Memo Ochoa Gets a Lifeline

When he is at his best, Guillermo Ochoa is unquestionably the best goal keeper in Mexican futbol. It has been a while, though, since we have seen Memo in top form. The past two seasons have not gone well for the curly-haired minder of Club America’s nets. Perhaps it was a post World Cup Hangover that has left Ochoa playing under a gray cloud of despair – a sad Side Show Memo.

One can hardly blame his melancholy ways: he was in his contract year heading for the sport’s biggest showcase. But Javier Aguirre opted for a guy he knew he could trust in Oscar Perez. Instead of making athletic reflex saves, scouts got to see him sit in those comfy chairs and work the plaid blankets like a pro. They must have concluded that there are already enough Mexicans riding pine in Europe, so Ochoa went back to Club America.

Instead of proving that he does merit all that extra attention from scouts, the only thing that Ochoa has shown is that he might not be the keeper everyone thought he was. He has allowed over 30 goals in his past 23 games. Of course, not all the goals are his fault; America’s defense is beyond awful. But it’s the soft goals and the alarming regularity in which they have crossed the threshold that raises those big red flags. The first goal in America’s 2-0 loss to Cruz Azul comes to mind.

He has been pressing, and it is why it was a little puzzling that he was included in the last significant call up before Mexico’s two tournament campaign this summer.

Usually guys who are in their contract year play out of their mind, and one would expect Ochoa to be no different. But His WOW moments are running neck and neck with his WTF Moments. Not a good ratio when your are trying to bank in the form of Euros.

But now Chepo de la Torre has given him a golden opportunity. If he can keep his WTF moments to a minimum, he’ll get that showcase at the end of his contract year – this summer’s Copa America. Believe me, he will be busy.