El Tri was eliminated in the semifinal round of both of their summer competitions, the Confederations Cup and the Gold Cup, and playing in both tournaments meant Juan Carlos Osorio had to make some difficult roster decisions to balance Mexico’s commitments.
Osorio himself had a rough summer after he earned a six-game suspension for his behavior in Mexico’s 2-1 loss to Portugal in the Confederations Cup third-place game, and Mexico’s elimination from the Gold Cup before the final means he will have to serve the final game of his suspension in World Cup qualifying. When he returned to Mexico after El Tri’s Gold Cup loss, he was booed by fans.
Despite this summer’s (relative) troubles, Mexico remains, of course, one of the giants of CONCACAF, and they are always in the conversation in terms of teams that can make some noise in the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Mexico is in a very good position in World Cup qualifying and they may welcome their upcoming matches as a way to restore fans’ confidence. El Tri currently sits in first place in the Hex with 14 points from six games; they are unbeaten and are on the brink of mathematically locking up a spot in the upcoming World Cup. They could do so as early as their next match, which would see them join Russia, Brazil, and Iran as qualified teams.
Mexico’s remaining Hexagonal schedule will see them host Panama (Sept. 1) and Trinidad and Tobago (Oct. 6) and visit Costa Rica (Sept. 5) and Honduras (Oct. 10).