Mexico grows as Gold Cup campaign continues
Mexico’s Jesus Molina (green jersey) goes for a header against Honduras in their CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal on July 20, 2017, in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo: AFP Services)

PASADENA, California -- When Mexico opened training for the CONCACAF Gold Cup several weeks ago with a squad comprised of players who weren’t necessarily national-team regulars, acclimating to the philosophy of head coach Juan Carlos Osorio took time.

After going unbeaten in its first four matches of the competition, the Tricolor has learned well.

"Match-to-match we have been adapting to the coach's ideas," said Rodolfo Pizzaro, who scored in Mexico's 1-0 win over Honduras in the quarterfinals on Thursday.  "At the beginning, we had a little difficulty, but as games and training go by, we feel more comfortable."

Comfortable enough to reach Sunday's semifinal against Jamaica at the Rose Bowl.

"We can see the improvement in the positional game and the way we want to play,” Osorio remarked.  “The competitiveness has always been there.”

The winner will square off against the United States in the final on Wednesday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Given his attention to detail, Osorio is preparing for “two possible scenarios.”

For most of the tournament, the Jamaica has deployed a defensive-minded side, utilizing one forward, though it used two strikers in its 2-1 quarterfinal win over Canada.

"They decide to attack, they play a 4-4-2 or if they decide to play a 4-5-1, like they did the last game,” he commented.

Mexico and Jamaica met in the group stage, a 0-0 draw.

"It was a very positive game for us," expressed Osorio.  "We had a lot of possession.  We didn't take advantage of the opportunities that we had."

Osorio, who has been rotating players, wouldn't say if he would continue that practice Sunday.

"I have to put the best team on the field physically ready," he finished.