito’s time with Mexico will eventually come to an end, and that’s okay. There is even a 19-year-old in León by the name of Jose Juan Macias with very similar characteristics to Chicharito. However, for now let’s enjoy Chicharito while we still can because the Mexico National Team has never seen a constant goalscorer like him ever before.

Mexico dominant but not perfect

If there were any complaints about Mexico’s performance is that they didn’t win by more goals and that the defense, particularly Diego Reyes, looked a little shaky. You can’t help but wonder what the scoreline would have been if Mexico were actually any good at finishing their chances. There is no denying that Mexico could have gone into the second half with a healthy 3-0 lead, but instead, it wasn’t until the 78th minute that they managed to grab a second goal and put the game away.

With the defense, Diego Reyes clearly looked out of form, and he was lucky his clumsiness didn’t cost El Tri at least one goal. Ultimately, this might have been Gerardo “Tata” Martino telling us that Hector Moreno and Reyes will be the second-string center backs and the real starters will play against Argentina. Whatever the case, it is hard to argue Diego Reyes is national team material right now based on what we saw on Friday against the United States.

HH offers another option in the midfield

Interestingly, Hector Herrera played his first match for Mexico in the Gerardo “Tata” Martino era and performed quite satisfactory alongside Andres Guardado and Carlos Rodriguez. Playing in more of a “mediocentro” role, HH wasn’t present in the stat sheet but there wasn’t anything particularly bad to note about his performance in the middle of the field. Obviously, Herrera is not as defensive as somebody like Edson Alvarez, but it i was somewhat refreshing to see Martino roll the dice with a more offensive minded midfielder as somebody to sit in front of Mexico’s back four.

In theory, HH is the kind of midfielder Martino would accommodate perfectly to his scheme, and it could be that he was simply respecting Carlos Rodriguez’s spot in the squad after his promising Gold Cup, hence why he opted to play HH in a deeper role while keeping Rodriguez in his natural position. That said, don’t be surprised if Mexico come out with a Jonathan dos Santos-Alvarez-HH midfield in the game against Argentina, especially with Erick Gutierrez now unavailable with a broken hand.