For the 4th time in a row; Mexico has landed in Group A of a FIFA Tournament (2010 and 2014 World Cup, 2013 Confederations Cup). ‘El Tri’ now has less than a year to prepare for this major tournament. There are many factors to take into consideration to determine how Mexico will perform.

Two World Cup qualifiers

Prior to the tournaments; Mexico will face Honduras and the United States in World Cup qualifiers. Those two matches are a week apart; with the Confederations Cup right after that. It will be a tough task to prepare for two crucial qualifying matches and a tournament at the same time.

They tend to choke in the knockout stage

If you’ve been following the team for years, you should be aware of the fact that Mexico has been eliminated from most tournaments in the 2nd round (ex: 2014 World Cup). Their performance tends to be solid in the group stage; but they can’t crack through the glass ceiling and pass to the 2nd round without conceding a crucial game-deciding goal. We saw this happen in the last World Cup; when the Netherlands scored in the 88th minute to tie the match, before scoring the controversial game-winning penalty. It happened again in the Copa Centenario. After excelling in the group stage, Chile slaughtered them with seven unanswered goals in the following round.

The 2017 Gold Cup will take place five days later

Mexico is no stranger to performing double-duty in major tournaments. Mexico participated in the 2015 editions of CONMEBOL’s Copa America and CONCACAF’s Gold Cup; both of which happened back-to-back (June and July). Then coach; Miguel Herrera, put together two separate squads for the respective competitions and confirmed that the Gold Cup was the priority (which they won).

If Juan Carlos Osorio is still the coach heading into the summer of 2017, by then he should decide which competition is the team’s priority.

Most likely the Confederations Cup squad will see the likes of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Rafa Marquez, and “Memo” Ochoa. The Gold Cup squad might have Alan Pulido, Giovanni dos Santos, Javier Aquino, Moisés Muñoz.

Prediction - early Confederations Cup exit and Gold Cup Winner.

On paper; Group A is going to be a moderate challenge, so seeing them through into the knockout round is easy. The possibility of facing Copa America Champions Chile or World Cup Champions Germany is very high. We know what these teams are capable of doing; you don’t see that power in a CONCACAF competitor. Mexico is always a favorite to dominate CONCACAF teams like the USMNT; but questionable when facing outsiders.

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