Fairly or unfairly, the managerial hires of the United States men’s national team and Mexican NT will be scrutinized and measured against each other more than usual.
Gregg Berhalter and Tata Martino both came from Major League Soccer, albeit with quite different resumes, and both were available to the United States Soccer Federation before general manager Earnie Stewart and the crew settled on Berhalter.
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The former Columbus Crew man’s early days with the USMNT have been well-covered here, with the Yanks unbeaten in four friendlies following a Tuesday draw with Chile, but about Mexico?
It’s going very, very well.
Martino, of course, is taking over a potentially golden generation of El Tri, and isn’t making his first foray into international management, but there’s little doubt he’s made a tremendous first impression with Mexico.
It wasn’t stylish on Day One, but El Tri was clinical in a 3-1 defeat of Chile which saw Wolves striker Raul Jimenez lead a run of three goals in 13 minutes and goals on all three shots on target.
The second match was more of a runaway, with Mexico scoring three times in the first 24 minutes against Paraguay before the visitors went down to 10 men through a Miguel Almiron red card in a 4-2 El Tri win.
Edson Alvarez, 21, is the only player Martino started in both matches, as Mexico flaunted its depth in the impressive wins.
About the only thing that didn’t go well for Martino was this: (video)