Competition drives Mexico ahead of CONCACAF Cup

Mexico's Raul Jimenez (pictured) at a training session on October 6, 2015, in Mexico City. (Photo: Mexsport)

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Internal competition for starting places in Saturday’s CONCACAF Cup match against the United States is playing a role in Mexico’s preparations for the first-of-its-kind showdown. 

The winner will earn a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and the Mexicans are determined to make a second straight appearance in the competition. 

“We are working together and with a lot of eagerness,” said goalkeeper Moises Muñoz. “It is important to be competing for a position. It really helps all of us to show our best level. The competition is very good, while it goes on, and we are going to show our very best and that favors the national team.” 

The Club America custodian, 35, made a point to stress that the Tricolor is all about business, focusing on what it needs to do in order to win. 

“It (the CONCACAF Cup) is to be won by playing our best football,” Muñoz remarked. “If we have the opportunity to our best football into practice, and we do it individually or as a group, it should not be a problem to overcome the United States. 

“What we want to do is to talk on the field of play. What is really important is what we do on the pitch. What happens off of it does not matter.” 

Forward Raul Jimenez dismissed the notion of one team being favored over the other. The fact that Mexico is the current Gold Cup champion, while the U.S. lifted the trophy two years ago is irrelevant to him. 

“You must not think about who goes in with the advantage,” commented the Benfica standout. “You have to think about what is going to happen Saturday and what we should do to be able to win. We are calm in thinking about what is to come. We are united with the same goal and with the same desire of wanting to triumph and do things the best way possible. I don’t know if we are favorites, but we are going in with hope and eagerness to win.”