Botanitas, Pt 3.

It’s been an interesting week so far in the Mexican footie world.

Giovani Dos Santos takes a major step in his development, yet acknowledges he still has a long way to go. But the Mexican media focus on the first half of his “tapando bocas” (shutting people up) quote. Even when there are signs that a fresh wind might take Mexico out the doldrums, the Mexican press would do anything to sabotage the sails. It amazes me that the youngster has clearly been Mexico’s best player throughout the entire tournament, but some “experts” think he is still too inconsistent. When did the prensa’s standards get so high?

I know it’s just pre-season, but Club America has gotten two great results against the Milans. It has to give them a real boost heading into the 2009 Apertura. The Mexican Primera needs America to be better than the less than lackluster levels they have shown over the past 4 seasons. They once asked Al Davis what it was like to be the owner of the NFL’s most hated team. He said he didn’t know because he didn’t own the Cowboys. That is what Club America is – one of the league’s most popular, and certainly most hated, teams.

I came across an interesting article today. Misael Espinozaplayed up front for a variety of teams for the better part of two decades. He now wants to work with FEMEXFUT to help Mexican forwards get better. “I played up until I was 40 and was never a very good header of the ball. No one ever coached me to get better, and I retired with that lack of knowledge that could have helped me score more goals. We have players who are over 30 and have no idea how to shoot to score.” Good luck, Ismael, and when can you start?

Rafa Marquez is squarely in the midst of his rehab, and even he admits it would take a miracle for him to be match fit for August 12. He just started kicking it around yesterday.

Mexico plays Costa Rica tomorrow in Chicago. On natural grass. The two games Costa Rica has won in the tournament have been on the plastic stuff, the same surface at the Saprissa. When they play on the sod, they’re not as consistent. In an evenly matched game like this, that is an intangible to keep on eye on.

My Pumas will begin their title defense against Atlas. The rojinegros will honor the champs with a "pasillo", a tradition that is practiced in La Liga.

In Spain, even bitter rivals recognize the champs

The Atlas front office didn't see the point, but the players are the ones who decided to recognize the champs. I hope it catches on.