Today is the official start to the CONCACAF Hexagonal — the Road to Brazil 2014. The six regional teams are all facing each other over the course of the year in their qualifying run toward the World Cup.
February 6 Matches
Honduras – United States
Panama – Costa Rica
Mexico – Jamaica
Unless you’ve been following every single move the Mexican teams have been making these last few months, today’s game will offer some familiar and newbie faces. Well-known players include CHICHARITO, Giovani DOS SANTOS, Andrés GUARDADO, Maza RODRIGUEZ, Aldo DE NIGRIS, and Carlos SALCIDO. Of course, my boy Chuy CORONA will also be keeping riff raff out of Azteca’s nets.
But the squad that’s playing Jamaica also includes a ton of young blood that has been called up to the main team. There are handful of U23 players who debuted during 2011 Copa America (and some who were suspended during the prostitution robbery mess). Plus, some members were part of the winning squad during the 2011 Pan American Games, and 2012 Toulon Tournament. And, by my count, there are nine Olympic gold medalists. I’m surprised they found room on this roster for Chicharito. What am I saying? There’s always room for Chicharito.
So here are my trading cards for four players. A few I know you’ve seen before and will likely see play today. Some may be brand new information. I’d do more, but who has that kind of time. Perhaps over the course of the games …
Plays for CF Monterrey, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2011 Pan American Games, 2011 Copa America
Plays for Guadalajara, Liga MX
Mexico: 2012 London Olympics, 2012 Toulon Tournament, 2011 Copa America*
Plays for Tijuana Xoloitzcuincles de Caliente, Liga MX, Apertura champions
Mexico: Played 45 minutes during Jan. 30 friendly against Denmark
- Mexico: What to Watch in El Tri’s Hexagonal Stage Opener (bleacherreport.com)
- The Hexagonal Is Here! US Takes On Honduras (wvhooligan.com)
- McCarthy’s Musings: CONCACAF Hexagonal Preview – Mexico, United States once again top the heap (goal.com)
This weekend was Mexico’s last game of the year. All in all, clenbuterol scandal aside, 2011 was a very good year for El Tri. They won the Gold Cup and briefly broke into FIFA’s Top 10. Even the chamacos exhilarated with the performance of the summer, taking the U-17 World Cup trophy and sweeping boot honors.
The capstone of the year — thank god — was a 2-0 win against Serbia. Who cares about rankings or closing it our good years: It was more important to win for self-esteem issues: That game looked like some serious mofos (Serbs) versus a bunch of pipsqueaks pretending at professional play (Mexicans). I mean, just look at the photo above.
Serbia TOWERED over Mexican players. They threw farther than Mex kicked. They toyed with the little players and shoved them around the field. Need proof: Just look for Chicharito’s grass stains. When Mexicans jumped, they barely reached Serb shoulder height.
I did a little research (off Soccernet and Wikipedia). After crunching the numbers, here are the highlights:
- The tallest guy on the Mexican squad was captain Maza Rodriguez at 6’2″ (Maybe that’s why they made him captain, eh???)
- The shortest guy for Mexico, who was a second-half substitute, was Sinha at 5’4″ (A long lost Little, maybe???)
- Key players Guardado is 5’7″, Chicharito is 5’8″, Gio Dos Santos and Carlos Salcido are 5’9″
- Mexican height average: 5’10” (I rounded up)
- The SHORTEST guy on Serbian squad was TALLER than the Mexican average. (Milos Ninkovic is 5’11”. He’s also the only 5-footer in the opening lineup.)
- Their tallest player should be in another sport. (Nikola Zigic is 6’7½” and should play basketball.)
- Serbian height average: 6’2″ (I rounded down)
This win wasn’t just for Mexico, it was for all us who wish we were taller than we are and who tend to round up all the time (so yeah, I guess it was for Mexico). To festering Napoleon Complexes!!!
- Mexico Ended 2011 with a Win Over Serbia (socyberty.com)
- Video : Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s Two Goal vs Serbia – Mexico vs Serbia International Friendly (theoriginalwinger.com)
- Hernandez hits brace as Mexico beats Serbia (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Mexico vs Serbia Score Highlights 2-0 Goals video (soccer-blogger.com)