While United States supporters are understandably focused on the failure of their side to get a result on Friday, Mexico fans can feel buoyed by snatching all three points in the former house of horrors now called MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.
Most of our staff argued that El Tri should triumph atop the Hex table, even though the majority expected at least a point on Friday.
But what did we learn about Mexico from Friday, aside from Eric Scatamacchia’s player ratings?
It all goes through Guardado — If Andres Guardado can’t go against Panama, look for Juan Carlos Osorio to opt for a completely different game plan.
Why? Because as much as we want to herald the United States midfield for their distinct change in play after moving from a 3-4-3 to a 4-4-2 on Friday, that same move happened right after Mexico’s best player left the game with injury.
Guardado is one of the more complete attack-minded players in the world, and if Atlanta United is really prepared to land him then may Don Garber have mercy on Major League Soccer.
The softness has hardened a bit under Osorio — Mexico still looked prepared to melt down after the USMNT equalized, and perhaps they would’ve had the Yanks punished them (I’m looking at you, Michael Bradley inexplicably not playing Bobby Wood in alone on Alfredo Talavera).
But there wasn’t a quit in the team, something we’ve seen often. Perhaps it was the rivalry, but the vicious nature stuck around in Mexico. They fouled because they needed to, and did a lot of the things we haven’t seen during their weak spells.
This could be a turning point for them, and you might as well print their tickets for Russia if Mexico can grab all six points from trips to the USMNT and Panama.
Goalkeeping still a question mark — Talavera had one strong stop on a vicious turn-and-rip from Bobby Wood, but was dicey in collecting the ball (even given the cold night for Mexico).
Osorio has opted for plenty of rotation between the sticks, and I’m often left scratching my head whenever it’s not Guillermo “Memo” Ochoa between the sticks. The 31-year-old has gone 90 minutes in each of Granada’s La Liga matches, and mostly held Barcelona in a 1-0 loss (He also allowed 7 to Atleti and 5 to Las Palmas, but you get the idea).
Who do Mexico fans think should be No. 1?