If Mexico cannot win its Group B in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying going way, then coach José Manuel de la Torre should be immediately fired and the team should be disbanded.
Of course, you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than that happening, and the odds of taking home millions are ridiculous.
For CONCACAF teams, Mexico performing at full throttle is not particularly good news, and this is one heck of a Mexican team from top to bottom. The team’s superiority was demonstrated when El Tri trounced what was essentially a USA B team, 5-0, in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup final, and then again when they overcame a two-goal deficit and connected for four unanswered goals resulting in an emphatic 4-2 victory last June.
Guillermo Ochoa, a key figure for Ajaccio, which managed to retain its place in French Ligue 1, has proven to be a more than capable goalkeeper.
The backline, which includes Carlos Salcido, Severo Meza (who made life miserable for Brazil star Neymar on Sunday), and Francisco Rodríguez, should not have much problems in Group B against the likes of Guyana, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Ráfa Márquez, a past captain, is struggling with a hamstring, yet will not be missed if it keeps him out of qualifying.
The midfield is paced by the incomparable Giovani dos Santos in the middle and the cunning Andrés Guardado on the left flank.
The forward line revolves around Javier Hernández, aka Chicharito, who is sometimes considered a Mexican Superman due to his goal-scoring accomplishments. It will be up to de la Torre to figure out which player will complete and supplement Chicharito. Aldo de Nigris certainly looked dangerous during 2-0 México win, against the mediocre Wales side, on May 27. De la Torre, also has Angel Reyna to call on, after Carlos Vela turned down the invitation to compete.
Of course, in the world of sports, it isn't what you have done in the past, but rather what you have done lately.
I’m not usually fond of analyzing results between international friendlies because they don't mean very much over the long run, except for players proving themselves and some getting injuries. However, I will make an exception this time because twice last week the strengths and weaknesses of two teams were demonstrated.
On Wednesday, the U.S. struggled in a 4-1 loss to Brazil in Landover, Md. U.S. coach, Jürgen Klinsmann, claimed the first goal should not have been a penalty kick and the final one for Brazil was offside.
They were just excuses.
The U.S. showed the South Americans way too much respect, especially coming from a side that made Brazil sweat in the first half of the 2009 FIFA Confederation Cup final in South Africa before Brazil rallied for three second-half goals en route to a 3-2 triumph.
Four days later, the Mexicans took on Brazil at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and El Tri showed their foes little respect, especially on defense. Mexico stifled the Brazilian attack, shutting down the midfield and strikers, utilizing their tactical and technical ability.
After the superb defensive effort, the offensive spotlight shone on Dos Santos, who is playing like a man out of his skin. You would not have guessed that Dos Santos has hardly trotted on the field for Tottenham Hotspur this past English Premier League season. Of course, he is showcasing his skills and talent. He would like to find a team that would play him on a regular basis.
As World Cup qualifying is about to kickoff on Friday, El Tri's first victim --err-- I mean, opponent, is Guyana. The Guyanese, who have never ventured this far in World Cup qualifying, are just happy to be there. When they enter the cauldron called Azteca Stadium, they will be the confederation's proverbial Christians thrown to the lions.
You can name your score -- 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 or perhaps even a greater margin.
Given Guyana’s ultra-talented opponents and playing in the adverse conditions at Azteca (partisan crowd of more than 100,000, high altitude and air pollution), it will be a difficult, if not impossible task for them to come out with a goal, let alone anything close to a result.
The more difficult of the two qualifiers comes Tuesday against El Salvador in San Salvador. Still, Mexico should have more than enough attacking power to pick up another three points, although that game is bound to be much closer.
Given the fact that this is a short tournament --six games-- getting off on the right foot is vital for any team.
Six points within four days will put Mexico in the drivers' seat, where it belongs.
Whether El Tri can translate into success when the real competition begins two years for now in Brazil, remains to be seen. But until proven otherwise, the Mexicans are best team in CONCACAF, hands down.
Michael Lewis, who has written about soccer for four decades, is the only journalist who has covered every MLS Cup. He can be reached at SoccerWriter516@aol.com or via Twitter at @soccerwriter.
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