Players with most to prove at Olympics
On July 26, Mexico will play its first Olympic match in Newcastle, England against South Korea, culminating the FMF's more-than-year-long project to get Mexico back into the summer games. Although dismissed by most in Europe, the Olympic tournament will be an absolute attraction in Mexico and wherever El Tri fans live. Matches will be anxiously watched, and the team's performances will be closely dissected.
Essentially a youth tournament, Mexico figures to measure itself against the world with how the team plays in the Olympics. If the grand plan is to win the World Cup, then surely Mexico's performance in London will go a long way in determining how far they are away from that goal. Earning a medal will mean that they are on track. Flaming out in the group stage will be a cause for yet another reset.
The unveiling of the official roster on Monday hardly brought any surprises. Mexico basically announced the roster last month when the team gathered for a training camp in Mexico City. On Tuesday, the team arrived in Marbella, Spain to continue its training camp, which will consist of matches against England (July 15), Spain (July 18) and Japan (July 21).
In the two weeks leading up to Mexico's first match, we will preview several aspects of El Tri's Olympic run. For now, we start with the four players with the most to prove in this tournament:
MF Hector Herrera: A year ago it would have been impossible to predict how quickly Herrera stunningly moved up the national team ranks to earn a spot on the Olympic team. His play in both the qualifying tournament and in the Toulon tournament was exceptional. Herrera earned the Toulon tournament's most outstanding player award, a noteworthy accomplishment considering teammate Marco Fabian had a tournament-high seven goals.