El Salvador focused on Gold Cup opener vs. Mexico
Action from the World Cup qualifier between host El Salvador and Mexico (white jersey) on September 2, 2016, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Norvin Mendoza/Straffon Images)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – While El Salvador’s 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Mexico is still more than two weeks away, the Cuscatlecos are focused on getting the best result possible when the sides meet on July 9 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.

“We want to take advantage of each minute of the training sessions because [Mexico] is a very strong opening opponent and we hope to start off on the right foot,” El Salvador midfielder Oscar Ceren told reporters Tuesday.

Part of the preparation process has included ways to hinder Mexico’s dangerous aerial game.  In their last meeting on September 2, 2016, Angel Sepulveda scored on a header as the Tricolor registered a 3-1 win in World Cup Qualifying.

“Everything is being worked on,” said goalkeeper Oscar Arroyo.  “We know how easy the aerial game is for them.  That is being worked on very well.  For us, the physical and tactical [elements] are also being worked on.”

Although the Mexican roster may look different than the one in 2018 WCQ play, El Salvador fully realizes the challenge ahead will be just as difficult.

“We know that it is going to be a different national team, but they have the same idea of pressuring, of playing the ball on the ground,” Arroyo concluded.  “It is going to be important to pressure them and take the ball away from them.”