The Mexican National Team kicked off its footbaling activity in 2017 with a 1-0 win over Iceland on Wednesday evening at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chivas Guadalajara striker Alan Pulido scored the lone goal of the match to give Mexico a winning start to 2017.
El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio took the opportunity of this non-FIFA date match to look at local Liga MX players as options to add depth to his squad as Mexico will face two competitive tournaments this upcoming summer. The Mexican side will participate in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup followed by the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
One key position which Osorio was looking for more options was that of the striker. At the moment Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Raul Jimenez are the best option with Oribe Peralta also in the mix. Against Iceland, Osorio gave Chivas striker Alan Pulido the start to see what he can offer at the top of the formation. The former Olympiakos did not waste his opportunity and paid dividends right away. Pulido aticipated his marker and headed the ball into the goal following a Giovani Dos Santos cross.
Another bright spot for El Tri on the night was Tigres UANL winger Jurgen Damm. Damm featured as the right midfielder in the 3-4-3 starting formation for Mexico and took control of the right side-line. He dribbled past his defender on several occasions and sent the ball into the middle of the box from the end-line which caused the Icelandics.
Two young Mexican players will never forget the night in Las Vegas. Luis Reyes, 25 and Edson Alvarez, 19 both received their first international caps. Both the Atlas winger and the Club America central defender/midfielder came on as second half subs for Mexico to mark their international debuts.
Following the match, manager Juan Carlos Osorio mentioned that he was pleased with what he saw in certain players who he tried out in different positions than what they regularly play in their clubs.
“The main objective in this game today was to see who can play in that winger position,” said Osorio. “I was very pleased with how Jesus Gallardo, Jurgen Damm, Luis Reyes and Raul Lopez played there.”
On thing that the Colombian manager was not pleased with was the effectiveness in front of goal. He believes that his team created enough opportunities to have scored one or two more goals. Osorio hopes that his players will continue to work on this aspect not only in training with him but in their respective clubs as well.
Next up for Osorio and the Mexican National Team will be the fifth CONCACAF Hexaganol match. El Tri will host Costa Rica on March 24 at Estadio Azteca.