Coming into Tuesday’s night World Cup Qualifier against the United States, Mexico were a team in disarray having fired Jose Manuel ‘Chepo’ De La Torre after last Friday’s 2-1 home loss to Honduras which dropped Mexico to fourth place in the standings and put them close to missing out on the World Cup next summer. After the 2-0 loss (again) in Columbus, Mexico are still in the same dire situation after the game as they were headed into the game Tuesday night.
Right now, Mexico’s on-the-field play are a team that are lost tactically, that are lacking in confidence and are lacking in playing with personality and intelligence. The goal which Eddie Johnson scored to give the US a 1-0 lead highlighted this fact. Carlos Salcido again failed to properly clear away a ball and as a result, the US subsequently won a corner which produced Eddie Johnson’s goal with help from goalkeeper Jesus Corona who came out to play the ball but did so in a very clumsy manner.
Aside from the issues on the field which have been clearly highlighted and discussed by me and many others as to the fact that it is in disarray, their are other issues which do not change the upcoming scenario facing Mexico heading into next month’s game at home against Panama. The Mexican federation will still need to decide on who will coach the team for the final two World Cup Qualifiers. Whether it be Victor Manuel Vucetich (man tipped by many to take charge), Miguel Herrera, Tomas Boy, or even if Luis Fernando Tena continues as caretaker coach, the next coach will need to re-arm the national team and inject it with spirit and tactical ideas.
With Panama pulling off a 2-2 draw against Honduras, it means that Mexico are now fifth with eight points and Panama also with eight points are now fourth because of goal differential. The two teams will meet October 11 at the Azteca Stadium with Mexico knowing that a win would see them jump to fourth and as a result, momentarily mean that they will have to play against New Zealand in a two-legged playoff in November in order to qualify for World Cup. Given how things have gone for Mexico in 2013 and in the final round of qualifying, getting a win is far from certain.
What is certain is this, whoever is the man who is brave enough to coach Mexico on that date, will need to infuse this team with some confidence and most importantly with tactical belief and ideas when they step onto the field because if they don’t, Mexico will get closer to saying goodbye to its chances of going to Brazil next summer. While we are at it, the national team would benefit with a complete restructuring of the federation with a new national team technical director and a new federation president in order to cleanse the national team and Mexican soccer at the same time.