El Tri’s first match of the year kicks off on Wednesday against Senegal. The match is not an international-FIFA-regulated friendly so there was no surprise that the roster for the upcoming match had no Europeans listed. What was surprising though was the long list of call-ups that are either not-so-well-known players or players that have played before such but will most likely not make it onto the team for Copa America this summer.
This is Osorio’s first match of the year but his third match as coach. He has not lost or drawn a match so far. His two World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador and Honduras showed potential. But this friendly seems to take away from the progress that he had begun at the end of 2015.
The squad itself will not be judged or determined. There is no need to analyze leadership because Guardado will not be on the field. None of the attacking players playing Wednesday are Chicharito or Vela or Peralta. The debate about keepers is at most a minor discussion.
This game is not about the players at all. In retrospect, the score itself will not even matter. But the game is just another chance to judge and determine just what kind of coach Osorio wants to be.
He has already made bold statements by declaring that Gio or Ochoa are not at the level he wishes his players to be at and has been very open to welcoming all players, even naturalized ones, as eligible candidates for El Tri.
Osorio has only been with the team since October. He is not coming into the team with as impressive as a resume as some former coaches have. This year means big things for him as the manager.
On Wednesday, all eyes will really be on him.