Jesus Corona

Getty Images

Mexicans Abroad: Jimenez scores in Wolves win; Lozano earns Napoli draw

Leave a comment

Raul Jimenez’s spectacular and fine run of form with Wolverhampton Wanderers was in full steam on Saturday, as the forward recorded his sixth of goal in league play, powering Wolves to the fifth spot on the table.

A couple hundred miles away, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, too, contributed a goal for his team. Napoli, however, were unable to walk away from San Siro with three points, drawing instead and dropping out of the qualification zone.

In Portugal, Jesus “Tecatito” Corona continues to prove that he works best in silence, far away from the reflectors and attention that his aforementioned countrymen garner, recording an assist over the weekend.

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


La Liga

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid —  During the early stages of the season, there was enough speculation to go around on wether Herrera was ever going to become a staple in Diego Simeone’s scheme. After a second consecutive start and an assist in Atletico’s 1-1 draw against Granada, it’s safe to say that the 29-year-old is enough to prove that he can contribute to an elite-caliber European side.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Sevilla — Chicharito stayed on the bench in Sevilla’s 1-0 win over Real Valladolid on Sunday.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis —  The 33-year-old started and all played all 90 minutes for Betis, who defeated Valencia 2-1 at the Benito Villamarin. Guardado completed 88 percent of his passes, contributed one key pass, and recorded a total of 65 touches.

Diego Lainez, Real Betis — The 19-year-old remained on the bench during Saturday’s match.

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Araujo was fundamental in Celta’s 3-1 win over Villarreal on Sunday, recording seven clearances, one blocked shot, and four tackles in 90 minutes of play. With only 12 points after 14 matches played, Celta still remain in the drop zone.

Serie A

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — Lozano has been Napoli’s lone saving grace over their last three matches, contributing all the goals throughout the aforementioned stretch of time. On Saturday, the winger rose in the air and headed home Lorenzo Insigne’s shot off the crossbar, salvaging Napoli a point against AC Milan.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Jimenez continues to prove a point many back: He’s Wolves’ most influential, productive, and valuable player. The 28-year-old scored his team’s game-winning goal against Bournemouth.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — Gutierrez was left on the bench in PSV’s 2-1 over Heerenveen. He did, however, pull off this kind gesture to a Chivas fan that was present at Philips Stadium:

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Alvarez, too, remained on the bench in Eredivisie this weekend. The 22-year-old had front-row seats to Ajax’s 4-1 win over Heracles. 

Primeira Liga

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — Corona played 68 minutes and added an assist in Porto’s 4-0 win over Vitoria in cup play on Sunday.

Jupiler Pro League

Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — Govea started and played 90 minutes in Zulte’s 2-0 win over KV Mechelen.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   Moreno didn’t dress for Al Gharafa in their 3-1 loss on Friday.

Pedro Arce, Panionios – Arce started and played all 90 minutes in Panionios 1-1 draw with Olympiacos.

Mexicans Abroad: Chicharito opens La Liga account with Sevilla, Tecatito assists

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has scored for Sevilla before – in fact, his first goal for the Spanish side was one of his career’s best – but on Sunday, the 31-year-old opened his La Liga account with Los Nervionenses. 

In Portugal, Jesus “Tecatito” Corona assisted in Porto’s 3-0 win, quietly adding to his assist count and highlights to his overall positive season. Elsewhere, plenty of Mexicans abroad suffered arduous defeats.

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


La Liga

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Sevilla — Chicharito started his second consecutive league game, and scored his first La Liga goal with Sevilla in their 2-0 victory over Getafe.

Hector Herrera, Atletico Madrid — Herrera came off the bench and played 24 minutes in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. He completed all of his 14 passes. Accurate.

Andres Guardado, Real Betis —  The veteran midfielder started, captained and all played all 90 minutes for Betis, who continues to struggle. On Sunday, Rubi’s side lost 1-0 against Granada, falling to the relegation zone.

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

Nestor Araujo, Celta Vigo — Araujo started and played 60 minutes in Celta’s 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad. The defender recorded three clearances, one blocked shot and one interception.

A series

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano, Napoli — Lozano was left on the bench in Napoli’s 1-1 draw against SPAL on Sunday. It’s not time to worry yet, however.

Premier League

Raul Jimenez, Wolverhampton Wanderers — Jimenez started and went all 90 minutes in Wolves’ 1-1 draw against Newcastle. The forward had one shot on target.

Eredivisie

Erick Gutierrez, PSV Eindhoven — After going 90 minutes on Thursday in Europa League play, Gutierrez featured for another 90 in PSV’s woeful 4-0 loss to AZ. The midfielder completed 91 percent of his passes.

Edson Alvarez, Ajax — Alvarez came off the bench in the 81st minute in Ajax’s 4-0 win over Feyenoord.

first League

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, FC Porto — In a midfield role, Tecatito played all 90 minutes and contributed an assist in Porto’s 3-0 win over FC Famalicao.

Jupiler Pro League

Omar Govea, Zulte Waregem — Govea played all 90 minutes in Zulte’s 2-0 win over KV Oostende.

Elsewhere around the globe:

Hector Moreno, Al Gharafa   On Sunday, Moreno started and played 90 minutes in Al Gharafa’s 2-1 loss against Al-Duhail.

Carlos Vela, LAFC – Vela and LAFC were inactive this weekend, but play host the Seattle Sounders on Tuesday in the Western Conference Final.

‘It’s all right’: Martino pleased about Mexico’s internal competition

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Unlike in the USMNT’s current landscape, there aren’t questions being raised about Mexico’s deficiencies following their 3-0 bashing of their fierce rivals in New Jersey.

