Even though the pair have led the Mexico Under 23s to the Olympics, there is a possibility that one could be left behind for an established senior player.KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Despite leading the Mexico Under 23s to the London 2012 Olympics, Marco Fabian and Alan Pulido aren't guaranteed a spot for this summer's competition.
With teams in the Olympics allowed to bring in three players older than 23 years of age, Manchester United's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Tottenham's Giovanni Dos Santos have all been mentioned as possibilities to join the squad. The problem is that both players essentially play the same positions as Fabian and Pulido at the forward and attacking midfielder spots.
Depending on U23 head coach Luis Fernando Tena's plans, there's a very real chance that one of two might be staying in Mexico. That would be a shame.
"I hope I get to go to London, that's for the coaches to decide," Pulido said after Mexico's 3-1 win over Canada on Saturday.
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Pulido and Fabian have combined for an impressive nine goals in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament that ends with Monday's final between Mexico and Honduras. Pulido has led the tournament with five goals while Fabian comes in second with four and a few assists as well. They are similar stats but the two young players have a lot more in common.
Both were highly touted prospects who are finally coming to their own on their club teams this season. Fabian, 22, comes in as the more heralded prospect, playing for arguably Mexico's biggest team, Chivas Guadalajara, and making four appearances for the senior side. Pulido comes in as the lesser known player, playing for Tigres UANL and without a senior cap. While both are having strong seasons in Mexico, in 2010 both shared some struggles.
Fabian only mustered one goal in 11 appearances during Chivas' run in Bicentenario 2010 and Pulido didn't fare much better, scoring three goals in 15 Primera Division appearances. Fabian is glad that those days are behind him as he remembers his struggles from that season.
"This hasn't been easy, my journey hasn't been easy but I'm taking advantage of the moment now. I want to thank everyone who's been there for me always," he said.
Pulido also shares Fabian's perspective. Striker is arguably one of Mexico's deepest positions and even in the youth level, teenage starlets Erick Torres and Carlos Fierro are waiting in the wings as the next big things for El Tri. The 21-year-old knows that there is limited time to prove himself.
"A lot of guys were fighting for that striker spot. Those times I didn't get to play I was always supported. When I got the chance [to play] I didn't waste it and helping to get these victories has been great," Pulido reflected.
Being selected for the Olympics could secure the fates of both men. The two attackers are rumored to have drawn interest in Europe and a strong performance at the summer games in front of millions, not to mention scouts, will go a long way. Here's hoping that Tena can save both a ticket to London.
Eric Gomez contributed translation for this story.