What do Marco Fabian and Alan Shearer have in common?
They each scored 7 goals when they participated in the Tournoi Espoirs Toulon. Fabian hopes to add to his tally on Friday, as Mexico will take the field as the first CONCACAF side to make the Final in the annual event against Turkey. Moreover, it is Mexico's first trip to the final in 19 appearances in the tournament.
The tournament normally pits U21 squads, but on Olympic years, participating countries who will also be in the Olympics are allowed to use the Espoirs as a tune-up. Of the 5 such countries that did just that: Mexico, Belarus, Morocco, Japan, & Egypt, only Mexico was able to make it past the first round.
Mexico can thank Marco Fabian for that. The Chivas forward netted a hat-trick in Mexico's 4-3 win over Morocco, including an injury time winner. He scored Mexico's lone goal in a 3-1 loss to the hosts before adding a second half brace, with the winner coming very late again, to push Mexico past Belarus. He scored all but one of Mexico's first round goals, with the other being an own goal.
It was Marco +10.
Plenty of people have taken notice. As one would expect, scouts have come to watch the 22 year-old Chivas player have seen him raise his stock significantly. So far, he has been tied to English teams, Spanish teams, and even French sides. But since he is a Guadalajara product, if he does go anywhere, it won't be played out in the papers. The Sacred Herd's last two big profile moves didn't come to light until after they were made official.
And one has to wonder in Guadalajara is even in position to move Fabian after the season they had. The squad is in transition, they have hired Johan Cruyff to oversee football operations, and he has brought in John Van't Schip as the new coach. But everyone has a number, and we'll see if a team comes up with the one that Chivas brain trust has in mind in order for them to start planning their future without Marquito.
Fabian tallied his 7th goal earlier today as Mexico came from behind twice, then wore out the Dutch in the second half in a 4-2 win. Fabian finally got some help on the offensive end - Hector Herrera, who was the surprise revelation of the pre-Olimpico, had his best game of the tournament: he dominated the mid-field, got the first equlaizer, and served up Fabian for the clincher. 18-year old Severo Ramirez and America's Raul Jimenez (who has been the revelation of this tourney) rounded out the scoring.
Before we get trumpets out and hail Mexico as the greatest team in history, there are plenty of warts that have been exposed (which is why you play these warm-ups in the first place). The Mexican defense and goalkeeping can be kindly described as atrocious. Unforced errors by both have led to almost of all of Mexico's goals against. Outscoring opponents is usually not a good way to make deep runs in tournaments. Luckily for Mexico, most of that can be shored up with 2 of the 3 over-agers that are being contemplated.
Regardless of who does and doesn't make the final roster, it was pretty clear in the pre-Olimpico and it is clear in the Espoirs that Mexico was Marco +10. And if he manages to keep up the torrid pace, Marco +10 might not be a bad bet in England.