Last Wednesday as México defeated South Korea 4-0 in a friendly played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, one of the players that stood out as having a very good game was Toluca midfielder/winger Isaac Brizuela. In addition to having a fine game, Brizuela provided the assist on México’s third goal of the game and the second one scored by Alan Pulido. After the game many were already prematurely including Brizuela amongst the list of 23 players who Miguel Herrera will take to represent México at the 2014 World Cup.
After Carlos Vela once again gave the stiff arm to playing for México and closing the door to his potential participation at this summer’s World Cup, his decision has opened the door for that spot on the squad to be be filled by a player who is fully committed to the cause. The player in the best position to take advantage of Vela saying no to the national team is Isaac Brizuela.
After México’s friendly win over South Korea, the argument was being made that whether Vela said yes or no to a return to the national team would not affect Brizuela heading to Brazil this summer. If anything, the argument amongst these individuals was that it was Alan Pulido who most stood to benefit from a potential Vela refusal.
While Pulido has certainly played his way into consideration, the fact is that he still has a lot of work ahead of him in order to break into the group of forwards that coach Herrera will be selecting for the World Cup. Brizuela, on the other hand, was more of a player who shares many of the positional and technical characteristics that distinguish Vela as a player. While Vela plays as a forward the fact is that he can play out on the left wing or as a central playmaker.
In Brizuela’s case, he can play anywhere along the attacking midfield line and like Vela be deployed as a supporting striker. While Brizuela generally plays as a winger for his Liga MX club Toluca, against South Korea last Wednesday he played as a central playmaking midfielder supporting the strikers and did well in that role. Just like Carlos Vela, Isaac Brizuela is a player who can create something out of nothing and as a result create a scoring chance outside of the tactical game plan. For all these reasons, it is Brizuela who will most benefit from Carlos Vela once again refusing to represent México.