The Mexican National Soccer Team joined forces Thursday after a Mexican Newspaper called Diario Rècord published an article stating that the players had a secret meeting behind manager Miguel Herrera’s back before departing to New Jersey for their upcoming match against Costa Rica. The article also stressed a very broken relationship between the coach and its veteran players, specifically Andres Guardado, Miguel Layun and Guillermo Ochoa. The underlying message of the article was that this stress was what was causing such horrible results from Mexico during this tournament to which many players, including those mentioned, took to their social media to quickly disprove.
Other players including Miguel Layun, Moises Munoz, Diego Reyes and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez helped trend #MientoComoRecord (I lie like Record does) and began to fabricate facts about their lives, essentially laughing at the publication for writing such lies about the team.
Following the response of the players, the official website for the team sent a statement out to its fans that indirectly mentioned the article:
Translated: “This team has remained united, strong and committed with the only objective being to lift the Gold Cup. This unity has remained throughout all the practices, moments, and plane rides day after day.
We are aware that the results of our past matches have not met with the expectations you have of us and we recognize we have failed in this circumstance. We know things have not turned out the way we want them to but we always give the best we can because as professionals, we are proud to wear the Mexico jersey.
[This Sunday], like we have for every game we have had, we will come out with the full intention to win and with that, obtain a pass to the semifinals and hopefully give you, our fans, the joy you deserve for always believing and supporting us.”
While there is much respect to be given to El Tri for showing outstanding unity, the performance on the field leaves much doubt.
Following their 6-0 victory against Cuba, the team struggled against Guatemala that resulted in a tie and then embarrassed themselves by going from a 2-0 lead against Trinidad & Tobago to a 4-4 tie. Even if the story is in fact fabricated, the intention to create hostility is not completely crazy, although a bit far-fetched.
I firmly believe that this is not Herrera’s coaching failing to deliver results. His transparency and willingness to admit faults and errors is what makes him one of the better coaches in my lifetime. As is the case with who actually took a stand and said something, the responsibility falls on the players. It is their sheer talent that is on the field. It is they who make the decisions at the end of the day when it comes to each match played. It is they who have decided to publicly project just how unified they are. In this case, the media failed with its intention.
The big players of the tournament (Ochoa, Jonathan Dos Santos, Layun, Guardado, etc…) have all publicly addressed that tomorrow they have two choices: ”ganar o ganar” (“win or win”)!
They have set the standard outside of the field. Let’s hope they can do as much talking on the field as well.