Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre w from will be making his debut as Mexico’s national team coach. The Tri takes on an unfortunately watered down Bosnia-Herzegovina (several players had visa issues, others just had issues) at the Georgia Dome tonight.
Chepo is tasked in the short term with preparing two teams: the Senior side which will play this summer’s Gold Cup, and a U22 team that will play in the Copa America, the PanAm games, and the Olympic qualifying tournament. The long term goal is to prepare for Brasil2014. Let’s hope Chepo survives that far.
There is no doubt that Mexico has a very decent crop of young talent from which to build the squad, but there are still holes to fill in a few positions. The most notable of which is the holding midfielder.
Chepo will see the biggest the changing of the guard a the holding midfield position. He will have to find replacements for Gerardo Torrado, Rafael Marquez and Israel Castro, all of which will pushing their mid-30’s in Brasil 2014. In addition to Juarez, Chepo will have some intriguing prospects to examine.
While al Toluca, he got a good look at Antonio Rios, and even called him up for last week’s mini-camp. Alas, the young Rios did not make enough of an impression to make the trip to Atlanta. Monterrey’s Jesus Zavala was also at the mini-camp and did get recalled for the Atanta trip. Zavala is a national team newbie, but was instrumental in Monterrey’s recent title runs. The jury is still out on Jonathan Dos Santos, but one would have to expect that he will get a good, long look in the Copa America.
So with a little urgency to find suitable replacements for the most important position in the outfield, who is Chepo going to trot out tonight?
The thirtysomethings, of course.