Fabianmarco_isi_intdb03252012162_web David Bernal/
Mexico is, without a doubt, the most successful team in CONCACAF and the biggest rival of the United States. El Tri lead the all-time series with the Americans 33-16-12, including a 4-2 thrashing at the 2011 Gold Cup final, and boast a 131-to-69 goal advantage. Mexico is also posting better results on the youth level, winning two recent Under-17 World Cups, reaching the knockout stage of the U-20 World Cup, and taking home the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

But the club has slipped up in recent months. Jose Manuel de la Torre's side hasn't lost during the Hexagonal, but it has barely won, either, posting a 1-5-0 record. The Confederations Cup didn't go much better, as Mexico failed to advance from the group. The squad has plenty of talent at all positions but lacks true veteran leadership. As a nation, Mexico needs to figure out a way to play better.

Will the Gold Cup be the breakout?






Hex_mexico_coach_delatorrejosemanuel Mexican Football Federation

The Coach

Jose Manuel de la Torre took over the top spot in late 2010, replacing interim manager Efraín Flores. The former attacking midfielder, "Chepo" to his friends and enemies, appeared in 28 matches for the national team between 1987 and 1992 and spent the majority of his 15-year playing career in Mexico after coming up through the Chivas youth system. He retired from playing in 1999, taking over as manager of his boyhood club in 2005. He led Chivas to a championship in 2006, and jumped to Toluca in 2008 where he won two more Liga MX championships. De La Torre won his Mexico debut 2-0 over Bosnia and Herzegovina in February 2011, then led El Tri to the 2011 Gold Cup.
Hex_mexico_tactics_isi_usmntmj062511001 Michael Janosz/

The Tactics

Mexico is traditionally an attack-oriented team, but the injection of new blood from recent generations has transformed El Tri’s tactics from a rather one-dimensional-if-skill-oriented short passing game to a high-flying, fast-paced approach bolstered by a dizzying array of offensive options and world class athleticism.

Nevertheless, de la Torre, considered among Mexico’s old guard, insists on deploying dual holding midfielders, slowing the attack down more than many El Tri backers might like. There’s sometimes something to the criticism. Despite impressive results under the manager, the team can sometimes look pressed for ideas with creative forces like Marco Fabian or Gio Dos Santos pushed out wide, without a central playmaker immediately behind the two-man front line.

Hex_mexico_history_isi_usmntdb06252011117 David Bernal/

The History

Mexico is the most successful team in the history of the Gold Cup, winning six times including 2009 and 2011. The squad has never failed to get out of the group stage, adding a second place, a third place, and three quarterfinal appearances to those six championships. Anything less than a place in the final match would be a disappointment.

CONCACAF Gold Cup Results 1991 – Third place
1993 – Champions
1996 – Champions
1998 – Champions
2000 – Eliminated in quarterfinals
2002 – Eliminated in quarterfinals
2003 – Champions
2005 – Eliminated in quarterfinals
2007 – Second place
2009 – Champions
2011 – Champions

They Said It...