El Salvador rounding into shape ahead of Gold Cup opener
El Salvador players (pictured) have been training intensely ahead of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Photo courtesy of: Federación Salvadoreña de Fútbol)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – El Salvador is well aware that its 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Group C opponents – 2015 champion Mexico, 2015 runner-up Jamaica and 2017 Caribbean champion Curacao -- will be difficult tests.

If the Cuscatlecos are to emerge from the group stage for the fifth time in ten attempts, an encouraging performance in their July 9 opener against Mexico could prove to be the needed catalyst.

“We know the footballing capability that the Mexican national team has.  We also have that capability,” said defender Ruben Marroquin.  “Work is what’s demanded and if we do it in the best manner, we will play a good match.”

Defender Roberto Dominguez believes that playing an error-free match will necessary for El Salvador to secure its first-ever win over Mexico in the Gold Cup (0W-0D-2L).

“We hope to play a smart match against Mexico, since we all know that it is a strong team, with players with a lot of experience, who will go to give it their all to be able to advance,” the 20-year-old stressed.

Regardless of the final result at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, the Salvadorans’ Gold Cup fate will ultimately be decided by how it plays against 2016/17 Scotiabank CFU Men’s Caribbean Cup finalists Curacao (July 13) and Jamaica (July 16).

“The coach is doing a lot of work to be able to get stronger because we know that the majority of teams from the Caribbean are based on that: strength, and us too,” concluded Marroquin.  “We are working in the gym on strength, velocity to be able to take advantage of that.”