Chicharito

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Mexico makes statement, wallops USMNT

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It was all Mexico at MetLife Stadium, as Gregg Berhalter’s U.S. men’s national team failed to find their groove in El Tri’s 3-0 win against their heated rivals on Friday.

Recent Sevilla signing and Mexico’s all-time leading scorer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored in the first half. Erick Gutierrez and Uriel Antuna chipped in second-half goals for Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s side, which has won consecutive games in convincing fashion against the USMNT.

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As in the majority of meetings between the rivals, the opening minutes were cautiously slow – each team doing their best to hide their weapons while trying to figure out one another. El Tri facilitated the ball with urgency through the wings, yet were unhesitant to go back and redraw their approach. The Stars and Stripes, on the other hand, made it clear they’d lean on playing from the back – a tactic that would eventually backfire on Berhalter and Co.

Debutant Sergiño Dest — who made headlines heading into Friday’s friendly for his first senior cap — was unafraid to show his worth, rifling a shot from distance 15 minutes into the bout. With a semi-extended save, Mexico’s Jonathan Orozco quietly put away the home’s side only noteworthy attempt on goal in the first half.

Dest, however, appeared against shortly after for unfavorable reasons.

Settled with dominant possession of the ball, El Tri had a plethora of areas of the field to exploit. And in Jesus “Tecatito” Corona’s mind – at least in the 21st minute – the 18-year-old fullback’s left side of the USMNT’s first third was it, doing so with a bit of wizardry and supreme technique to avoid Christian Pulisic and Dest, before assisting Hernandez.

[ MORE: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The USMNT’s night was plagued by two deficiencies: the inability to move the ball out of the back and the lack of efficient passing in space. In the 33rd minute, El Tri nearly punished Weston McKennie’s poor ball. Corona, though, missed out on recording a brace by inches.

In the second half, with his first touch of the night, Jordan Morris fueled an explosive Mexico counter-attack. With the game moving at a low-scoring pace, it was only fitting that debutant Miles Robinson bailed the Sounders forward.

The low-scoring aura to fade was merely a question of not if but when.

Similar to his impact on his Napoli debut, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano rose fans off their seats. He didn’t score this time, however.

Despite clearly being the inferior team, Berhalter’s side stuck to their game plan, starting the buildup from the back. Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long, despite being known for being defenders comfortable on the ball, suffered when Martino ordered his frenetic frontline to press viciously for the ball.

It felt pre-destined that one of Berhalter’s go-to strategies would soon give out in front of a Mexico side that had caught on to the tactics. Zack Steffen, who has started his season with Fortuna Dusseldorf on a positive note, topped off the shaky sequence of passing with a gift to Erick Gutierrez, who made no mistake with the ball in enemy territory.

Alfredo Morales, representing the Yanks for a first time in three years, was the closest to spoiling Oronzo’s clean sheet, volleying a low ball into the ‘keeper’s far post in the dying minutes of the match.

And just as the USMNT’s bite became nothing more than a nibble, El Tri responded with one more chomp of its own. LA Galaxy’s speedy winger, Uriel Antuna, who has unexpectedly become a household name under Martino, did the honors. Along the way, Lozano, gave the New York crowd something he will showcase on a weekly basis in Italy.

In the game’s last breath, it was clear it wasn’t meant to be the USMNT’s night. Josh Sargent, from the spot, had his strike saved by Orozco, solidifying the narrative that El Tri’s night was perfect and nothing else.

AT HALF: Tecatito nutmeg helps set up Chicharito for opener as Mexico leads USMNT

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Ajax teen Sergino Dest had a bright first quarter hour of USMNT first team football, and then Jesus Corona taught him a tough lesson.

The man they call Tecatito cooked the 18-year-old U.S. left back with a nasty nutmeg, then sent a sensational ball toward the back post.

It’s 1-0 at the break, with several USMNT players out to lunch. After a bright start from the “hosts,” Mexico is dominating the match.