The glaring reason for that is based on the fact that Gerardo “Tata” Martino’s side, who have yet to suffer a loss since the Argentine took over in March, are in divine shape. Equally, it’s rare to find El Tri in such a peaceful state when it comes to results, but it’s the team’s current world.

To put the situation in perspective, some of the “tougher” questions being asked on Friday night – by what has always been considered a taxing and pressuring press – were regarding the complications that El Tri’s feisty internal competition for playing time may be giving Martino.

“It’s all right,” the 56-year-old said in respects to his outlook on his current decision making. “It’s what all coaches particularly want [a tough time selecting a starting lineup] – having this kind of difficulties due to abundance [of players] at the time of putting together a game.”

“We have the possibility of playing two friendlies, of playing in a match with some, giving minutes to the majority [of players], without losing sight of what we want which is to win games,” he added.

Assembling a lineup to take on his former team will not pose as difficult, however. Team captain Andres Guardado is expected to fly back home for the birth of his child, who is expected on Monday. Rodolfo Pizarro, who was ruled out of Friday’s hours before the first whistle, is on the verge of being operated on for appendicitis. Monterrey-based players, Luis “Chaka” Rodriguez and Cesar Montes, will return to Tigres and Rayados, respectively, due to injuries.

It is also expected that the players who earned 90 minutes against Gregg Berhalter’s side will not feature against Argentina in San Antonio, making Tata’s selection process that much more straightforward with a number of key players unused on the bench at MetLife Stadium.

Mexico’s positives are coming in bunches – a major reason for the team’s current internal battle for minutes.

For the first time in the Martino era, Atletico Madrid’s recent arrival and longtime El Tri midfielder, Hector Herrera, played side by side with former Porto teammate Jesus “Tecatito” Corona at the national level. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who opted from the Gold Cup due to the birth of his son, joined the national side this time around, too. In other words, some of Mexico’s most valuable assets making a return all at once might be fueling Martino’s conundrum, but is it really that when the results are flooding in like the goals were in New Jersey?

Definitely not – Mexico are currently rejoicing, and it shows on the field.

“We had a few goals in addition to winning the game,” Martino said. “For the first time, Tecatito (Corona) played with Héctor (Herrera), we used even Héctor (Herrera) as a holding midfielder, Javier (Hernandez) returned to the team after what had happened with Paraguay and Chile. [We need] to continue to keep the team working, we are very satisfied.”

Mexico’s player ratings shine after lopsided win against USMNT

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gerardo “Tata” Martino and Co. picked up exactly where they left off: outlasting their rivals. Ironically, when nothing was on the line expect bragging rights this time around, Mexico played better than in the Gold Cup final over the summer.

[ RECAP: USMNT 0-3 Mexico ]

The Martino era only gets better with every passing day – for now.

Starting XI

Jonathan Orozco — 8 — It’s 2019, and 33-year-old Orozco recorded a clean sheet and a last-minute penalty save with El Tri. I’m sure even he can’t wrap that around his head. Nonetheless, he showed up for the few times he was called upon.

Jorge Sanchez — 7 — Sanchez can, potentially, be an integral part of the team that will compete in the CONCACAF Nation’s League next month. If so, the fullback is heading in with good standing.

Diego Reyes — 5 —  Reyes wasn’t excruciatingly poor, but one could see that he’s been lacking stability at the club level, specifically when he awarded the USMNT a penalty in the dying minutes of Friday’s game.

Hector Moreno — 7 — Despite showing some weaknesses here and there, Moreno is clearly still one of Mexico’s best defenders. (We all know the reason, but I’ll still ask.) Why is he playing in Qatar?

Jesus Gallardo (Off 87′) — 7 — Monterrey’s fullback has grown into quite the player.

Hector Herrera — 8 — Herrera now has more assists with El Tri this year than minutes with Atletico Madrid. That has to change.

Carlos Rodriguez (Off 90′) — 7 — It’s hard to appreciate a player like Rodriguez. Tonight his valiant work on both sides of the field wasn’t mesmerizing, regardless of how much one analyzes it.

Andres Guardado (Off 77′) — 7 — The captain showed glimpses of creativity, but was in the middle of the spectrum the majority of the game.

Roberto Alvarado (Off 76′) — 4 — Alvarado struggled on the field in New Jersey. Period.

Jesus “Tecatito” Corona (Off 70′) — 9 — The last time Tecatito made headlines was for his national team absence. Time to turn the page and enjoy his pristine skillfulness.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Off 87′) — 8 — It’s refreshing to see Chicharito score, especially when he’s just entered a new chapter in his legendary career.

Subs

 Hirving “Chucky” Lozano (On 70′) — 8 — Lozano is clearly Mexico’s most talented player, and everyone hopes it will remain that way for a long time.

Uriel Antuna (On 76′) — 8 — There is no one who has benefited more from the Martino era – no one.

Erick Gutierrez (On 78′) — 8 — Things have turned around for the PSV Eindhoven man, and a goal will only speed up that healing confidence.

Alexis Vega (On 87′) — n/a — J.J. Macias may be the popular choice, but Vega is the chosen one.

Fernando Navarro (On 87′) — n/a — There’s no way Navarro is complaining about playing three minutes against the USMNT at MetLife Stadium.

Orbelin Pineda (On 90′) — n/a — Any time on the field is better than nothing, I guess.

Mexico makes statement, wallops USMNT

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

[ MORE: 3 things | USMNT player ratings ]

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.