South Africa will host the World Cup in ten venues located in nine cities.
Capacity ranges from 42,000 to an expected 95,000.

If Mexico were to host it in 2018, the following would be in place:

  • Estadio Azteca – 105,000 – Mexico City
  • Estadio Jalisco – 68,000 – Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • Estadio Olimpico Universitario – 63,000 – Mexico City
  • Estadio Universitario “El Volcan” – 51,000 – Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
  • Estadio Leon – 50,000 – Leon, Guanajuato
  • Estadio Zapote – 50,000 – Tampico, Tamaulipas
  • Estadio Cuauhtemoc – 47,000 – Puebla, Puebla
  • Estadio Chivas – 45,500 – Guadalajara, Jalisco
  • Estadio Morelos – 42,000 – Morelia, Michoacan
  • Estadio La Corregidora – 41,000 – Queretaro, Mexico
  • Estadio Azul – 40,000 – Mexico City

The following are proposed but are disputed:

  • Estadio Internacional Monterrey – 75,000 – Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
  • Estadio Monterrey – 50,000 – Monterrey, Nuevo Leon

* Estadio Internacional Monterrey proposes that it be a stadium shared by Monterrey’s two professional teams. However, Monterrey have stated they would rather have their own venue and thus Estadio Monterrey is likely to prevail over the Internacional.

By 2018 or 2022, I am sure that we would see a number of new or expanded venues.

For a geographical idea:

Average high temperatures in July for the “host” cities I mentioned above:
Monterrey – 94
Tampico – 88
Guadalajara – 79
Leon – 79
Morelia – 78
Queretaro – 78
Mexico City – 74
Puebla – 74

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Mexico defeated Costa Rica 2-0 at Estadio Azteca on March 28, 2009.

The  goal scorers include Omar Bravo and Pavel Pardo (penalty).

First half summary (be sure to watch in “High Quality”):

Second half:

Mexico will next face Honduras on Wednesday, April 1, 2009. The match will be played in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

The Mexican national team has already flown to Honduras in preparation of their match in San Pedro Sula, but Giovani dos Santos, Edgar Castillo, and veteran Ricardo Osorio will be watching the match from home.

Mexico’s soccer federation, known as FEMEXFUT, is reporting that Giovani dos Santos will miss the match due to an injury he suffered while playing for his club Ipswich Town. The injury to his groin muscle has not completely healed and despite vast improvements in his health, the he has failed to heal 100%. To prevent further injury, Sven Goran-Eriksson concluded that it would be best for Giovani to take the opportunity to return to England and work on his recovery.

Edgar Castillo is forced to miss the match against Honduras due to his misplacement of his travel documents. He has been unable to locate his passport and is unable to submit the necessary paperwork to have a new passport issued in time.

Ricardo Osorio came down with flu-like symptoms Sunday night and will stay in Mexico while he recovers from his unexpected illness. Sven-Goran Eriksson has stated that no new players will be called into the squad as a result of the team having plenty of depth already available. Both Carlos Salcido and Jonny Magallon are eligible to play during Wednesday’s match and will likely see minutes.

On Sven-Göran Eriksson:Sven-Goran Eriksson

It’s the dawn of a new era and Sven-Goran Eriksson is here to greet us.

Well not quite yet, but pretty soon he’s expected to greet us as the new manager (in it’s full capacity) of the Mexican national football team. So what can we look forward to with Eriksson at the helm?

A fully loaded squad:

At the moment, there are absolutely no friendlies scheduled for the Mexican squad prior to the World Cup Qualifier against Honduras that is scheduled for 20 August, 2008. With that in mind, Eriksson will have at his disposal the full list of European based players that have donned the national jersey including:

Antonio di Nigris (Ankaraspor), Carlos Salcido and Francisco “Maza” Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven), Héctor Moreno (AZ Alkmaar) Ricardo Osorio and Pavel Pardo (both at VfB Stuttgart), Aaron Galindo (Eintracht Frankfurt), Rafael Márquez (Barcelona), Andres Guardado and Omar Bravo (Deportivo de La Coruña), Guillermo Franco (Villareal), Nery Castillo (Manchester City), Giovani dos Santos (Tottenham), and Carlos Vela (Arsenal).

In addition to the European based players, domestic players such as Guillermo Ochoa, Jonny Magallón, Gerardo Torrado, Óscar Rojas, Fernando Arce, Antonio “Zinha” Naelson, Jared Borgetti, Israel Castro will also be seen as the strongest and most likely contenders for a spot on the squad.