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The USMNT was still watching Corona and forgot to keep an eye on Mexico’s all-time leading scorer, and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez punished the Yanks by planting an unmarked header behind Zack Steffen for a 1-0 lead.

It was a hard-to-forgive mistake, and just as hard to pin down one man at fault. Eight of the U.S. players were sucked past the middle of the 18, and Hernandez had all day to the turn the trick.

The Yanks had been pretty decent up to that point, having the better of play in a frenetic first 20 minutes.

Mexicans abroad: Weekend Roundup

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Scoring a goal for Napoli against Juventus in a seven-goal thriller, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano’s Serie A debut lived up to the hype.

In England, despite Wolves’ slow league start, Raul Jimenez continues to rack up his goal count. His combined Premier League and Europa League qualifying goal count now stands at eight goals throughout 10 appearances.

Elsewhere, Chichairto, who didn’t feature for West Ham on Saturday, is on the verge of signing with Sevilla. If the reported $10 million transfer follows through, he will become the fifth active Mexican in La Liga, and the third to play for the Spanish club.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — It’s the Lozano signature special: scoring in debuts. Like in his debuts for Pachuca and PSV Eindhoven, Chucky opened his Napoli account in his first appearance. On Saturday, the 24-year-old scored 23 minutes after coming on at halftime; however, Gli Azzurri would go on and lose 4-3 in the final seconds following a Kalidou Koulibaly own goal.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Wolves’ miserable Premier League start continues, falling 3-2 to Everton. Jimenez, who played all 90 minutes, scored his second of a young season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, West Ham — With a return to La Liga expected to be announced on MondayChicharito was inactive this weekend for West Ham. Recognizing that the 31-year-old was on his way out, Manuel Pellegrini cited that an injury was the root of his absence.

La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — La Liga is three weeks in and Hector Herrera has yet to make his La Liga debut. It’s not the start the 29-year-old expected, surely.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis — Los Verdiblancos’ captain started and played 90 minutes in Betis’ 2-1 win against Leganes. The Jalisco native recorded 81 touches, four key passes and one shot on target.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old didn’t dress for Saturday’s bout.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Throughout 76 minutes, Araujo recorded five interceptions and two clearances in Celta’s 1-1 draw against Sevilla.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez started and played 56 minutes for PSV on Sunday in their 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk. In the 51st minute, the midfielder was shown a yellow card. 

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Like Lozano and Jimenez, Alvarez, too, is flourishing in Europe. Midweek, Alvarez scored his first goal for the Dutch side in their Champions League qualifying victory over APOEL. On Sunday, the 21-year-old started and played all 90 minutes in Ajax’s 4-1 walloping of Sparta Rotterdam. 

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Deployed as a right back, Corona continues to excel in Sergio Conceicao’s scheme. On Sunday, in Porto’s 4-1 win against Vitoria, he assisted Moussa Marega, who opened the scoreline.

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Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — All is well for Govea in Belgium. The midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Zulte Waregem’s 2-0 victory against Royal Antwerp.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   On Friday, Moreno started and played all 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 0-0 draw.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — The 21-year-old fullback was left on the bench in Roda’s 1-0 loss.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – Matias Almeyda has yet to hand the 25-year-old his first start. On Saturday, Fierro played the final nine minutes of San Jose’s convincing 3-0 win over Orlando City.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – LAFC take on Minnesota United on Sunday.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – Dos Santos has been as reliable as they get. On Sunday, the midfielder started and played 90 minutes in Galaxy’s 4-3 loss to Seattle.

Uriel Antuna, LA Galaxy – A favorite of Tata Martino, Antuna scored a goal against the Sounders. It will play to his advantage as he and the rest of his national team prepare for Mexico’s upcoming friendlies against the USMNT and Argentina, respectively.

West Ham’s Chicharito arrives in Spain ahead of Sevilla move

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Well now we know that Manuel Pellegrini has a sly side.

