Mexico World Cup Preview
By Dialogo May 25, 2010*MEXICO* *Nickname*: El Tri *World Cups*: 14 (1930, 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010) *Championships*: 0 *Runner-up*: 0 *Third*: 0 *How it qualified*: The Mexicans finished second in the final, six-team CONCACAF region. The squad went 6-1-3 to finish with 19 points, one behind the United States and three ahead of Honduras. *Coach*: Javier Aguirre *Projected starting lineup*: *Goalie*: Guillermo Ochoa *Defense*: Jonny Magallón; Rafael Márquez; Ricardo Osorio; Carlos Salcido *Midfield*: Giovani Dos Santos; Gerardo Torrado; Andrés Guardado; Cuauhtémoc Blanco *Forward*: Guillermo Franco; Carlos Vela *Pool Play*: Mexico, which is ranked 17th in the world by FIFA, is in Group A with 10th-ranked France, 18th-ranked Uruguay and 90th-ranked South Africa. *Schedule*: June 11 vs. South Africa at Johannesburg’s Soccer City; June 16 vs. France at Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba; June 22 vs. Uruguay at Rustenburg’s Royal Bafokeng *Did you know?* Mexico has qualified for the past five World Cups after it was banned from the 1990 event by FIFA for using players who were over the age limit at the 1988 Olympics. Mexico has lost in the round of 16 in each of the past five World Cups, including a heartbreaking, 2-1 loss to Argentina in Germany in 2006. Mexico has qualified for a CONCACAF-high 14 World Cups. Very few teams are entering the World Cup as hot as the Mexicans, which went 5-1-1 in their final seven CONCACAF matches, which included becoming just the second visiting national team to win in Costa Rica’s Ricardo Saprissa stadium in a decade.