Andres Guardado compilation

A new approach to competition:

It may not seem like much at first, but Sven’s approach seems to be that of controlling and focusing the present while also keeping notes and tabs regarding the future. He says that one must think in grander terms, that one should take advantage of the situation and look ahead. Rather than waiting to see if Mexico qualifies before taking any action, one must get the upper hand and think in terms as if Mexico were already qualified. With this mind, he has sent Guillermo Cantu and Fernando Cerrilla to South Africa in order to scout locations for the Mexican squad. Locations in terms of hotels, training facilities, and practice fields.

The Future of Chucho Ramirez:

It is being reported that Chucho Ramirez has rejected an offer to be a member of Eriksson’s coaching staff, citing instead, that he believes his role as manager of the youth squads to be his calling at the present time. His main objective will be the formation and preparation, specifically, of the under-17 squad as it prepares for the 2011 under-17 World Cup and the under-20 squad as it start making its way toward the 2009 under-20 World Cup.

For now, Chucho has flown to Spain in order to join the Mexico under-15 national squad as it competes at the “Santa Orosia 2008” football tournament.

The following two groups make up the competition at the tournament:

Group A: Jacetano CF, Laredo de Cantabria; Adepo Palomeras de Madrid, SD Gernika, La Floresta de Tarragona

Group B: Mexico under-15 National Squad, Girona FC, Romo FC, La Salle Mallorca, CD Valdefierros

Today was the first day of tournament action and the Mexican squad found much to celebrate as it gained two victories:

Mexico 3 – 0 Girona de Cataluña

Mexico 11 – 0 C.D. Valdefierro

The squad will play two additional matches tomorrow, the 28 of June:

08:45 Mexico vs. Romo F.C.

17:15 Mexico vs. 2nd Place from Group B

While it had been reported earlier that a club team in Saudi Arabia had expressed interest in Chucho Ramirez, it doesn’t look likely that he’ll be heading out any time soon. He’s a trusted and beloved coach by the youth squads, and what better way to secure his job as the future senior manager? He’s bound to come back sometime. (Thankfully his time isn’t now).

And what’s left to say about Hugo?

Well there’s plenty to say about Hugo, but why bother rehashing the troubled past?

While evidently he wasn’t the greatest tactician or strategist, at least we can say that he was able to select players when their time was right. His biggest achievements include bringing Nery Castillo to the Mexican squad, incorporating Israel Castro (arguably the better right-back defender), giving Aaron Galindo another opportunity, and finally, giving Fernando Arce the shot he deserved.

For this, we can thank Hugo.


Nery Castillo – Mexico vs. Brazil – Copa America 2007 – Arabic Lesson of the Day

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Guardado and Vela TrainingMexico is set to face Belize in the second leg of Round 2 in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers. Although this is early in the qualification process, it’s been a rough and shaky time for many on the Mexican side.

Mexican soccer has been under pressure the last few months for a number of reasons. Hugo Sanchez was ousted as manager shortly after failing to clench a spot with the under-23 squad for the Beijing Olympics. By June 3, Sven-Goran Eriksson was named successor to the chagrin of several key players. Sergio Amaury Ponce and Jose de Jesus Corona were both recently removed from the squad due to injuries, we’ve recently witnessed Oswaldo Sanchez get on the wrong side of the law in Chicago, Gonzalo Pineda is claiming that he won’t be making the move to Atlante from Chivas even though all the higher-ups seem to want the move, and to finish it all off, tomorrow will be Chucho Ramirez‘s final match as manager before passing on the torch to Sven. Once the torch is passed, it’s anyones guess what fate Mexico will face.

But with tomorrow on the mind of most people, perhaps it’s best to leave the speculation of the Eriksson era for another time.

Jorge Vergara, owner of Club Deportivo Guadalajara in Mexico, was rather blunt with his expectations for tomorrow’s match:

“There is still much for the Mexican squad to give, much more. [Chucho Ramirez] has been very inconsistent; the results from the recent friendlies and the 2-0 win against Belize have not been flattering at all…It’s very clear that Chucho is not prepared to be the manager to lead Mexico into the 2010 World Cup…Chucho must first ensure that the squad gives a convincing win against Belize…it is obvious that we must improve considerably. Mexico is superior to Belize in all respects as was evident at the away leg [in Houston], and Mexico must have a crushing win – at least 6-0.

