Because of their tremendous amount of international activity, it’s the news out of Mexico that dominates this weeks report on our region.
Monterrey and Morelia are only one step away from Copa Libertadores elimination. Both needed victories playing at home Wednesday night in the next to last round of group play.
In Monterrey, Group 2 leader Sao Paulo relied upon “man of the match” goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni to keep the score line at zeros to escape with a point. Where it not for great goal tending, Monterrey could have potted three. With only a draw, third place Monterrey has only a mathematical chance at surpassing second place Columbian side Once Caldas.
Scoring in the second minute of injury time to get the 1 – 1 draw in Morelia, Argentine champion Banfield, maintained their 3 point lead over the Monarchs to hold on to second place in Group 6 with one match remaining. Morelia now has the daunting task of beating group leader Nacional de Uruguay in Montevideo next.
CONCACAF Champions League
In the CONCACAF Champions League, it is an all Mexico semi final that goes next week with Cruz Azul hosting Pumas on Tuesday and Pachuca at home to Toluca on Wednesday.
It is a display of putting the flag first and team second.
In an unprecedented agreement, between professional team owners and the Mexican Football Federation, Mexico’s World Cup preparation will shift into concentrated mode next week. Regardless of where their team stands in the league table, playoff aspirations, and international competitions such as CONCACAF Champions League or Copa Libertadores, the owners have agreed to release all of any players National coach Javier Aguirre calls to the final camp which begins Tuesday.
Aguirre named 17 domestic players to his squad. They will play their final club match this weekend, then begin daily training at the high performance center in Mexico City. Chivas Guadalajara were particularly hard hit with five players on the list. Pumas have three, Morelia and America two, and there is one player named from each of Pachuca, Jaguares, Cruz Azul, Atlas, and second division Veracruz sending veteran favorite Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Permission to participate in Copa America 2011 gets a green light of sorts.
CONCACAF has given permission to the Mexican federation to continue participating in the Copa America tournament. But, there is a catch.
In a Miami meeting Wednesday between CONCACAF Secretary General Chuck Blazer and Justino Compeán and Decio de María, President and Secretary General of the FMF, Blazer informed that the Tri will have to enter their under 23 team which can be bolstered with five senior players. Permission was also given for Mexican club teams to continue participating in the annual Copa Libertadores as an invited guest.
Mexican football consider these higher calibre competitions important to the continued improvement of the game in Mexico. Mexico’s inclusion in these events is important to the CONMEBOL organizers because of the financial clout of sponsorship, advertising, and television revenue the Mexicans bring with them.