Copa America is what we are about right now. Mexico beat Uruguay in its first match and we talk about how salty Uruguay is, as well as Mexico tactics, drama and Rafa maybe not being such an old man. Rafa is being played in a position where they are protecting him and he seems to be doing well. The goal especially helped his cause.
These results have also helped Juan Carlos Osorio’s cause as head coach. Many skeptics are now being slowly persuaded that JCO is doing good and possible great things. Especially after his win vs Uruguay. Some still won’t be convinced unless he wins Copa America. 😀
We also discuss the tournament as a whole and some of the blunders made. Also the rumors that the Gold Cup and Copa America could be combined. South Americans do not like this idea, but the money is what could sway the interest. Complaints that the tourney is catered to Mexico or that Copa America is a CONMEBOL tournament and not CONCACAF could just disappear with the right amount of zeros on a check.
One last topic we covered was the mentality of South American teams having an attitude of superiority against Mexico and CONCACAF teams. So when they lose to Mexico it’s extra painful and hard to accept. This is similar to how Mexico feels when they lose to the USMNT seeing that soccer is not the main sport in the US. Interesting thought that we touch on.
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The press conference at the University of Phoenix Stadium was brief and Juan Carlos Osorio repeated ad naseaum that he hopes Luis Suarez plays tomorrow, so we can play against the best Uruguay has to offer. Andres Guardado was mostly asked about the functionality of the team and how the “Puto” chant can harm the national team with sanctions and fines. Both Osorio and Guardado are optimistic of Mexico’s chances tomorrow in the group stage match up Mexico vs Uruguay. Juan Carlos Osorio thanked the fans for their passionate support, and both Osorio and Guardado admit that the fans are the 12th player in the match. Osorio is concerned that Juergen Damm was not match fit, but is confident that his time to shine will come. Osorio alluded to the fact that he is only 23 years old, and with the possibility of still going to Europe. Tomorrow a great game awaits us.
JCO talks tactics vs Uruguay:
JCO talks about Damm/Candido and Guardado talks puto chant:
The Copa America draw took place and groups are ready and in place. Mexico is in group C with Uruguay, Venezuela and Jamaica. Chilean coach Noel Sanvicente, stated Mexico can be considered a favorite. Of course he also praised his team as one not to be underestimated. Psychological warfare may be taking place here, when calling Mexico a favorite. Not that they are in a group of death or anything, but this is a South American tournament including the likes of Brazil, Argentina and Chile. One of the El Tri opponents, Jamaica, is a CONCACAF team that is beatable, Venezuela is not usually a top South American team. Uruguay will be the biggest challenge in the group, on paper.
We know that Mexico plays better when they are considered the underdog or are forced to elevate their play to take on giants like Brazil or Argentina. We have also seen Mexico struggle vs CONCACAF teams that they were supposed to handle without major problems. This tournament is an excellent opportunity for Mexico to shine and show their worth versus the powers of CONMEBOL. Also any type of beating given to Uruguay is a good thing.
The US National Team is also in this tournament. It will take place in the US after all. So Mexico and the US will essentially be the home teams. The USMNT are in group A with Colombia, Costa Rica and Paraguay. We have seen many “Molero” games with the US and Mexico vs Paraguay, so many would see them as a beatable opponent. Costa Rica has been a top team in CONCACAF, and could pose a challenge for the US. Especially at a time where it may be thought that the US is at a low level of play recently. Consider the US already losing the CONCACAF cup as well as the Gold Cup prior, not even making it to the final. Is this the worst US team to be put together for a long time? Also is this Copa America the toughest tournament the US will participate in since the World Cup? Not a good time for the US to come in at a low level of play.
There is always the fighting spirit that the US can rely on. The underdog grit. The “dig deep” attitude that could lift the US up to Copa America glory. On the other hand, I have seen many US adversaries say the US will go “3 and out”, or even chant “I believe that they will lose!”. It should be an exciting tournament.