Yep. That’s kinda how we all feel, Maza.
Yesterday, during the hexagonal kickoff match against Jamaica in Estadio Azteca, Mexico put on such a lackluster show and failed to capitalize on its home-field advantage. You’re playing in the clouds practically (7,900-foot elevation)!! MAKE THEM RUN.
It got so bad that fans started booing our own team and cheering every time Jamaica had the ball. I’m sure the captain didn’t appreciate any of that.
We scraped by with 1 point, by the grace of God. Read: By the blessings of Jesus.
Jose de Jesus Corona was the one person responsible for keeping Mexico, the regional leader, from falling oh-so-hard from grace. Aside from that spectacular diving save, Chuy had a few more moments where he punched out incoming shots and smothered balls during one-on-one breakaways.
Good stats, of course, for any goalie. But not when that goalie represents a team that has been on the rise. Get your shit together, guerreros. This isn’t a game anymore. It’s a fight to the World Cup.
PHOTO: Mexico captain Francisco ‘MAZA’ Rodriguez flipped off camera while Corona gives interview. Irony, here, is that Corona is the loose cannon you should watch out for off-field antics.
- Jamaica earns historic draw at the Azteca (examiner.com)
- Mexico, Jamaica Draw, 0-0, In Hexagonal World Cup Qualifying Round (huffingtonpost.com)
- Eric Gomez: Chepo’s stubborness leads Mexico to stinker at Azteca (goal.com)
By now, you should gather I have a slight crush on one Jota Jota Corona (here too and here). And if you don’t know, now you know: José de Jesús CORONA has been Mexico’s go-to goalie for some of their last international games, including Sunday’s friendly against Brazil and today’s first World Cup 2014 qualifying match against Guyana.
He’s done a bang-up job of keeping the riff-raff out of the net — punching, diving, deflecting, saving. Yes, Jesus saves!
(PS, I used to have a really cute cartoon t-shirt of Jesus as a goalie in my ol’ AYSO days. Not the above, but you get the picture… and no, it didn’t give me any special skills when I had to play goalie. Man, I sucked.)
Back to present-day Jesus. Yes, he saves!! …Unless, it’s an auto goal.
Look, not everyone’s perfect. I’m just happy he had enough sense not to head-butt his teammate for that deflection. I’ve waited a long time to see him with the main selection, and I’ll be the first to hunt him down and kick him if he effs it up for me.
Damned if I see Ochoa against El Salvador on Tuesday.
PHOTOS: “Jesus saves” t-shirt design from here and Jota Jota Corona celebrating during Mexico’s 3-1 victory over Guyana.
- You: Mexico vs. Guyana: Momentum Will Play Huge Role in CONCACAF Matchup (bleacherreport.com)
- World Cup Qualifying Preview: Mexico – Guyana (goal.com)
- Guyana boss deems Mexico test as “toughest of our lives” (goal.com)
Proving there’s life after head-butting a coach, José de Jesús Corona is officially back on with the Mexican National Team.
He’s joining the sub-22s this month during the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.
Kudos to one of our favorite (read: hottest) Mexican goalies. His track record with the national team has been spotty. Twice he’s been called up — for a World Cup, and most recently the Gold Cup — and both times he’s been booted because of his bad boy personality. Personally, we think that’s a plus. But apparently, in the power-player circles, it’s a no-no to make your point using your head. More so when that head is aimed at an opposing coach’s face. Ouch!
I’m also digging how introspective he is:
“Honestly, I did not know if I’d ever be back with the national team. I’ve been given a new opportunity and since I got the news, there’s been a big commitment on my part. I know that we are role models for many kids and fans, and it’s going to be important to demonstrate that at every moment.”
-From Univision article (link in Spanish)
Wait, so you’re saying this isn’t appropriate action for a role model?
In case you missed Wednesday’s friendly between Mexico and Bosnia-Herzegovina, here’s a recap. Mexico won. Chicharito scored. A streaker stormed the field. And Cruz Azul goalie Jose de Jesus Corona was named MVP.
I’m leaving the analysis to the experts who get paid to talk about how great or disappointing little pea was. That’s not what this post is about. This is about Corona—Jota Jota not the beer.
What I came away with is that Mexico may have dropped in standing worldwide, it may not be able to show better than quarterfinals at a World Cup, but it remains consistent in its streak of good-looking goalies. Those are really the stats that matter, right? And that’s the reference the title of this post makes… Iker being quite smashing.
A.) Starting in the 1990s, Jorge Campos, goalie during the 1994 and 1998 games, was one of the most eccentric goalies who loved to play outside the box (likely residue from his other field position when not in goal—striker). But if you could just peel away the distracting elements of his, umm, ‘colorful’ attire and the voluminous ’90s haircut, you’d realize… not too shabby.
B.) Oscar Perez overlaps with Campos, especially in the late-1990s. He was called up to the 1998 games in France and 2002 Japan/Korea with him. And, again, in 2010 as one of the oldest mo-fos playing. (I’m looking at you too, Cuau!) I’m not saying it was easy finding a suitably attractive photo of the man. I will say there is some value in that shaved-head, no nonsense, tough guy, goateed look he sports. You be the judge.
C.) With Oswaldo Sanchez, we return to the pretty boys of the goal. The Santos goalkeeper has been called up for three World Cups, beginning with France in 1998. It wasn’t until Germany 2006, that he became the top guy between the posts. His one flaw—and really could it be considered a flaw?—is that he’s dangerously close to a unibrow. Personally, I think that’s needed to keep him from being too pretty.
D.) Luis Michel was the third goalie that Javier Aguirre took with him to South Africa last summer. The Chivas goalie became captain of his team last year and oversaw their historic 8-0 opening run and he was the talk of the town in last summer’s Copa Libertadores.
E.) Here we have Memo Ochoa. One of The Faces of the Mexican national team. Anywhere you turn you see this guy with his bouncy curls—commercials, billboards, etc. Too bad for all that hype you didn’t see a minute of him in South Africa. Aguirre preferred the more experienced Conejo to this baby face of Club America. Now, he’s the national frontrunner…
F.) I say ‘now’ because after Wednesday night’s performance and what seems like an incredible work ethic. Jota Jota Corona from Cruz Azul could take the top spot. He’s got the qualifications—called to the national team, called to a World Cup (No. 2 in Germany), quick reflexes, impressive saves… chiseled features.
PHOTO: Corona blocks a shot during Mexico’s 2-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina; pics of Jorge Campos, Oscar Perez, Oswaldo Sanchez, Luis Michel, Memo Ochoa, Chuey Corona