PASADENA, California– A new era begins for the Mexican National Team on Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California where it will take the field for the first time in a Concacaf Gold Cup match under the guidance of Head Coach Gerardo Martino.
El Tricolor will square off against a Cuba side that has the pieces to do damage, and Martino knows his side will have to be wary of any quick counterattacks from the Caribbean side.
“We understand that the most important thing is to play 90 minutes in an intense manner, as protagonists, try not to give them any options,” said Martino in a pre-match press conference on Friday.
“I expect a match in which the protagonism is Mexico’s and that the sitting back and playing the counterattack and waiting for spaces will be for Cuba. If we are precise and quick when we are with the ball, and set up walls to avoid the Cuba counterattack, we will likely find the path to success,” added Martino.
While Mexico will be without several of its top players due to injury, there is still plenty of talent for Martino to rely on.
Instead of lamenting the absences of some, Martino is instead focusing on the fact that other players are getting an opportunity to show their wares on one of football’s biggest stages.
“I’m very happy with the players that are here and the ones that we have to compete, and surely we will all grow with this participation that we have in the Gold Cup. Each moment together is a new opportunity to improve and grow as a team and show our best version,” concluded Martino.