Mexico to honor Oswaldo Sanchez?

Mexico will be the latest stop for the Brasil World Tour tonight as the verdeamarelas take on Mexico in Torreon’s sparkling Territorio Santos Modelo stadium. Both teams seem to have their full complement of weapons. Of course, one can say that Brazil has enough firepower to field 3 teams. Chepo de la Torre has decided to give 38 year old Oswaldo Sanchez one last hurrah with the Mexican National Team – honor him for his years of service on the Tri. The question is, why?

While it’s true that Oswaldo Sanchez has played almost 100 times for his country, I have to really think hard to come up with games where Oswaldo made game-saving, positive contributions. This is the best I could come up with.

He did have a great game vs. Brazil in the 2005 Confederations Cup, where he did turn away a relentless Brazilian attack. He ended up being named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

He started Mexico’s first World Cup game in Germany just days after laying his father to rest. Mexico won 3-1.

He made some key saves to keep Mexico’s World Cup hopes alive against what was essentially a Canadian University team in Edmonton. Mexico drew 2-2, and got by the Reggae Boyz on goal differential.

Unfortunately for Oswaldo, his not so great moments far outweigh any great moments he might have had minding nets for Mexico.

It was his mistake that allowed Costa Rica to score twice, thus allowing the first loss ever at the Azteca in a World Cup Qualifier in 2001.

It was he who attempted an embarrassing, ardido, sissy-kick cheap shot on Ediie Johnson after Landon Donovan had iced a friendly in Glendale with a second goal.

It was he who was begging Honduran players to not score another goal because the 1-0 score line they enjoyed was enough to send them both through to the next round of World Cup qualifying.

It was he who told Javier Aguirre that if he was not going to start, then he shouldn’t bother with a call-up to the national team.

Believe me, I understand that every player has his share of highs and lows, and as long as Oswaldo has played, he would obviously have more than others. He has been a quality goalkeeper for a lot of years and on occasion was spectacular. I do not deny that. But his career on the national team can be best described as spectacularly average, and not worthy of any special consideration.