Mexico Olympic Soccer Team: 6 Players to Watch at the London Games
Mexico has never won an Olympic medal in soccer, but El Tri is ready to change that.
To accomplish the feat, Luis Fernando Tena has set a young but talented squad with players like Marco Fabián, Hiram Mier and Javier Aquino, to name a few.
The under-23 team won the 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara and the CONCACAF Pre-Olympic; something they failed to do in 2008.
It's time for these youngsters to show what they are made of—the same way some of them did at the U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Everything is set for London 2012, so let's find out which players you must keep an eye on.
He is a 22-year-old who plays for Monterrey—a team of the Liga MX. Hiram Mier is the center-back of El Tri and has proven to be a tough defender.
He was appointed captain of the team at the Pan American Games and the 2012 Toulon Tournament. He scored once in France in the last match.
Mier knows how to keep the calm in the back line and control the ball. Last season with Monterrey, he played 1,679 minutes in 19 matches, including the final.
He will be the leader of El Tri's defense in London.
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He has played for Pachuca since his professional debut. Héctor Herrera is an elegant footballer that knows how to pass the ball.
He’s particularly skilled controlling the ball and creating plays from the midfield. He can be a great support to the forwards and is great when the team needs depth.
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A very fast right-winger, Javier Aquino has always played for Cruz Azul.
Aquino was picked to play the Copa América, but Mexico didn't do well and couldn't make it to the knockout stage. Later, he appeared in every game of the Pan American Games.
He is good with long-distance shots—especially with his left foot—and has unique and well-developed dribbling skills.
Giovani dos Santos
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This footballer may be one of Mexico’s most unstable players abroad, but when it comes to wearing El Tri’s jersey, he shows all his talents.
Giovani dos Santos has a lot to offer to this team. Despite being 23 years old, he has played in some of the most prestigious tournaments, including the World Cup.
Like Aquino, Gio can give the team depth, but he turns into a serious threat when he adds to the attack.
His performance at the Olympics may determine his spot with Tottenham or a possible move to another club.
Oribe Peralta is one of Mexico's overage players. He is 28 years old and has played with Santos Laguna since 2010. Peralta has established himself as one of the country’s top scorers.
He had nine goals in the 2011 regular season—including a hat trick—and six more in the playoff stage.
He missed Mexico’s first couple of qualifying games for the 2014 World Cup due to a hamstring injury, but Fernando Tena called him for the Olympic team. Tena also did in 2011 at the Pan American Games, where he was the top scorer.
It doesn't matter if he is standing backward to the goal; Peralta always knows where to shoot.
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There is absolutely no way to miss Marco Fabian. He’s played for Chivas since his youth years and became a key player at the Apertura 2010 Tournament.
Fabian was sidelined from Mexico’s team at the Copa América held last year, as he was involved in a prostitution scandal. After a six-month suspension, he cleaned up his act and has had breakthrough year.
He was called to the first team in January and then made it to the under-23 squad.
After doubts regarding his previous conduct, ESPN analyst David Faitelson acknowledged that the footballer was perfect for a top club.
In France, Fabian was the top scorer of the Toulon Tournament with nine goals. As a result, several Premier League teams were interested in acquiring him.
Fabian is a very unbalancing player who knows how to dribble, control the ball and shoot on target.