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The Mexican national team has plenty of company at their level in CONCACAF and can no longer be considered the region's top national team, said Jaguares manager Luis Fernando Tena.

Despite winning 2-0 in their opening match of the Gold Cup 2009, Mexico still has strong critics at home. Luis Fernando Tena, current manager of Jaguares of Chiapas, no longer believes that Mexico is the “giant” of the CONCACAF.

"It’s clear that Mexico is no longer the giant of the CONCACAF from a while back. The United States has grown, as well as Honduras and Costa Rica. They’re at our level,” Tena told Mediotiempo.com at the club's preseason training.

Tena believes that the team is on a learning curve, and that despite the recent results the real test will be on Aug. 12 during the World Cup qualifying game against the United States.

“The team is in progress. Javier (Aguirre) is getting his ideas, and like everyone knows, the important game is on the 12th of August against the United States. We have to wait until then. The Gold Cup is important for the national team, but the qualifying game is more important, and the level that the team will show will be better than that showed (Sunday) against Nicaragua.”

Although the manager acknowledged the importance of the Gold Cup, he stressed the upcoming qualifying game.

“Little by little the team will convince, but the game that is really important is the one that will be played on Aug. 12 in the Hexagonal against the United States, and that is what the team should be focused on.”

Andrea Martinez, Goal.com

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