Gold Cup: Group C Notebook
A look inside Mexico’s dressing room ahead of its CONCACAF Gold Cup match against El Salvador on July 9, 2017, in San Diego, California, USA. (Photo: AFP)

SAN DIEGO, California –Juan Carlos Osorio didn’t hold back.  Mexico’s head coach was blunt and to the point.

“First, I want to offer an apology to those people that in any way were offended or hurt by my behavior during the game against Portugal,” Osorio said during a news conference Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium.  “It’s an unfortunate thing.  I hope and will do everything possible, so that it doesn’t happen again.”

As a result of an outburst during the FIFA Confederations Cup match for third place  Osorio was suspended for six games earlier this week and will miss the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.  His suspension begins with the Tricolor’s Group C match against El Salvador on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.

The Colombian-born manager didn’t give many details, but he said he spoke about the situation with Decio DeMaria, President of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol.

“He gave me his respectable opinion,” commented Osorio.  “I accepted it and we were looking at the possible scenarios and looked at what the next steps are.  But, for now, I first reiterate that I assume all responsibility and, second, I accept any decision by the federation.”

For now, Mexico will begin its quest to defend its 2015 Gold Cup title without its manager and with a talented but youthful squad.

When asked in English what will be the toughest part for him about his suspension, Osorio quickly answered in the same language.

“The fact that I cannot be on my bench, the dugout helping my team to win, I think that’s hard enough and that is probably the worst situation for any manager.”

 

El Salvador’s Lara understands

El Salvador coach Eduardo Lara can relate to Osorio’s situation. He would not want to be in his place during the Gold Cup.

“It’s an unfortunate thing. Every coach wants to be with his group and wants to be on the sidelines because that’s our job,” Lara said during a news conference. “It must be hard for him to not be there during an important tournament.”

It is important for El Salvador to try and take advantage of the fact Mexico is without its manager, but Lara would not say it would be much of a difference.

“Juan knows us. We know him well, his way of thinking and the way he works,” Lara said. “With that, I hope that a good game comes out of that for the fans. We have come here to leave our souls for our national team. Now all we hope is that there’s a good game tomorrow. It is a motivation for us to face the current Gold Cup champion.”