For the Belizians, however, the response was a bit more humble. Belize’s keeper and team captain, Shane Orio commented:

“The team is very excited to play in a country with so much tradition as that of Mexico. We watch Mexican television, Mexican league matches, and many of us dream of being able to play in their stadiums, with their people. [As far as the pressure for Mexico to have a decisive victory] They have wanted to do it since the first match, but we showed that we can play well, organized, and with great attention. We want to win and qualify. It may sound like a dream, but we can not think of anything else.”

While I hope that Belize is able to put on a great performance tomorrow, I see them falling short, but not without forcing great frustration and grief to the Mexican side. I’m predicting a 3-0 win for Mexico.

Eriksson on the hunt.

June 19, 2008

Sven

Reports from Mexico are showing that Sven-Goran Eriksson is out scouting, analyzing, and compiling personal reports on Mexican players across the country.

Justino Compeán, president of Mexico’s football federation recently referred to Eriksson as “studious and reserved” when asked about the new coach’s plan of action. Compeán also stated that he was “surprised” by Eriksson’s quiet but energetic approach to the national team as his day to take charge of the squad comes nearer.

Additionally, Eriksson has kept to his word regarding his efforts to quickly learn Spanish to a degree that he can effectively communicate with his players. Compeán also reported that Eriksson commands everyone to approach him and speak to him in Spanish, absolutely refusing to hold full conversations in English.

The studious and reserved side of Eriksson becomes more evident when the topic at hand turns to his management and direction of the Mexican squad. Compeán told ESTO reporters that Eriksson spends hours with his small, self-chosen team of trainers and analysts, looking over game footage and player highlights, and he has traveled extensively to watch matches. Needless to say, he’s constantly analyzing players, but at this moment, very quiet as to what his analysis reveal. Footage of him at the recent Mexico matches in San Diego, Chicago, and Houston show him with an inquisitive look and deep contemplation. Let’s just hope it wasn’t dread and regret – especially after witnessing the 4-1 loss to Argentina and the 2-0 struggle against Belize.

But as Erikssons sets to take charge, there are still questions as to whether the players (providing he keeps them on the squad) will have as much faith in him as he will surely have in them.

Prior to his appointment, there was plenty of early resentment by the likes of Borgetti, Salcido, and Osorio to name a few, but the key thing to keep in mind is that all players currently on the squad, and those wishing to represent Mexico for the first time, will have to work together as a single, cohesive, united group. It looks to me as though Chucho has made great strides in bringing the group back together, but they shouldn’t depend on him for that. They need to train, improve, and win as a collective force – be it with Chucho Ramirez or Sven-Goran Eriksson.

He has the talent and know-how to manage a squad. The players have the talent and skill to compete against the likes of Argentina, Brazil, and everyone underneath them. The first feat the two sides will have to overcome is to come together as one collective force.

Will this play out as we all hope and dream?

Further reading:

Mexico 2 – 0 Belize

June 18, 2008

Mexico defeated Belize 2-0 on June 15, 2008, in the first leg of round 2 in CONCACAF’s World Cup Qualifier. I won’t bother writing an analysis of Mexico’s performance, but let’s take a quick look at reactions to the match.

Let’s begin with that of Mexico’s caretaker coach, Chucho Ramirez.

ESPNdeportes.com is reporting that Chucho is looking to win in these qualifiers – not play pretty football. He’s quoted as stating that, “The qualifiers are there to win, not to be played pretty. Hopefully we’ll be able to do both [however]…in the qualifiers there is no point to playing pretty football if you’re not winning.”

Belize found much to celebrate in a match that witnessed a defensive strategy that frustrated Mexico for most of the match. Belize, who were very recently ranked last in FIFA’s rankings (now 157th), were able to effectively bunker down and limit Mexico’s chances. While the team is lacking in offensive power – be it counterattacking or forward leads – it’s showing promise as a future CONCACAF contender.

The national team will now be training in Mexico City in preparation of the second leg of the series, which is to be held in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon on June 21, 2008.

It’s important to note that this will be the final match with Chucho Ramirez at the helm. Sven-Goran Eriksson is set to take charge starting in July.

To read the full article on Chucho Ramirez, be sure to visit ESPN Deportes.

To read about Belize’s response to the first leg against Mexico, visit 7NewsBelize.com.