Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Extended prep time for El Tri

Mexican soccer officials said Monday that the likelihood exists of an extended training camp ahead of Mexico's opening World Cup qualifier against the United States, which will be played Feb. 11 with all signs pointing to Salt Lake City as the venue of choice.

The plan, FMF exec Guillermo Cantu told reporters, is to have domestic internationals stay together from the days before their scheduled Jan. 28 match against Sweden in Oakland until Feb. 11, thus maximizing their time together and trying to enter the Hexagonal as prepared as possible. European-based players would probably not join up with the team until days before the match.

Typically, the US has an extended training camp at the start of each year since MLS is not in season and the domestic players need to be in shape for the late winter/early spring. In this case, the US will again continue with such an extended camp so expect the Americans to be well prepared in February.

Perhaps it's the significance of the Hex, the poor form El Tri had to close out 2008 or maybe it's even out of respect for the US but for Mexico to dedicate such time and resources to prepare for the US game is a bit out of the ordinary. The league will play on and always plays on during that time of year so players would be out of action for the first several weeks of the Clausura 2009 season. Usually El Tri only disrupts league play in this manner during the lead-up to the World Cup.

However, given the team's terrible run, a World Cup berth is not a given for Mexico.

Cantu also said the team would come together for a similar camp leading up the Aug. 12 qualifier, which kicks off the second part of the Hexagonal calendar. Their opponent? The United States.

So maybe there is something to that respect thing after all. Or is it fear?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting...Fear is a strong word, however respect & concern over negative response to a less than stellar showing v. the Good Guys may well be driving this change in strategy.

Anonymous said...

"Typically, the US has an extended training camp at the start of each year since MLS is not in season and the domestic players need to be in shape for the late winter/early spring. In this case, the US will again continue with such an extended camp so expect the Americans to be well prepared"

Not really. This article is implying that the US trains together for several weeks preparing for Mexico. Very few players from the January USMNT camp will be on the field against Mexico. Bradley will round out the roster vs Mexico with players from the camp but he is not going to play out-of-shape MLS players in a World Cup qualifier. The camp will exist this year to round out the numbers for our Euro based players.

Matter of fact, I can't think of any US starters who will be in that camp (Donovan will be at Bayern) with the possible exception of Clark or Mastroeni.

L.B. said...

second anon, did you actually read what I wrote? Or did you just skim past it and read what you wanted to read?

I didn't imply shit. The only reason I pointed out the US camp is to contrast the two teams' levels of preparation in general. The US always has a camp at the start of the year so this would be nothing new to them. I said the US uses it to prepare for the late winter/early spring. That's what they prepare for, for whatever games they have and to start the year off on the right foot.

Late winter/early spring games include: Sweden, Mexico, at El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago.

Having the MLS players fit and available for those games is vital and important, thus the January camp is vital and important.

As far as your assumption that "very few players from the January USMNT camp will be on the field against Mexico" well it's good that Bob Bradley doesn't think that way. Because Bradley thinks that you can't predict anything so you have to prepare for everything.

man-from-michigan said...

It's good to see that we are taking this more serious and respecting our rival. We need to do that with each and every opponent. Sven will get us that WIN!!!

Michoacano

Joel Aceves said...

Not sure if Lavolpe held camp before the U.S match in the previous Hexagonal; but he was allowed to train with domestic players every now and then during league play..

Also, I do not think it is fear of the USMNT but more of the Mexican media of which a large part, for political reasons, are ready to lynch Svenny should he start the Hex with a defeat..