How they qualified
Mexico only just squeezed past Jamaica to top their group, drawing with the Reggae Boyz 2-2 in the final group game, but they had to come from behind twice to win the point needed to qualify. Bobby De Cordova-Reid opened the scoring in the 8th minute for Jamaica before Orbelín Pineda levelled on 17 minutes. Jamaica were ahead again 16 minutes later when a ball from De Cordova-Reid bounced off the left thigh of Edson Álvarez for an own goal. It took a penalty in the first minute of injury time by Hirving Lozano to draw the teams level again and ultimately put the Mexicans through.
The eight-time Concacaf Gold Cup winners finished as runners-up two years ago in the inaugural edition of 2019-20 when they fell to the United States 3-2 in extra time in the Final.
Star Player (s)
Feyenoord’s Eredivisie winning forward Santiago Gimenez has been the standout Mexican player in Europe this season. The 22-year-old is rumored to be on the radar of countless major clubs and a goalscoring performance at the CNL and the Gold Cup will hasten that move. Club America’s Henry Martin Club has been the leading goalscorer in the latest Liga MX season and can be a match winner. In goal veteran Guillermo Ochoa will turn 38 just days before this year’s Gold Cup final, but he is proving to be evergreen and was player of the season for Serie A’s Salernitana. Ajax’s Edson Alvarez is an automatic selection in midfield and will pull the strings of Mexico’s championship challenge.
It is a new era for Mexico under manager Diego Cocca. The Argentine was hired in February after Mexico’s exit at last year’s World Cup. Cocca opened his account with two wins and a draw against the US in a style that is more pragmatic than expansive. Having had a playing career mainly spent in Argentina, he has had a management career mainly in Central America, and Mexico in particular having managed at Santos Laguna, Tijuana, Atlas and Tigres before taking the national team job.
What can we expect?
Mexico are rebuilding but that will make no difference to Mexican fans who expect nothing but a win, especially against the US in their opening semi-final match. Cocca is looking to blood young players but they will be expected to hit the ground running. Such is the expectation they may well do that and cannot be written off in their opening semi-final against the US. That said, they won’t start as favourites. An unusual position for a Mexican team in Concacaf.
|1||GK||CARLOS ACEVEDO||19.04.1996||SANTOS LAGUNA (MEX)|
|2||DF||JULIÁN ARAUJO||13.08.2001||FC BARCELONA (ESP)|
|3||DF||CÉSAR MONTES||24.02.1997||RCD ESPANYOL (ESP)|
|4||MF||EDSON ÁLVAREZ||24.10.1997||AFC AJAX (NED)|
|5||DF||JOHAN VÁSQUEZ||22.10.1998||US CREMONESE (ITA)|
|6||DF||GERARDO ARTEAGA||07.09.1998||KRC GENK (BEL)|
|7||DF||LUIS ROMO||05.06.1995||CF MONTERREY (MEX)|
|8||MF||CARLOS RODRÍGUEZ||03.01.1997||CRUZ AZUL (MEX)|
|9||FW||JONATHAN HERRERA||23.05.2001||ATLAS FC (MEX)|
|10||FW||ALEXIS VEGA||25.11.1997||CD GUADALAJARA (MEX)|
|11||FW||SANTIAGO GIMENEZ||18.04.2001||FEYENOORD ROTTERDAM|
CLUB AMERICA (MEX)
|13||GK||GUILLERMO OCHOA||13.07.1985||SALERNITANA CALCIO (ITA)|
|14||FW||ERICK SANCHEZ||27.09.1999||PACHUCA (MEX)|
|15||DF||ISRAEL REYES||23.05.2000||CLUB AMERICA (MEX)|
|16||MF||SEBASTIAN CORDOVA||12.06.1997||TIGRES UANL (MEX)|
|17||MF||ORBELÍN PINEDA||24.03.1996||AEK ATHENS FC (GRE)|
|18||MF||LUIS CHÁVEZ||15.01.1996||PACHUCA (MEX)|
|19||DF||JORGE SÁNCHEZ||10.12.1997||AFC AJAX (NED)|
|20||FW||HENRY MARTÍN||18.11.1992||CLUB AMERICA (MEX)|
|21||FW||URIEL ANTUNA||21.08.1997||CRUZ AZUL (MEX)|
|22||DF||VÍCTOR GUZMÁN||07.03.2002||CF MONTERREY (MEX)|
|23||MF||JESUS GALLARDO||15.08.1994||CF MONTERREY (MEX)|