5 Key Takeaways from Mexico's Friendlies with USA, Ecuador and Paraguay

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2015

5 Key Takeaways from Mexico's Friendlies with USA, Ecuador and Paraguay

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

    Two wins and one defeat later, Mexico have completed their first three international friendlies against Ecuador, Paraguay and the United States.

    El Tri's performance was far from impressive, despite securing victories against the South American teams.

    The U.S. Men's National Team left the Alamodome with a "dos a cero" victory, which was not a surprise.

    The Mexican footballers have been hardly been working as a team. It is true that coach Miguel Herrera hasn't used the same base of players on a regular basis, but still it feels like El Tri could have done more.

    Let's take a look at the takeaways from those matches. 

Eduardo Herrera and Raul Jimenez Could Be a Good Duo for the Copa America

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    In a refreshing surprise, Eduardo Herrera and Raul Jimenez proved to be very good options for Mexico's attacking zone.

    The Pumas striker scored his first goal with El Tri less than three minutes from the kickoff, and he did it with a ninja-like kick.

    Unlike what happened previously with Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez, Jimenez and Herrera were in sync. These two could be a great duo for the Copa America, as Hernandez and Carlos Vela will likely play on the Gold Cup squad.

Jonathan Dos Santos Provides Depth and Goal Opportunities

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Jonathan dos Santos proved to be a key man in Mexico's midfield.

    The Villarreal footballer was instrumental in making plays for El Tri against Paraguay.

    According to Mi Seleccion Gamecast, the youngest of the Dos Santos brothers completed 85 percent of the passes he sent and was a thriving force in the center of the pitch.

    Jona can play as a central midfielder or through the right flank, and it is that flexibility, along with his undeniable talent, which makes him a lethal footballer in Miguel Herrera's 3-5-2 system.

Losing to the USA Is No Longer a Surprise

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    Darren Abate/Associated Press

    The "Dos a Cero" saga is a nightmare for every Mexican fan, but this latest loss shouldn't be a surprise.

    The United States haven't lost to El Tri since 2011, no matter where they have played. Yes, that includes the Estadio Azteca.

    It's true that Mexico didn't have their top team, but neither did the U.S. In any case, both goals came from youngsters: Jordan Morris (a college player) and Juan Agudelo (who hadn't netted since 2011).

    The new generation of US footballers is clearly here, and they are making an impact on the pitch, unlike what has happened with the Mexicans.

    Mexico didn't work as a team, and the players' experience in the Liga MX wasn't enough to tackle the challenge.

The Back Line Continues to Be a Major Concern

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    Darren Abate/Associated Press

    Once again Mexico suffered in the back line. It was very evident against the United States but also versus Ecuador.

    It's not like El Tri lack players for this position; it's just that the youngsters who have had a chance to play haven't been up to the required standards.

    Miguel Herrera needs to address this matter immediately if he wants to have two competitive sides for Copa America and Gold Cup.

Not All the European-Based Footballers Are in Good Shape

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

    Yes, the European-based footballers' experience puts them ahead of the starters of the Liga MX clubs, but they need to step up.

    Take, for instance, Miguel Layun and Hector Moreno, who were out of rhythm against Ecuador.

    Layun wasn't as fast as he used to be, which hurt his defensive performance in counterattacks. He was constantly overpowered by the Ecuadoreans. 

    His lack of playing time with Watford has been his worst enemy. He had better keep Miguel Herrera's trust or he could be out the door.

    As for Moreno, he had been performing well with Espanyol but seemed lost in set pieces against Ecuador. He has been instrumental on Mexico's back line for years, so he needs to find his way back.

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