National team will practice locally for two big matches
Por: Iván Orozco
Javier “El Chicharito” Hernández, who is having a magical run with Manchester United, will be in San Diego. SanDiegoRed Services
Mexico’s national soccer team is coming to San Diego to play in an exhibition match in a few days.
But “El Tri,” as the team is known, will be in San Diego eight days before their match against Venezuela. Mexico is to fly into Tijuana from Mexico City on Monday and then cross the border on a bus into San Diego.
The team is slated to stay in a hotel in Torrey Pines while it practices at a private school in La Jolla in preparation for two exhibition matches, including the second of two in California here in San Diego.
El Tri will face Venezuela on Mar. 29 at Qualcomm Stadium. It will be Mexico’s last match before going into recess until June for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Mexico plays Paraguay in Oakland on March 26 but will stay in San Diego until the day before that match before flying to the Bay Area.
El Tri is scheduled to head straight to the airport after its match against Paraguay and fly back to San Diego that same night. They will practice twice before their match against Venezuela.
Mexico is bringing a loaded roster that includes its European-based players.
Perhaps the most intriguing player coming to San Diego is Javier “El Chicharito” Hernández, who is having a magical run with English Premier’s Manchester United in the domestic and UEFA Champions League.
Hernandez scored two goals for Manchester United in its last Champions League match last week. A fan favorite, he is a player who has rapidly gained fame and vastly developed a knack for scoring goals since scoring in the 2010 World Cup.
El Tri’s European players coming to San Diego include goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (Club América), Giovani dos Santos (Racing), Andrés Guardado (Deportivo La Coruña), Carlos Salcido (Fulham), Héctor Moreno (AZ Alkmaar), Pablo Barrera (West Ham United), Carlos Vela (West Bromwich Albion), Efraín Juárez (Celtic Glasgow) and Francisco Rodríguez (PSV).
Veteran defender “Rafa” Márquez (New York Red Bulls), formerly of Barcelona, Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Ricardo Osorio (Monterrey), and Jonny Magallón (Guadalajara) are a few others that will join Mexico in San Diego.
Most of these players made up El Tri’s World Cup roster in 2010 in South Africa. These same players are rumored to be the roster Mexico will take to the Gold Cup.
The Gold Cup will be of great interest to El Tri. The winner of the 20-day tournament played in 11 U.S. cities earns a slot in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, a year before the 2014 World Cup.
Mexico will also have its current coach, José Manuel de la Torre, leading the team while assistant Luis Fernando Tena will also travel with El Tri.
It has been said De la Torre will coach Mexico during the Gold Cup while Tena will take over as coach for the Copa América to be played in Argentina in July. That’s where Mexico plans to use mostly younger players in preparation to the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers. Most of the players coming to San Diego next week are not expected to be on that team.