The past decade has bared witness to an unprecedented ascendancy in Mexican football, in terms of domestic, and national football through the constant emergence of world class footballers who have gone on to ply their trade with the best that Europe can offer. Has Mexico finally caught on, or is this simply a nation from the north, pretending to be from the South?
The top domestic league in Mexican football for the past sixty eight years has been the Primera Division. The structure of the league compromises of eighteen clubs split into three separate groups were they pit it out during the winter in the Apertura(opening) which runs from late summer through to December, and the Clausura(closing) in the summer which runs from January straight through to late May.
Due to the demands of playing two seasons in twelve months, and participating in both, North and South American continental competitions’, Mexican football decided to axe domestic competitions’ in 1996-97 and now only partakes in League and continental competitions.
The most successful sides in the leagues history areGuadalajarawith eleven titles despite only winning one in the past fourteen years, tightly followed by America and Toluca on ten titles each.
Since joining the Copa party in 1993, Mexico have gone on to become an exciting and integral feature in the tournament for any spectator. Despite never winning the tournament, El Tricolor have finished runners up on two occasions, to Argentina in 1993 and Colombia in 2001, and finished in 3rd place on three occasions, in ’97 99 and 07.
In fact, since their introduction to the competition,Mexico has taken to the Latin competition like a duck to water, and have never failed to reach the Quarter finals – a record any nation would envy.
Despite the weakened squad and serene mood within the Mexican camp, the country will expect every ounce of national pride to be upstanding during the competition and to make sure everything is done to halt the countries current slump down the FIFA rankings.
Due to the nature ofMexico’s bizarre schedule, CONCACAF have asked that a weakened side partake in the Copa America tournament while the first team play in the North American Gold Cup. The squad must have an average age of no more than 22, with the exception of five older friends.
The squad is primarily made up of youth and home based players that hadn’t quite made it in to the first squad and will be expected to give their all in a vital opportunity in front of by assistant coach Luis Fernando Tena.
A few familiar faces reside within the senior players of, Paul Aguilar, Jonny Magallon, Luis Michel and particularly Carlos Vela along side a rogue squad of youth players who reside within the nations domestic leagues, including young striker, Erick Torres Padilla of Guadalajara in particular, who contributed six goals and five assists in fifteen starts in this years Apertura.
One player who escapes that description is Barcelona B player, Jonathon Dos Santos – younger brother of ill-fated Tottenham fame – who seems on track to make up for his older brothers mistakes. The midfielder was allegedly the last player omitted from Mexico’s World Cup squad last year and will be hoping to make an impression to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Twitter – @Stefan_gla