Mexico tied their newest "clasico" challenger, Trinidad & Tobago, in a friendly Friday evening in a 3-3 match. The match is part of Mexico’s preparation for the Confederations Cup playoff against the United States coming up in October.
The game was also the first game under the newest interim coach—Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti’s—wing. And the conclusion was very unconvincing.
Here are a few key points to take from this game:
1. There is no real leader in the back.
This might be a little unfair to put on Tuca’s plate considering its been a problem even when Piojo Herrera had the team. But it was shown even more against T&T. Ochoa was not called up for the friendly, “Maza” Rodriguez was reported injured earlier this week due to a knee injury and having Rafa Marquez on the bench was the perfect symbolism of what is going on with the Mexican defense. Ever since the departure of Rafa Marquez, there has not been a consistent or “true” leader for El Tri that commands the center position and takes control of the players in the back.
Talavera was luckluster during this match. Coming out too much when it was not the right time. Getting frustrated at his players, especially during that free kick that resulted in the third goal. Talavera was not the best choice. Mexico needs an assertive that will secure the defense is always on their toes and no mistakes can be made.
2. The players chosen for this game were not ideal.
Many already questioned Tuca’s choice for players when he announced he would not be bringing Ochoa, Jonathan Dos Santos or Gio Dos Santos (despite his great performance with Galaxy as of late). He made it clear that his style of playing had him drift to other players, preferably some from his club team, Tigres. But what started the match tonight was nothing short of confusing. Honestly, whenever the camera panned to the bench, one would think Tuca was living a Freaky Friday. Guardado, Chicharito, Jose Vasquez, and even Rafa Marquez were all sitting on the bench while players like Henry Martin, Dueñas, and Alanis were given starting positions and played a majority of the match.
The only time that things were really getting interesting was when substitutions were made such as when Raul Jimenez and Hector Herrera came in. Both subs also scored following their entrance into the game.
Martin suffered an injury and hopefully that inspires Tuca to realize that he needs to make better decisions when it comes to his line-up.
3. The confidence of the veterans needs to stay consistent.
Hector Herrera’s spectacular goal that led to Mexico’s third goal that secured them the draw is a perfect example of this. The Gold Cup was not friendly to Herrera and much of his playing time during that tournament was frankly, undeserved. But he came into this match and was more confident and secure in his style of playing. So much so that it led to him scoring. Couple that with Chicharito’s recent departure from Manchester United to Bayern Leverkusen where his debut match gave him over 70 minutes of playing time, it is important for the veteran players to continue to try to regain any confidence they might have lacked previously. Guardado is at the top of his game. Gio is as well (which is why it is so important he be given playing time with El Tri). It is always crucial to train the new generation but the generation currently taking shape with the team is still in its prime. Tuca shouldn’t let that go to waste.
In the end, Tuca’s experiment, whatever it was during this game was a very bad first impression. There were too many errors, not enough star quality and a definite ease to the T&T team that allowed those three goals. If he wants any chance of beating Argentina, (and really, trying to go into the Confederation Cup playoff with some sort of intimidation), he better start thinking up a new method to his madness.