Mexico Olympic Soccer Team: 5 Players Who Must Be at Their Best to Win Gold
Mexico will take an experienced, talented squad to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Even so, winning a gold medal would be a dream scenario for El Tri.
For that to come, several players will have to be at their best this summer in Great Britain. Mexico's Olympics campaign begins July 26 against South Korea, and El Tri will also face Group B matches against Gabon and Switzerland.
Here are five players who must play their best this summer for Mexico to take gold.
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Marco Fabian doesn't always show the best judgment in goal celebrations, but that's not important.
What's important for Mexico is Fabian's ability to create and score goals with his sometimes outrageous skill and speed.
Giovani dos Santos
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Since joining Spurs from Barcelona in 2008, Dos Santos has been loaned out three times and has played 17 league matches without scoring once.
Playing for El Tri has been another story for Dos Santos. The 23-year-old forward has scored 14 times in 59 appearances, and, at times, he's created moments of pure genius.
Mexico will need plenty more this summer, and if Gio brings it, his Tottenham nightmare might finally be over.
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32-year-old Carlos Salcido, one of El Tri's three overage players, is an interesting addition for Mexico.
The Tigres star has 103 caps, but there's a question over whether he'll play defense or defensive midfield. Nayib Moran sums up the dilemma at FMF State of Mind:
Hiram Mier and Diego Reyes could accompany Salcido on the defense. Ponce and Aquino will be the players that will cover the wings on both ends of the pitch. But also Salcido and Reyes could be Mexico’s holding midfielders, and players such as Darvin Chávez, Israel Jiménez, Néstor Vidrio, or Néstor Araujo could be selected to play on the defense.
In a recent behind-closed-doors friendly with Great Britain, Salcido played in the middle of midfield with Hector Herrera. Marco Fabian scored the only goal, and Mexico won 1-0.
Jose de Jesus Corona
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Jose de Jesus Corona should be Mexico's starting keeper at the Olympics.
At 31 and a veteran of the 2009 Gold Cup and 2011 Pan American Games (both won by Mexico), the Cruz Azul No. 1 will bring plenty of experience to the lineup as one of the team's overage players.
He's also one of the best goalkeepers most European fans haven't heard of. If Corono can string together a few solid performances in the net, Mexico will have a chance in any match.
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Marco Fabian and Giovani dos Santos draw all the headlines. Oribe Peralta, meanwhile, is the No. 9 working hard to make it happen.
He also manages to score a few of his own.
Peralta, 28, scored a tournament-high six goals during Mexico's run to the 2011 Pan-American Games gold medal. At the Olympics, his job will be to create space for himself and his teammates and obviously to keep scoring.
If he does, Mexico will be hard to beat.