Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hype vs hyper

It seems to be a subdued U.S.-Mexico match this time around. There isn't the excitement of Hugo's first match, no title is on the line, and it's not a World Cup qualifier. Even though the Mexican media hypes up the clashes between the teams more than anyone, they usually get a bit of help from the Mexican team, or maybe Landon will say something that everyone goes crazy about.

However, Sanchez, for once, isn't making a big deal out of the game. I think that's partly his strategy. Managing expectations helps his players stay loose, and also leaves him a bit of an out in case the team loses.


just another one of you said...

I get the impression from your article that you consider the Mexican team vastly superior to the US and that only nerves keeps Mexico from constantly dominating. Is this impression correct or is it just the focus of this article so as to not qualify your premise?

JT (Chicago) said...

Just another one, I didn't get that impression from AC.

I did get the impression that Hugo thinks his squad is better than the US but have hit upon a mental stumbling block. He's now trying to overcome that problem and by dialing down the pressure, he hopes to get better results.

I think that Hugo's encouragement to players to play in Europe is also a key to his overall strategy. I think he wants his players tested on bigger stages (and outside the comfort zone of Mexico). I think he believes that they will then be able to handle playing against the USA with a bit more poise.

At one point, before Guardado was injured, I thought that Hugo would start five European based players (with Osorio a sixth if he had been healthy). That would have been quite a change from Mexican squads just a couple years back.

just another one of you said...

jt, i can live with your assessment. I just wasn't clear if this "nerves are our greatest enemy" idea was presented as the Mexican perspective or as the actual reality of the situation. I understand that it did play a factor at the early stages of the home turf domination, it seems that after a few losses in the US (in front of Mexican crowds no less) the Mexican players would use it as motivation. Something must be said about the fact that the Americans have not just caught up with their continental rival but also pushed them to reach for greater heights. Your point on the new approach of euro based Mexican stars seems to me as an indication of that.