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Mexico lacks experience and star power in Copa América opener against Jamaica

Mexico lacks experience and star power in Copa América opener against Jamaica

Mexico lacks experience and star power in Copa América opener against Jamaica

The Mexican team begins the Copa América with a coach on the bench and without proven stars.

Mexico has competed well in the Copa América, having played in two finals: one in 1993, its first appearance in the tournament, and the second in 2001.

Mexico has also placed third in the competition twice. Only twice did they fail to advance from the group stage.

El Tri begins the continental tournament on Saturday, which is played in 14 venues in the United States, including the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, against Jamaica at the NRG Stadium in Houston.

The main reason for the low expectations is that the team led by Jaime Lozano does not have players of similar pedigree, proven quality and charisma as some of his previous teams.

“Today we don’t have a superstar,” Lozano acknowledged.

“If you ask me who is a reference for the Mexican team, I wouldn’t know how to name one, but I am convinced that we have good players,” said Lozano.

The Mexican team that played in the final of the Copa América in 1993 was led by Hugo Sánchez, considered the best player in Mexican history.

In 1993, Sánchez had already created a legend in Spain, first at Atlético de Madrid and then at Real Madrid.

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Other great players also made up the 1993 Mexican team, including Claudio Suárez, who has the second most caps for the national team.

The Mexican coach considered goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa as the leader of the Mexican team but, curiously, Lozano did not call him up for the Copa América squad.

In addition to the lack of leadership, current players still need to have the quality of the players of yesteryear, and that has caused the Mexican team to lose 35% of its market value in the last three years.

According to Transfermarkt, the defeats against the United States in the Nations League, the low number of Mexican soccer players in Europe and the generational change that the team is going through caused its value to go from $337 million to $218 million.

Of the 16 teams participating in the Copa América, the Mexican team ranks seventh in market value.

Francisco Palencia was part of the Mexican team that played in the final of the Copa América in 2001. The Fox Deportes analyst pointed out that today’s Tri lacks personality.

“In 1993, each player was a figure in the national team and in their teams,” Palencia said on Tuesday’s Punto Final television program. “A leader is someone who inspires the rest of the players and spreads personality. Today Mexico does not have a figure like that.”

Lozano is aware that a poor performance in the Copa América could cost him his job, but even so, the Mexico coach will take advantage of the tournament to give minutes to young players who need to gain experience.

“This is a process; The main objective is to arrive as well prepared as possible for the 2026 World Cup,” said Lozano, who at the Tokyo Olympics led Mexico U-23 to win the bronze medal.

Lozano left experienced players like Ochoa, Henry Martin and Hirving “Chucky” Lozano out of the Copa América squad.

Lozano’s plan is to give young players like goalkeeper Julio González, midfielder Erick Sánchez and forward Santiago Giménez a chance to shine.

“Some of our young players need this type of competition to achieve their full development,” Lozano said, “and we need to give them that opportunity.”

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