CH14 calling for the trainer

The only thing anyone wants to talk about is Chicharito’s injury. It likely means he is done for the Gold Cup and might limit his transfer options. That sucks for us but no one else in CONCACAF will feel sorry for us (except maybe SUM). El Tri will need to bounce back in a hurry. The team has not gelled in the 2 warm up matches and missing 2 key starters will not help. Last night’s game was not the prettiest display by Mexico, nor was it the most effective. Here is what I liked and what I didn’t like.

Things I Liked

Memo Ochoa. He seems to be rounding into game shape after a long layoff at Malaga. There will be teams monitoring him this summer as his club will be willing to sell if a good offer comes in. In other words, the best thing he can do to ensure a good club season is to play well this summer and get sold.

Reyes/Maza partnership. If Mexico is going to stick with a 4-4-2 formation, this partnership will need to develop quickly. Reyes has all the talent in the world but he has to translate it into quality performances. Last night was a positive step for both. Granted, Honduras is not a great attacking team but both players communicated well and were well positioned.

Gallito Vazquez. He is back to his ball hawking ways. He does not have the passing ability of a Jona but his aggression in the middle is key for Mexico. He brings a much needed bite to the midfield for Mexico.

Carlitos Vela. He was unlucky to hit the post twice but he will be relied on even more in Chicharito’s absence. My only concern is his match fitness. He was subbed off at halftime on Saturday and only lasted 57 minutes last night.

Things I Didn’t Like

Aguilar and Layun as fullbacks. The duo is  struggling to find their footing in 4-4-2 formation. Layun lost the ball several times on the wing before hitting a cross into a box full of attackers. Aguilar and Layun need to strike a right balance to be effective for Mexico.

El Zorillo. Hector Herrera was invisible for 2nd straight match. He almost made the mistake of trying to be cute with the ball in his own box before being bailed out by a teammate.

Finishing. Mexico created several chances but were not able to find the back of the net. The group stage should be a cake walk but their finishing needs to improve if they want to reach the final and take home the trophy.

The Referees. Chicharito’s injury was the result of a clumsy challenge and unfortunate landing but the referee lost control of this match early on. The challenges were coming in fast and hard with no yellow cards to calm anyone down. This eventually boiled up in a scuffle between the teams in the game’s dying minutes. The crew also seemed to miss a penalty on Tecatito in the second half.