Moving On Up (from the B squad)

You would think that the last thing we would want to do is look back at the Gold Cup. Why would rational Mexico fans want to revisit an infamous tournament that was anything but a success? Isn't there a cognitive dissonance involved in this? Well, my educated and well-versed reader you are very right. The tournament was awful for Mexico but it's too simple to just ignore the last five games we played this month. It's too easy to just make "Fuera Chepo" t-shirts and call it a day. It's too elementary to write Javier Aguirre another desperate letter. The tournament wasn't just about winning games, although we really should have won those games.

The Gold Cup was also an opportunity for multiple players to finally showcase their talents for the national team. For some of these players, it was their last opportunity before (potentially) going to the World Cup. This is where we, your humble and enlightened hosts, come into play. We asked several of our writers here at Soccer Mexicana to tell us who they thought were impressive enough to stake a claim on the "A" squad. Whether it's the whole roster or just the kit man, we wanted to know who deserves to wear the jersey at least one more time.

If you have your own thoughts/opinions/complaints feel free to discuss them in the comments section. We would love to hear your feedback. Who knows, you might even have a better idea than we do.

Danny Hernandez:

Terrible, disastrous, and humiliating. These are all words that describe Mexico’s Gold Cup participation.  Mexico’s “B” team should have done a lot better. In fact, looking at the Concacaf teams that participate in this tournament, Mexico should ALWAYS reach the final.  It is difficult to say which players performed well when the overall team performance was horrible.  I want to say Marco Fabian deserves a chance to play with the “big dawgs,” but even though he scored a couple of goals for Mexico, he is very inconsistent when he is on the field. He shows leadership at times, but then he disappears from the game entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I like him, he has the potential to be an awesome “10,” which we all know Mexico desperately needs. 

The player who, in my opinion, earned a spot in Mexico’s “A” team is Luis Montes.  Montes displayed great football and was consistent throughout the tournament.  The midfield looked solid when Montes was on the field and he showed us he can not only run the midfield, but he can also score goals. Basically, he played just like he does with Leon. He incorporates well to the attack and feels comfortable with the ball.  I saw this young Leon player improve every game he played.  I think we will see more of Montes when “El Tri” returns to its World Cup qualifying campaign.  To me, Luis Montes earned a place in Mexico’s “A” squad.

Andres Aquino:

Well, it's hard to determine which players will likely add something up to the A-team when this tournament was set on a very volatile environment, filled with pressure, critics and a manager that really had no idea what to do with the squad even from the moment he had to select it, adding up the fact that he had quite some drop-outs due to injuries.

All in all, Mexico did a terrible job, both in and outside the pitch. Chepo doesn't know how to handle the press, and it shows in moments when people need confident statements instead of playing the same rhetorical speech that puts simply qualifying for the World Cup as the only thing that matters; when it actually isn't.

Anyhow, on the subject that matters, if I had to say which players can add some spice to Mexico’s "first" team, I'd go for someone like Luis Montes; both Raúl Jiménez and Marco Fabián are up there too, but since they are more or less considered for the A-team, I'm going to skip them and stick with the Leon player.

Until this point, no central midfielder in Chepo's lineups throughout the years has been in charge, has had the vision and capacity to execute and understand the offensive game that Montes has. Whenever Mexico failed to stretch out the game with Guardado, Aquino, Barrera, Dos Santos or Reyna, El Tri struggled to get some fluid, consistent game from the midfield. The greatest matches for El Tri under De la Torre’s command came in the 2011 Gold Cup. Who where the most outstanding players? That's right, the wingers, and without their form, Mexico is doomed to failure. That's why I would pick Luis Montes to be the one given a shot. Mexico needs another option when the wings aren’t getting it done.

Jason Marquitz:

Mexico’s performance in the Gold Cup has solidified one thing in my mind. I will never complain about ‘Maza’ Rodrguez at centerback again. I’ve seen the depths of horrendous play possible at that position. The Huiqui/Topo defense will give me nightmares for some time. But on to the matter at hand …

El Tri cannot add too many midfielders to their main roster. The center of the field has been an absolute disaster under Chepo. His defensive (read: stagnant and old) central midfield has gone a long way to undermining the successes of the team. Yet, there hasn’t been an obvious player on the roster that could step in and solve these issues. We all wanted Hector Herrera to be that guy, but he has failed in that role up to this point.

Luis Montes and Marco Fabian seem like the logical additions. Fabian has the flexibility to play in multiple positions. He has speed, passing, and the ability to put away the ball on a consistent basis. El Tri is stacked with midfielders who can send in a decent cross, run around defenders, but who lack precision and force with their shot (too many to list here). Fabian is the type of dynamic player who doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and can take control of Mexico’s scoring woes. His play in the Gold Cup served as another reminder of this.

I could understand the addition of Luis Montes to the roster and wouldn’t argue against it. That is just as far as I’m willing to go with Montes at this point. In this Gold Cup, he flashed some of the brilliance that has been integral to the success of Leon. Yet, he also displayed some of the traits that make him more of a wild card than a definite positive influence in midfield. He has a tendency to be a bit of a chucker. In that I mean, he isn’t afraid to let loose a shot from any range at any time. We saw the good side of this with his golazo in the Martinique match. Yet, there are also the bad misses, lost possession, and missed teammates. For someone we would like to step in to central midfield, he buries his head too often and misses open teammates. I worry that he wouldn’t be a positive addition to the “A” team, but when Torrado is playing in the middle, it’s hard to argue too strongly against him.

Cesar Hernandez:

-Marco Fabian-
Even when he wasn't at his best, he was still a positive influence on the team. I'm also a big fan of anybody who can score goals for our side, especially during this "goal-drought" year that we are in the middle of. He was by far are most dangerous player and it would have been ugly to see what we would have been like without him. Considering the subpar performances from Guardado and most of our attack during the past few months, adding Fabian in the mix would not be detrimental. His inconsistency may not warrant a start, but it's hard to ignore a utilitarian player who can add something extra going forward.

-Adrian Aldrete-
The last time I bought a new laptop, I was amazed by all of the normal things that a computer should be doing after dealing with my old computer. I was impressed by the fact that I could have multiple tabs open and almost cried when it started up in less than five minutes. That's what watching Aldrete play felt like. He didn't do anything out of the ordinary or exceptional but he held his position so well throughout the whole tournament. He doesn't have the physicality of Torres Nilo or Salcido but he definitely looked more comfortable back there than they have recently. He was at times the only man on the back line doing well and I believe it would be a good idea to give him a chance.

-Luis Montes-
Montes represents the exact attitude that has been missing from Mexico this year. He was tenacious and showed no inhibitions when he had the ball. He should be called up just for that first goal alone that he scored against Canada. It would be tought to fight for a spot against Barrera and Aquino, but if they continue to be unreliable, Montes should be considered. The pace of the game seemed to change every time he had the ball at his feet.

** the photo is used under a Creative Commons license from Chocolate Reviews



Gold Cup is the name of Concacaf tournament. One of my friends likes this tournament so much that he missed his class of <a href=""></a>. The first tournament was held in 1953. This article is about the biennial international men’s football tournament to make the people aware of this game.

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