Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mexico Gearing up for Gold Cup, Copa America

The Mexican National Team’s director has announced that they will be sending their “A-Team” to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June 2007, and are focused on that tournament because of the FIFA Confederations Cup berth that comes with the Gold Cup championship. Mexico will be playing in the CONMEBOL Copa America directly after the Gold Cup, as they have for pretty much that last decade.

So Mexico doesn’t have a National team coach right now, just like the USA. Both teams have offered the head coaching position to German Mastermind, Jurgen Klinnsman, who has yet to accept any type of coaching job since the World Cup. So if both teams are running so similar in operation right now, why is it that the Mexican Football Federation is announcing that they will be sending its stronger team to the Gold Cup and still sending a team to the Copa America; while the USSF is still trying to figure out if they will be accepting the invite to the Copa America, that they had to lobby for?

I have a feeling that this is another sign of how the Mexican’s view global football is different than how the USSF views global football. The Mexican’s know that in order to get a stronger team, they have to play in stronger tournaments. Thus, they have always played in the Copa America when invited. They know that playing in the Confederations Cup is a good thing, as you get the chance to play World Cup bound nations and to possibly play the defending World Champion. Their players have gotten better through these types of tests.

This is another sign of the type of outlook the USSF needs to have. We need to be challenging our players and our teams. If we sent the U-23 team to the Copa America, I feel that this type of move would benefit our Olympic development and would increase their chances of qualifying for Beijing 2008. Sending our strongest team to the Gold Cup to win it and secure the Confederations cup berth would be huge, not only as it would show that we can defend the Gold Cup title in a year were the title actually means something (Confederations Cup berth) but that we are still top dog in our region.


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