By Sylvestre Adame
El Tricolor will face Costa Rica
Saturday at Estadio Azteca. Costa Rica qualified for the Hexagonal
stage in impressive form and won their first game. El Tri however
managed to sneak through to the Hexagonal stage and lost their first
game against the U.S. Since then, Mexico have seen new faces added to
It paid off as they beat Bolivia 5-1 in a friendly
match. Some might say that Bolivia is a weak opponent but Mexico did
win convincingly. A 5-1 victory is what was expected, and the players
got the job done. If Mexico would have won by a margin of 2-1 then yes
there would be some concern, but that wasn’t the case. They also beat
Bolivia without key players which is something they will have to do
against Costa Rica.
Due to suspensions and injuries some of
Mexico’s key players will not be suiting up in El Azteca. Carlos
Salcido, Rafael Marquez, Carlos Vela, will not be playing due to
suspension and most recently Giovani Dos Santos who is ruled out due to
injury. Even with those key players missing we will give our take on
what should be Mexico’s starting 11.
Ochoa (America): It is Ochoa’s time. His era starts now. Nobody wants
to see Oswaldo Sanchez between the posts, but nothing is certain with
Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart): Osorio
will be the most veteran defender for the Costa Rica game. The more
younger and inexperienced players will need a player like him to guide
Leobardo Lopez (Pachuca): Lopez will be confident
coming into the game since he and Pachuca have seen a lot of success.
The defender though has a lot of good qualities; he has already scored
for El Tri - last fall against Ecuador - and also assisted on a goal
that same game.
Jonny Magallon (Chivas): Magallon has shown that
he could take over Carlos Salcido's spot at Chivas and should be doing
the same for this game.
Oscar Rojas (America): The America
defender is very versatile. He can play in both the right back and left
back position which will be important. With the absence of Marquez and
Salcido, Mexico will need some one like Rojas who can cover a lot in
Fernando Arce (Santos): The
attacking midfielder will have to show what he’s made of since Costa
Rica does not give up goals easy. He will also fit in with his team
mate Vuoso who will possibly be a starting striker for Eriksson.
Torrado (Cruz Azul): Torrado played a good game against Bolivia. He
showed control over the game as he managed tempos well and managed the
midfield line perfectly. Bolivia was unable to pass through the
midfield. This is what Mexico is going to need to execute if they want
to win against Costa Rica.
Luis Ernesto Perez (Monterrey): Perez
has been in top shape this year with Monterrey. He has played in all
games but one and has scored twice. Mexico will need his attacking
skills if they want to penetrate through Costa Rica’s defense
Guardado (Deportivo la Coruña): Guardado has never failed with his game
when in the Tricolor uniform. He always gives 100 percent on every play
and never gives up. The left wing man will produce marvelous passes and
great opportunities; for his teammates it will be up to them to score.
Matias Vuoso (Santos): Vuoso played an excellent game against Bolivia,
scoring two goals. Vuoso can be a difference-maker and his play with
Omar Bravo up top just seemed to give him more of a boost.
Bravo (Tigres): Although Bravo did not score against Bolivia he was
very active up top. He was beating defenders; he was showing bursts of
speed that we had not seen from him in a long time. He created good
chances for himself and his teammates. Bravo will also benefit from
playing with Guardado at Deportivo and will know where his passes will
Jose de Jesus Corona (Tecos):
Corona and Tecos are one of the teams with the least amount of goals
allowed. Corona is a huge part of that and could be starting in the
game against Costa Rica.
Aaron Galindo (Chivas): Galindo has
said that this game will benefit his game. He loves the pressure that
exists and will feed off of that.
Julio Cesar Dominguez (Cruz
Azul): Dominguez is coming off some rough times with Cruz Azul. He does
not have the right mindset to be a potential starter but can come off
the bench and be an adjustment to the defense if needed.
Pardo (America): The 32-year-old midfielder would come in for Torrado
if something is not right. Pardo boasts a lot of experience but doubt
he can go all 90 minutes.
Leandro Augusto (Pumas): Augusto has
been playing well for Pumas but not so much for the Mexican squad. He
made a goal against Bolivia but was subbed shortly after. He is great
with set pieces and can inject some more juice to Mexico’s attack if
Omar Arellano (Chivas): Would compliment well with
Andres Guardado and his speed. But he will need to come in as a sub, he
does not have a lot of playing time with Mexico and a game of this
magnitude should be started by more veteran players
Castillo (Shakhtar): Castillo started his career with the national team
well but since then he has slowly faded. Nery Castillo has shown he can
play against the “big boys” when he score against Brazil in Copa
America. Sanchez was coach then and Eriksson’s system is not the same,
could be why he has not produced under Eriksson.
Sylvestre Adame covers Mexican soccer for Goal.com.