Earlier this week, José Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, the man in charge of Mexico's national team, gave his first of what will be many, many, many pressers in 2013. Chepo's conferences are like any other well prepared coach: He has a commanding presence, comes off as very frank, and a lot of $10 words exit his mouth. He is a virtuoso in the art of the 40 second coach byte: fill the time without actually saying anything.
I am bilingual, but I also have strong backgrounds in a couple of other languages: French and Coachspeak. Chepo's dialect is a little tougher to decipher than others, but one can still read through the clichés. He answered some questions in Arizona this week at a junket promoting Mexico's upcoming friendly with Denmark at the end of the Month.
On the friendly with Denmark...
It's not a FIFA-sanctioned date, so it's hard to play against a higher ranked squad. The European and South American countries are also in the midst of their qualifying campaigns. Denmark was available, they are decently ranked, so the match will allow us to evaluate players and make decisions
Translation: Because of the FMF contract with SUM, we are hamstrung into scheduling friendlies against whomever we can get. Thanks to the Hex scheduling, though, we are up against it, so this game will afford some prep time so we don't go into the Jamaica match cold."
On his player pool...
The youngsters have been coming on strong, but the established players have maintained a level that is good enough to keep getting capped. The competition has been very strong, and the familiarity we have with the Olympic champions and the U20 team members who are improving has afforded us the luxury of having options. The key, however, is that all the players now have a better understanding of what we are looking for to merit a call, and now everyone is looking for the call.
Translation: I have more than enough whippersnappers chomping at the bit to make a name for themselves on the senior side, so no one's spot on the team is safe. As the year goes on I will not hesitate to give them a shot.
On the recent youth success
The accomplishments have been important - a consequence of the plans laid out by the FMF executives, the investments made by the local clubs in their youth systems, namely the U17 and U20 leagues which have helped players develop. The youth national teams have improved; some players have taken the field in nearly 100 international matches; they are established starters for their clubs, have futures abroad.
Translation: It is about effin' time the FMF and the clubs have started to take developing players seriously. It will give me and my successors a much larger pool of players from which to pick.
On the crowded summer schedule
We'll have to wait and see what our options are because our we'll be getting our players after their club seasons are over for the Confed Cup, and the Gold Cup right after. FIFA puts limits in competitions, so we'll wait for an opinion as to which players can play which tournaments. That is why it is so important that the youngsters have been playing so well; their chance to represent Mexico will come.
Translation: Gold Cup organizers are dreaming if they think Sir Alex is going to let Chicharito play the Gold Cup after the Confed Cup. It'll be an alternate side that criss-crosses the US.