It seems the Gold Cup final has had a negative effect on Mexico. As the team arrived in Venezuela for Copa America, reports arose that the locker room is split and the pressure on Hugo Sanchez is as high as ever.
It's interesting to note that speculation over the European trio of Carlos Salcido, Ricardo Osorio and Pavel Pardo stems from their supposed admiration for Ricardo Lavolpe and that that somehow affected their decisions to skip the tourney and go on vacation. I tend to think that it has to do more because they want to have some rest before they have to report to their clubs next month but there is probably some truth to their respect for Lavolpe.
Pardo pre-dates Lavolpe but Osorio and Salcido were brought in by Lavolpe. So was Kikin. So was Omar Bravo and Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa. That has to count for something, so maybe those players are still in some ways loyal to Lavolpe.
As far as having an affect on the game Wednesday or the whole tournament in general, probably what will hurt Mexico most is fatigue. Because Mexico chose to take essentially the same team to Copa America, Mexico will have a difficult time facing Brazil. I originally thought that six games would be great preparation for Mexico but now it seems to me that Mexico will be playing Brazil on tired legs, and that's dangerous.
Factor in some injuries - Jared Borgetti, Andres Guardado and Alberto Medina are out according to Mediotiempo.com - and the task becomes even harder.
I think Mexico's going to struggle to get out of the first round.