Focused Mexico back to work

Mexico (black jersey) hasn't played since it defeated Jamaica (yellow jersey) in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final on July 26, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Mexsport) 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – From all indications, Mexico’s first camp under recently-named interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti has started smoothly. 

As the current CONCACAF Gold Cup champion prepares to meet Trinidad & Tobago (September 4 in Sandy, Utah, USA) and Argentina (September 8 in Arlington, Texas, USA) in a pair of friendlies over the next week, to the outside eye, it would be difficult to decipher that managerial reins have recently changed hands. 

And that calm transition suits the Tricolor just fine. 

“The truth is that everything has been good,” said winger Javier Aquino, who also plays for Ferretti at Tigres.  “He knows how to manage perfectly and tried to integrate all of us as soon as possible, even though we all already know each other.

“It’s nothing new and we are happy with the way in which he is working. He is a manager who we know is demanding, likes discipline, order, working a lot on the pitch and how he wants things to be done. We are going to try to take advantage as much as possible, so it yields results.” 

The result firmly in Mexico’s sights is a place in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.  That objective can only be achieved by overcoming the United States in the first-ever CONCACAF Cup on October 10 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. 

With so much at stake, the September friendlies are taking on more importance that usual.  The veteran hand of the 61-year-old Ferretti has been calming, especially after the initial tumult surrounding Miguel Herrera’s departure from the top post. 

“The first thing he told us is that we must be disciplined and take these matches with a lot of seriousness because they are not just friendlies, they are matches that are going to allow us to prepare ourselves for the important match against the United States,” said Club America goalkeeper Moises Muñoz.  “We have to embrace that as quickly as possible, thinking that we have another chance, a new opportunity, to play a match that can permit us to be in a tournament as important as the Confederations Cup.” 

That effort is underway in Utah and won’t finish until next month, when the North American rivals meet on the historic Rose Bowl pitch. 

“We must prepare ourselves in the best way possible to measure up against the United States,” Muñoz concluded.