With the Mexican National Team sitting in fifth place in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying standings, it is time for desperation to kick in. Only the top three teams in CONCACAF are guaranteed a spot in next summer’s World Cup, with the fourth team having to play New Zealand in a two-game playoff.
The U.S., Costa Rica and Honduras National teams look like they may be those three teams. With only two games left in World Cup qualifying, new manager Luis Fernando Tena needs to look for new inspiration. Mexico fired their former coach Jose Manuel de la Torre Friday after a dreadful qualifying campaign. So is Carlos Vela a possible solution to Mexico’s qualifying woes?
I understand that Vela has turned down call-ups to the Mexican National team on three consecutive occasions, mainly due to his discontent for former coach Torre. Vela has also had some disagreements with the Mexican soccer federation, further straining a relationship with the National team and its fans. Vela hasn’t played for Mexico since 2011, and in 35 appearances, he has nine goals for his country.
Having left Arsenal of the English Premier League permanently for La Liga side Real Sociedad, Vela has flourished in the Spanish top flight, scoring a combined 28 goals in the last two seasons. With Javier Hernandez seeing fewer first-team opportunities at Manchester United and surely lacking complete match fitness, Vela may be the only option to getting Mexico back on track and on to the World Cup in Brazil.
Mexico is not Brazil or Argentina; they don’t have the luxury of not calling upon their top talents and being successful in spite of those players’ contributions. Vela is undoubtedly one of the top Mexican talents in the world, and everyone needs to put pride and ego aside and come to a resolution.
There are roughly 194 countries in the world depending on who you talk to; only 32 get to go to the World Cup. Mexico is one of the best 32 soccer nations in the world, and the World Cup in Brazil will be a better event with Mexico there next summer.