Juan Carlos Osorio might be suspended but that doesn’t mean his rotations are. If Osorio can’t pin down a starting XI for the “A team” there is even less of a chance he’ll have one for this reserve squad participating in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. So for El Tri’s second group stage game against Jamaica on Thursday evening in Denver, you can expect to see a different starting lineup than the one that took the field in San Diego during the first match.
Mexico took a 3-1 win over El Salvador last Sunday and sit at the top of Group C with 3 points and a +2 goal difference. Jamaica also has three points and a +2 goal difference after beating Curacao 2-0 but has one less goal scored than Mexico.
El Tri came out with a familiar 4-3-3 formation on Sunday with Elias Hernandez and Jesus Gallardo as the wingers. Angel Sepulveda filled in the role of striker despite it not being his natural position. Rodolfo Pizarro was also an attacking threat from midfield on the right side and Jorge Hernadez and Jesus Dueñas held down the middle of the field. Captain Hugo Ayala and National Team rookie Hedegardo Marin were the central defenders with Edson Alvarez and Luis Reyes as the outside backs.
What kind of changes can Osorio make for the second match?
It was hinted by Assistant manager Luis Pompilio Paez that Erick “El Cubo” Torres could be featured against Jamaica. The acting manager said in the post game news conference that Torres did not see any action on Sunday because of his late arrival with the National Team. The Houston Dynamo striker was only called up after Chivas Gudalajara striker Alan Pulido suffered a shoulder injury which forced him to return home.
Another possible change to the starting XI could be central midfielder Jesus Molina. The Monterrey mid is one of the most experienced players on this rather young roster. Molina replaced Jorge Hernandez at halftime and could get the start on Thursday over Hernandez. El Salvador looked very dangerous during the first half of the match. They were able to grab a quick equalizer after Marin had give Mexico the 1-0 lead. But Molina’s presence during the second half brought a much needed stability in the midfield and the attacking chances foe the Central Americans were at a minimum during the final 45 minutes.
Chivas attacking midfielder Orbelin Pineda made a strong case for himself after coming off the bench at halftime. He netted Mexico’s third goal of the match and was a constant threat on the left side of the pitch. Osorio might want to pair Pineda on the wings with Elias Hernandez who put in a Man of the Match on performance on Sunday.
As per usual, no position is safe from the Juan Carlos Osorio rotations, not even the goalkeeper. Cruz Azul keeper Jesus Corona got the start on Sunday but whether he will start in Thursday is a big mystery. Moises Muñoz could be the one chosen for this match. It all depends on how Muñoz is feeling after having to be subbed out of the first friendly match this squad held before the Gold Cup against Ghana.
If Mexico gets the win over Jamaica and secures its place in the next round of the competition. Even more changes and rotations will come in from the Colombian manager for the third groups stage match against Curacao in San Antonio, TX next Sunday.