So… what the hell happened to Mexico at Copa America? I can’t say I am too surprised at the group stage exit but that doesn’t mean I was not disappointed by it all. So what could have been done to improve Mexico’s Copa America?
Tecatito was a player I was very interested when the season started but I had low expectations. I expected him to mostly play with Twente’s reserve team with spot starts for the first team. So I was not shocked when word got around that he was “demoted” to their reserve team. He only had 3 starts and 15 total appearances totaling less than 400 minutes during 2013-2014 season. Reserve minutes would have been expected but reports started coming out of the Netherlands that he was out of shape. Reporters were saying he was not worth the transfer fee paid for him and labeled him as a lazy player. His own coach even called him fat.
— Goal México (@goalmex) September 2, 2014
This started to have the makings of a Mexican player on his way back home after a failed excursion overseas. Luckily, something clicked for Corona while he was with the reserve team. He played well, scored a few goals and improved his fitness. Corona rose to the challenge put down by his manager and regained his spot on the first team. The head coach started plugging him into the starting XI and these types of things started to happen…
Tecatito stepped up to the challenge and grew into a more professional player. Gone were the stories of him lacking fitness and being a lazy player. His personal life featured some changes as well. He became a father halfway through the season. Corona said himself that becoming a father changed a lot of things for him. He had grown into a better overall player, one who could be counted on to perform. Twente’s attack relied heavily on Corona and he was their main threat going forward. He very well could have led them to a Europa League spot but financial problems haunted the club. Those problems led to them being docked 6 points. And those very same problems are likely to be a big reason why they allowed him to play in both tournaments this summer.
While I saw plenty of his games this past season, I had not looked at his season stats. Safe to say, his season totals were surprising. WhoScored had him as the 9th best player in the Eredivisie. Overall, (including cup competition) Corona finished with 11 goals and 4 assists. Although he was the focal attacking point for Twente, he was not one to take as many shots on goal as possible. Corona was only 31st in shots per game. He was a menace on the wings and led the league in successful dribbles (ahead of Memphis Depay). Defenders did whatever they could to stop him and that included fouling Tecatito. He finished as the 6th highest fouled player in the Eredivisie. That’s something Carlos Vela can relate to as he is consistently up there in terms of fouls per game in La Liga. He isn’t a finished product as he can be wasteful, having had the 3rd highest number of dispossessions per game. He will need to be more efficient in the future but is on the right path at this stage of his career.
The future looks bright for Tecatito. He is still only 22 years old and will look to feature in the Olympics next summer. This summer is all about cementing his national team status and taking a hard look at other clubs. I think he can use another season in the Eredivisie before going off to a “bigger” league. PSV is said to be interested in buying him to replace Depay. That would be a win win for him: a bigger club in the same league and one who will sell if a good offer comes in. I’m excited for what the future holds for this kid from Hermosillo, Sonora.
If you were not able to catch many of his club games this past season, check out some of his highlights.