Now that 2011 is coming to an end, I thought it would be fun (for me at least) to see how the sunshine pumping at the beginning of the year fared. That Javier Hernandez stays on course. I think it is safe to say that the young Chicharito has done just that - for both club and country. He has struggled a bit with the injury bug so far thus year at Old Trafford, but it was a terrific early Christmas present to see him off the bench at Crystal Palace.
That the world doesn’t give up on Carlos Vela and Giovani Dos Santos. Carlos Vela has not been called up by Chepo de la Torre since March. He was slated to play in Copa America, but Arsenal said no, then shipped him out on loan to Real Sociedad (in gorgeous San Sebastian). Despite the change of scenery, a series of injuries hampered Vela at the start of the season, and a lot folks were beginning to wonder if the young player with so much potential had flamed out. Vela has come on very strong in the past weeks, though, and a sustained period of good form should be enough to warrant a call back to the Tri. Maybe.
Giovani was nails for the national team this year, but his club situation has not really changed all that much. He desperately wants out of Tottenham, where has seen more minutes this year (in the "other" competitions) but Harry Redknapp has other ideas. Gio has plenty of suitors, and rumors are strong (yet again) that he will be headed to either Sevilla or Udinese. We'll see.
That Nery Castillo finds inner peace. Nery is back in Greece, and he may have found inner peace. But he is still light years away from the player he was back in 2007. Fans of Mexico (and Nery in particular) may have to come to terms with the fact that the love affair with Nery has amounted to nothing more than a summer fling.
That Cruz Azul wins something, anything. Well, sorry, cementero fans. In 2012, though, they'll have two tournaments with which they can torment their fans' emotions. Oh, and I am sure that Omar Bravo will finally put them over the top!
That Chepo de la Torre is allowed to do his work. So far so good for Chepo. In 15 games this year, his squad won 11, drew 3, and only lost once. He carefully navigated through a series of scandals that have undone many other coaches. Mexico responded by steamrolling through the Gold Cup. Chepo and his young, dynamic nucleus of talent should have no problems navigating the upcoming qualifiers.
That the US and Mexico meet in the Rose Bowl this June. They did, and it was awesome. Except, of course, for all of the post-match ugliness that festered on this and other sites.
That Club America makes one ridiculous signing and then makes a deep run into the Copa Libertadores. Like Ronaldinho. The less said about this, the better.
That Pumas win the Clausura 2011 title. I think I'll file that under the blind squirrel category.
The sunshine pump, as always, will be working over capacity in 2012.