Miguel Herrera (pictured) will be guiding Mexico through a challenging 2015 schedule. (Photo: Mexsport)
LOS ANGELES -- The summer will once again be busy for Mexico, but head coach Miguel Herrera is confident El Tri can have success at both the Copa America and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
He credits the great depth of talent at his disposal for those positive feelings.
“Today, I am convinced that we have the ability to put together 46 national players who can represent us with dignity in each of the tournaments,” said Herrera. “Two years ago, there were many drawbacks to these two tournaments. We didn’t get the result that was expected or what was wanted. But we have to work under the rhythm that we have earned to be in important tournaments such as the Gold Cup and Copa America and we have to form teams that will represent with much dignity and get the results we seek.”
A carry-over effect from the performances at last year’s World Cup -- and immediately afterwards -- continues to boost the national-team program. The Tricolor’s only loss in Brazil came against the Netherlands, 2-1, in the round of 16. Since then, it has posted a 4-1-1 record in friendlies.
“After the World Cup came the FIFA dates and the boys delivered,” Herrera remarked. “They had very good games and this has restored the confidence of the fans, who once again believe in the team. How do we continue this romance successfully? With results, winning. People just want to see the team win and we have an obligation to win.”
Mexico has lined up friendlies with Ecuador (March 28 in Los Angeles), Paraguay (March 31 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA) and the United States (April 15 in San Antonio, Texas, USA), before its Copa America opener on June 12 against Bolivia in Vina del Mar, Chile. Following the South American competition, the campaign for a seventh Gold Cup title commences on July 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Herrera knows that quest will not be easy, especially considering the continued growth of other teams in the region.
“We’re all doing great work so that we can be strong and the competition is becoming tighter every day,” he finished. “I believe that nobody will occupy the place of a recognized giant. We are all very evenly matched. Costa Rica is featured today. A few years ago, it was the United States. In youth selections, Mexico once again raises its hand, impressively, leading with the under-20s and under-17s, while achieving great results. We have to return to that position and get to the World Cup without the suffering that we experienced prior to the last World Cup.”