Despite Gold Cup success, Mexico’s job not done

Players from Mexico (players) show off the CONCACAF Gold Cup trophy after defeating Jamaica in the final on July 26, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Mexsport)

PHILADELPHIA -- After his team paraded around Lincoln Financial Field with the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup trophy Sunday night, Mexico head coach Miguel Herrera said El Tri had not quite reached its ultimate goal: the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The Mexicans booked a spot in a playoff against 2013 Gold Cup champion the United States at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on October 9. The winner will represent the confederation in Russia.

"In October, there is a very important game," Herrera said in a press conference. "We can't get carried away. Obviously, we are obligated to get the victory. It'll be a difficult match. The United States is a very strong team. We are going to give it our all."

Mexico will prepare for that match with international friendlies against Trinidad & Tobago (September 4 in Sandy, Utah, USA) and Argentina (September 8 in Arlington, Texas, USA).

"We are going to try to get the best players we can," remarked Herrera in regard to those games.

The best of those in competitors in the Gold Cup was midfielder Andres Guardado, who earned Golden Ball honors as the top player. The 28-year-old became the first player to score in three Gold Cup finals, netting the first goal in Mexico’s 3-1 win over Jamaica to give him six for the tournament, second only to the USA's Clint Dempsey (7).

"Guardado had a great tournament and he is in his prime as a footballer," Herrera said. "He had a great year in the Netherlands. I am very happy with what Andres has done. He super deserves it."

Herrera was quite pleased with the rest of the team as well.

"We had a wonderful, important, success," the 47-year-old expressed. "We were happy and relaxed."

Jamaica and Mexico competed in June’s Copa America as both teams failed to win a game in six between them. In the Gold Cup, the Reggae Boyz did not change its roster, the Tricolor deployed an almost entirely squad.

"It was a summer that was very difficult," finished Herrera. "We had to have two teams because of the circumstances of the tournament. It was an important success for us. Some were positive, some were negative. Coming here [Gold Cup], the team has done well."

Lifting Gold Cup silverware for a record-extending seventh time will certainly attest to that assertion.