Kidding aside, the West Ham boss waved goodbye to one of his strikers, as Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was captured arriving at Sevilla’s San Pablo Airport on Sunday. He is expected to be introduced formally by the club on Monday, just in time before the European transfer window deadline.

Hernandez, 31, was left out of the lineup on Saturday due to injury, Pellegrini said, but was also preparing for a return to La Liga. In 2014, on loan from Manchester United, Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer played an entire season at Real Madrid, scoring nine goals in 33 appearances throughout all competitions.

Chicharito then moved on to the Bundesliga, where he became a wrecking force for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 39 goals in 76 appearances.

Since then, however, a lack of consistency has plagued the Guadalajara native. In Week 2, against Brighton, Hernandez scored, giving him 17 West Ham goals for his career that started back in 2017.

With Wissam Ben Yedder now at Monaco, and Dutchman Luuk De Jong as the only sign of competition, Chicharito will have his chances under manager Julen Lopetegui to regain the form that once made him an international household name.

If the transfer is completed, Chicharito will become the third Mexican to play for Sevilla, joining the likes of Gerardo Torrado and Miguel Layun.

 

Mexicans abroad: Weekend roundup

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Scoring goals left and right, Raul Jimenez continues to bring smiles to Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters. Against Burnley,  the forward played hero with his last-second goal, earning Wolves a third straight draw.

In Spain, Diego Lainez registered his first minutes of the season, while Hector Herrera has yet to make his debut.

Diego Reyes is no longer a Fenerbahçe, as a move to Tigres nears. Lozano, now with Italian giants Napoli, awaits for his highly-anticipated Serie A debut.

Here is a list of several other Mexico national team affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) outside of Mexico this weekend.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Late into stoppage time, Jimenez converted from the penalty spot, and earned Wolves a valuable point at home against Burnley. It’s the 28-year-old’s first Premier League goal this season.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, West Ham — Chicharito was inactive this weekend due to a reported knee injury. On Saturday, West Ham edged Watford 3-1.

La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — For a second consecutive week, Herrera was an unused substitute for Diego Simeone’s side, who won 1-0 against Leganes.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis — Los Verdiblancos’ captain started and played 61 minutes in Betis’ 5-2 loss against Barcelona.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old recorded his first minutes of the season, playing the final 15 minutes in Betis’ loss to Barcelona.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Araujo started and played all 90 minutes in Celta’s 1-0 victory over Valencia.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — Recently integrated, Lozano didn’t suit up for Napoli’s entertaining 4-3 win against Fiorentina on Saturday.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — PSV are inactive this week.

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Ajax are inactive this weekend.

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Despite overlapping when attacking, Porto’s manager, Sergio Conceicao, continues to deploy Tecatito as a right back. The 26-year-old showed no problems throughout 90 minutes in Porto’s 2-0 statement victory over Benfica, though.

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Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — Logging in minutes won’t be a problem for Govea at the Belgium club, at least that’s been the case thus far. On Saturday, the midfielder started – for a fourth consecutive game – and registered 66 minutes.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   The Qatari league is underway, and Moreno has made his debut. The center back started and played all 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 3-0 win over Shahania on Thursday.

Diego Reyes, Free Agent  Fenerbahçe released Reyes on Sunday. He is set to make a Liga MX return with Tigres after leaving for Europe back in 2013.

Juan Gerardo Ramirez Alosno, Roda JC — On Friday, the 21-year-old fullback started and played 66 minutes in Roda’s 2-1 loss against NEC Nijmegen.

Carlos Fierro, San Jose Earthquakes – The 25-year-old is slowly but surely finding himself in San Jose. On Saturday, Fierro logged nine minutes in the Quakes’ impressive 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – LAFC take on rivals LA Galaxy on Sunday.

Jonathan Dos Santos, LA Galaxy – LA Galaxy take on rivals LAFC on Sunday.